Tuesday, March 18, 2014

wholefood step-by-step: #11 butter is best...unless you have an issue with dairy

Sorry this post didn't appear yesterday as planned. Sol had an ear ache, then my computer jammed but I'm back now!

My cousin Nicole asked me on the weekend, 'Can you write about butter and margarine because I don't know why butter is better?' I figured that Nicole probably isn't the only one wondering about this so here we go...

Butter is best because it is made with wholefood ingredients. The butter pictured above contains: organic cream, water and salt. Butter is nourishing thanks to its omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins A, D, E and K, it tastes good and it satiates (satisfies) us so we don't go looking for more food in the way that we do if we eat highly processed 'empty' calories. Good fats like butter are essential for keeping our hormones happy and are especially important for nourishing children's growing brains.

Margarine on the other hand is made from processed and heated vegetable or seed oils that become denatured or damaged during processing. The problem with this is that they are inflammatory to the cells in our body. See naturopath Georgia Harding's great post on fats and oils here.

Until two weeks ago, we were butter all the way in my house. We use it as a spread and in baking, melted on steamed vegetables any way we could eat butter we were!

Then, Pete went to see a naturopath partly because he had had a cold and congestion for two months that he just couldn't get rid of completely. River and Sol too had lingering chesty coughs. The naturopath immediately recommended cutting all dairy out of our diets (the only dairy we eat is butter, natural yoghurt and parmesan cheese) until the congestion cleared, and suggested switching to Nuttelex instead of butter.

Pete arrived home with the Nuttelex, I read the ingredients: sunflower oil, vegetable oils, water, salt, emulsifiers (sunflower lecithin 471) flavour, vitamins A D2 and E. Flavour? What is that I wonder.

Interestingly, Sol won't eat the Nuttelex. He asks for his toast to be spread without it.

The good news is their coughs have all cleared! So, for us Nuttelex was a short term choice.

I suppose the other option to avoid using the Nuttelex on toast would be to spread it with avocado or tahini.

* disclaimer: I am not a doctor, scientist or health practitioner, this information is based on research and personal experience please consult a health practitioner if you have a health concern.

Tell us your thoughts in the comments...do you eat butter? If your family dairy-free what alternative spread to butter do you use?


  1. Great post there is always that age old debate butter vs marg. Iv always preferred butter I use it in baking, cooking, everything. But I do buy margarine as well as its easier to spread on sandwiches/toast. I think Ill be stocking up on the Nuttelex from now on, I use to use it not sure why I stopped now!

  2. I think there ate some good reasons to avoid all vegetable oils (omega 6 & free radicals), for me its butter or nothing. We buy the spreadable mainland butter. Tahini and avo are good dairy free alternatives as you mention.

  3. I use the same as farmer liz the spreadable mainland butter from NZ. It also comes in salt reduced but it's very spreadable and have been using this for more than a year. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

  4. Hello lovely, what a timely post as we are constantly dealing with some sniffles and lingering coughs, i know i need to bite the bullet and just cut the dairy and will see how we go. We always use (and love) butter, yoghurt, milk and cheese, just need to get my head around it and come up with some absolutely delicious alternatives. xxx j

  5. Love this blog. I recently went onto a dairy free diet and started using Nuttelex and absolutely love it. My partner (who is not on a dairy free diet) eats it as well. I love the taste too

  6. Hi there, I have cut out dairy (for a few reasons) and now will never go back. I use Nuttlex (but the one in the green container) and while I know it isn't really a wholefood, I figure you're allowed a few sacrifices here and there and I'm pretty good otherwise. Robyn xx


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