Food

Butter Consumption Jumps to 40-year High Thanks to Trans-fat Backlash

America’s health obsession has led back to a big butter boom!

Considered a health hazard that was “bad for you,” butter has been subject to a lot of criticism over the years with many turning their backs on it in search of "healthier" alternatives such as margarine. 

But, according to the latest statistics, it seems butter has made a big comeback in the lives of American consumers, with consumption in the United States at a 40-year high in 2012, the LA Times reported.

Americans now eat 5.6 pounds of butter per capita up from 4.1 pounds in 1997 representing a 25 percent growth.

So what is responsible for the increase? Health experts say the shift toward natural ingredients and the backlash against trans-fats has pushed butter back into the limelight.

Indeed, David Riemersma, president of the American Butter Institute and head of Butterball Farms says butter makes everything taste better.

"Consumers want real, natural wholesome products. They want to understand all the things on an ingredient list. Butter fits perfectly. It's either just cream or cream and salt,” hesaid.

Moreover, the popularity of butter comes amidst more of an understanding about health hazards of processed counterparts like margarine which is no longer viewed as a healthier alternative,

Trans-fats have come under the microscope in recent times after research showed that consumption impaired levels of HDL “good cholesterol.”

In fact, the FDA proposed rules in November to effectively ban all artery-clogging processed fats.

But before you start bringing on the butter, it’s important to remember that butter is not a health food and is high in saturated fats.  The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats to less than 7 percent of a daily calorie intake, LA Times reported.

Read more

Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.

 

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