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Why You Should Be Cooking with Butter!

Mar 16, 2020

Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was magic substance that we could coat our food in to help it brown up nice and crisp when we cook it, taste better when we eat it, help our body to absorb vital nutrients and help us feel satisfied and full when we digested it?  

What if this fantastical substance could help raise our good, HDL cholesterol, lower inflammation, help sustain naturally balanced hormone levels, keep our cells fluid and healthy, and promote beautiful glowing skin and shiny hair?

Wouldn’t that be amazing?

That would be the ultimate “health food!”

Good news!  

It already exists and is plentiful in our everyday lives.

What is it?

Dietary fat.

And oils.

That’s right, natural dietary fats and oils are nature's perfect cooking ingredients. 

Natural dietary fats like:

  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Lard/bacon fat/tallow (beef fat)
  • Ghee
  • Unrefined Peanut oil

When you bake, broil, toast, grill, roast, & saute with natural fats and oils you are using nature's perfect health food.

When you roast broccoli coated in olive oil in the oven, you are coating it in the fat you need to absorb the vitamins A, E, & K. Without the oil, you can’t absorb those vitamins.

When you fry your egg in butter, you will be eating a meal that will keep your blood sugars stable and your insulin low and balanced.

When you brown your onions for your coconut curry in coconut oil, you are ensuring a healthy HDL cholesterol boost.

Cooking in natural fats and oils not only makes your food taste amazing, but it also fills up your essential fatty stores needed to make estrogen, testosterone and growth hormone for strong muscles and bones.

Is it safe to cook with fat and oil?

You should absolutely be cooking your food in natural fats and oils.

When you omit the fat in cooking, you are missing a critical component for letting that meal nourish you and your body.

Without fat, you can’t absorb the vitamins A, D, E, & K.

Without fat, you could develop an essential fatty acid deficiency which shows up in real life like dry, scaly skin, you get sick all the time, or you have wounds that just won't heal. [1]

Without fat, you deprive your body of the fatty acids it needs to make healthy cell walls, hormones, and nerves.

Without fat, you won’t feel full and will be constantly hungry and feel like you just need to nibble.

Without fat, your blood glucose levels can spike and cause large shifts in your insulin which causes weight gain.

Without fat, your hair and eyes will be dry and dull and your skin flaky and dry.

Fat has been wrongly accused of causing heart disease and weight gain and was hastily banished from the kitchen and it was the absolute wrong thing to do. [4]

We lost an entire generation to steamed and water sautéed bland meals over a still unproven hypothesis that the saturated fat found in butter, dairy, and meat caused high cholesterol in your blood and that high cholesterol clogged your arteries and caused heart attacks.  

It turns out after smart scientists pooled together all the studies done on dietary factors and heart disease in 2009, it's only trans-fats and high glycemic (simple carbs and sugar) that have been found to have any association with developing heart disease.  [4]

Not butter.

Because nature doesn't make bad fats.

Man does. 

And if you are concerned that fat being 9 calories per gram is going to cause you to accumulate body fat, please READ THIS POST I WROTE ON HOW IT HORMONES THAT DRIVE FAT ACCUMULATION, NOT CALORIES.

I want you to not only welcome natural fats back into your kitchens, but also back into your food.

I want you to welcome back natural fats like olive oil, butter, coconut oil, ghee, animal fats like lard, and avocado oil specifically because they are healthy (even for your heart!) and stable.

In fact, they’re healthy because they are stable.

What is a healthy fat or oil?

Fat stability is what separates healthy fats and oils from unhealthy fats and oils.  

Stability is based on three things:

  1. Chemical structure
  2. Antioxidant load
  3. Processing

Stable fats and oils have many double bonds in their chemical structure and therefore can’t oxidize as easily. Oxidation is when a free-floating oxygen molecule bombards the fatty acid chain and changes the chemical structure from good to bad. [3]

From fresh to rancid.

From safe to dangerous. [3]

The other variable in how stable or healthy a fat or oil is, is how much it’s been processed from source to your pan or table and if there are naturally occurring antioxidants in the oil.

Processing creates unstable, unhealthy oils. The more processing, the more oxidation.  

You need many, many steps to squeeze oil out of a starchy soybean.

Soybeans are cracked, dried, heated, rolled into flakes, solvent-extracted with hexanes, refined, deodorized, and bleached before possibly hydrogenated or mixed with other oils. [6]

Whereas if you cold-press an olive and need no chemicals to get a beautiful, high-polyphenol oil from the olive, that oil is much more stable and healthy.

Unstable fats and oils cause problems when you eat them. They incite inflammation which leads to problems like heart disease, eczema, cancer and mood disorders. [5]

Unstable fats lead to heart disease, not stable beef fat.

Stable fats and oils are used naturally by the body to form flawless cell walls, fully functioning hormones and can be burned efficiently for sustained energy.

Stable fats can be cooked at high heat and create less toxic compounds like polar compounds that may be detrimental to health and have been linked to the development of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. [2]  

Notice how I said stable oils like olive oil, bacon grease, and butter can be cooked at high temperatures because they are stable, not because they have “high smoke points.”  

The smoke point of an oil is the temperature at which that oil starts to give off smoke. When the oil burns. [2] 

But this is not the only way you decide whether to use the oil for cooking. 

Think stability, not smoke point.

In 2018, a brilliant study came out of Australia on the stability of cooking oils. It concluded that it's not the smoke point that determines whether or not the oil breaks down (oxidizes) into harmful chemicals, its' stability. [2]

The most surprising result was that canola oil once marketed for its health benefits due to its monounsaturated oil content (like olive oil) was not good for our health at all. The testing showed it to be the most unstable compared to all the other oils. Canola oil produced more than 2.5 times the polar compounds of extra-virgin olive. [2]

What fats and oils should I use for cooking?

Natural, stable, unprocessed, unrefined fats and oils like:

  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Lard/bacon fat/tallow (beef fat)
  • Ghee
  • Unrefined Peanut oil 

** It needs to have the word "unrefined" on the label.

You can use extra-virgin olive oil and butter for 99.9% of all your daily cooking needs. 

Roast your vegetables in olive oil.  

Fry your eggs in butter.

Bake your salmon coated in olive oil.

Saute your kale in a delicious mix of half butter and half olive oil with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes and you may actually enjoy eating it!

How do I know if an oil is "natural" and therefore healthy?

Here’s a good rule of thumb: if the food they made the oil from was naturally fatty that’s a good start. If it’s not naturally fatty or oily, the oil they made from it isn’t good.

For example, avocado oil comes from an avocado. Which is naturally abundant in healthy fats. It’s naturally fatty food. It also creates a very stable oil high in antioxidants which means it's good for us.

Corn oil, on the other hand, is made from corn. If you squeezed a handful of corn, would your hand be oily? Nope. It would be covered in milky white starch water. Same with soybean oil.

It takes an enormous and unhealthy amount of processing to get oil out of non-oily food. Ultra-processing means unstable. Unstable oils are unhealthy in our bodies.

It's safe to welcome natural, stable, healthy fats and oils back into your kitchens!

Your body needs healthy stable fats and oils for glowing health.

Your body needs healthy fats for a healthy weight.

You need natural for your brain, hormone production, immune function, skin integrity, cell membrane function, and your entire nervous system.

You need to eat fat with veggies so that you can absorb those beautiful fat-soluble vitamins ADEK.

Eating fat doesn't automatically lead to high cholesterol and heart disease. [4]  

I know, this one statement won't turn the giant, highly funded "Diet-Heart Hypothesis" ship around overnight. I know this one is hard to swallow.

So start here: use extra-virgin olive oil for cooking and never use soybean or canola oil for any baking, cooking, or eating.

You can cook and eat all the extra-virgin olive oil you want as it's never, ever been linked to heart disease.  

It's time to let nature's perfect health food back into our kitchens.




  2. De Alzaa, F, Guillaume, C & Ravetti, L (2018) Evaluation of chemical and physical changes in different commercial oils during heating. Acta Sci Nutr Health 2, 2–11.
  3. Choe, E & Min, DB (2006) Mechanisms and factors for edible oil oxidation. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf 5,169–186.
  4. Mente, A, de Koning, L, Shannon, HS et al. (2009) A systematic review of the evidence supporting a causal link between dietary factors and coronary heart disease. Arch Intern Med 169, 659–669.
  5. Fritsche KL. The science of fatty acids and inflammation. Adv Nutr. 2015;6(3):293S–301S. Published 2015 May 15. doi:10.3945/an.114.006940

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