Dr. Robert Cook - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Robert Cook

Is Butter Bad For You?



Short answer

Butter is not bad for you-- in moderation. Over the years, the “research” has jumped back in forth like a proverbial yo-yo. Ultimately, when in doubt go with the natural over the fake. When you give something up for something created with less fat, you usually gain something harmful.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Butter is a long time beloved dairy product that has gotten a bad name based on conflicting “scientific research”.  This delicious condiment formed by the churning of milk or cream has been the source of much controversy.  At one point, fearmongering steered people away from the naturally made product and towards the dangerous substitute, margarine.  Anytime you replace something natural with something chemical, it is rarely a positive thing.  The largest problem surrounding this common phenomenon is the lack of research surrounding the replacement product.  We often do not discover the dangers of the product until it has been consumed for several years by trusting consumers.

Butter produced by grass-fed cows is rich in vitamins A, E, and K2.  It contains long and medium chains of saturated fats, which have been proven to fight pathogens and the growth of fungus in the body.  It is ironically rich in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), a product sold as a weight loss supplement, due to its ability to increase metabolic rate.  Butter is friendly to the gastro-intestinal (GI) system.  Fatty acids called glycosphingolipids prevent infection from developing within the GI system.

The cholesterol found in butter, aids in the growth and function of the brain and nervous system and is extremely valued in young children.  Breast milk contains high levels of cholesterol, to help meet this need in infants. 

Cholesterol and saturated fats have gotten a bad name.  Used in moderation, they can have many positive effects in the body.  A recent study (2015) showed that butter has no link to stroke, heart disease, or diabetes—except in cases of overuse.  Some studies have even found that in moderation, butter has properties that can prevent these ailments.  Margarine is a dangerous substitution that has actually been correlated with heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.  It is loaded with trans-fats and chemicals that are extremely harmful to your health.  Unfortunately, many healthcare professionals continue to ignore current research and advocate towards butter substitutions.  The key remains in moderation, as with most foods and beverages.  Always keep in mind, the chemical substitutions for natural products are usually the more dangerous choice.  Go ahead and enjoy some rich butter on your toast!

Possible short-term side effects

  • dairy allergies

Possible long-term side effects

  • obesity
  • heart disease
  • stroke

Ingredients to be aware of


  • antifungal
  • antibacterial
  • gastrointestinal protection against infection
  • nervous system development
  • brain development
  • weight loss (cla)
  • vitamins a, e, k2

Healthier alternatives

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Earth Balance Buttery Spread

  • Soy-free recipe
  • Dairy-free spread
  • Plant-based alternative
  • Easy to spread
  • Convenient 6-pack
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 02-17-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 02-17-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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