Is butter really unhealthy? After years of cutting down on butter for being too high in fat, the glorious block of yellow is making a comeback.
The Los Angeles Times' David Pierson reported that butter consumption has grown 25% in the last decade, hitting a 40-year-high in 2012.
"Americans now eat 5.6 pounds of butter per capita, up from a low of 4.1 pounds in 1997," Pierson writes.
This renewed acceptance of butter may be due to our growing understanding about the health risks of processed fats, says Pierson.
Butter has been in kitchens and on dining tables for thousands of years, but the dairy product got a bad rap in the second half of the 20th century following observations that saturated fats, found in foods like butter, red meat, and baked goods, could increase the chance of getting heart disease.
Very simply, trans fat, also known as "partially hydrogenated oil," is a man-made fat. But scientists now recognize that trans fat is even worse for the heart than saturated fat, and the Food and Drug Administration has recently taken steps to remove these fats from food products.
Pierson notes that it's now a selling point to slap a "made with real butter" label on cookies and pies.
But if you think about it, with the amount of cooking shows and competitions TV stations are churning, why wouldn't butter be a food star? Every celebrity chef, aspiring chef and TV chef is using butter generously. And it definitely makes many dishes taste so much better.
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