Why The Type Of Saturated Fat In Butter Might Actually Be Good For You

You don't need to have a medical degree to know that eating a lot of fats each day isn't exactly the healthiest thing in the world. With 36% of America's population being considered obese (via World Population Review), it's understandable that there would be a push against greasy, fatty foods.

While it's true that a diet of saturated fats could lead to a plethora of health problems, cutting fats out of the diet may not be as healthy as one would assume. A truly "fat-free" diet would result in the body becoming much more sluggish, an increased appetite, and growing risks of severe vitamin deficiency (via NutriGenomics Institute). Certain types of fat, like unsaturated fats — the kind of fats found in nuts and fish — are well-known for their health benefits, especially for cardiovascular health and lowering inflammation (via Cleveland Clinic). Suffice to say, not all fats are good for you, but not all fats are entirely bad for you either.

But if unsaturated fats are the "good" type of fat, could it be that there's a type of unsaturated fat that may have unexpected health benefits as well?

There are different types of saturated fat in butter

Butter, thanks to it being filled with saturated fats, has long been considered to be a product that is best eaten in moderation. But recent studies show that butter's reputation as "junk food" may be a bit overblown. According to Business Insider, a type of saturated fat, known as "C15:0" found in butter, has been suggested to have positive health benefits in the form of lowering heart disease and diabetes. This type of fat isn't exactly "new" — the molecule was first discovered back in the 1940s — but recent research on Navy dolphins has encouraged further exploration (via Scientific Reports).

While it's fascinating to see the potential health benefits of something that was thought to be unhealthy, this raises another question. If we were told for years that fats are unhealthy and must be minimized in one's diet, could it be that other types of fat aren't as bad as we were lead to believe? The answer to that question is still an ongoing one. Although doctors are beginning to turn away from the idea that all fats and oils are unhealthy, such as focusing on using canola and seed oils that are rich in monounsaturated fats (via Harvard School of Public Health), there is still due concern with other saturated fats and trans fats.

If you want to understand what other fatty foods are best to eat, we suggest 7 types of foods high in fat that will benefit your diet.