Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
Butter is high in saturated fat which has been suggested to be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) due to increases in total cholesterol in the blood.
However, many studies are questioning this, finding that there is no association between saturated fat and risk of heart disease. Some studies also show that butter actually has a relatively small influence on cholesterol levels and is not associated with heart disease. Despite this it is still advisable to consume butter in moderation and enjoy it as part of a healthy balanced diet.
Butter and trans fatty acids
Trans fatty acids occur naturally in small amounts in ruminant meats, milk and milk products. They can also be found in many industrially produced products such as margarine, and other manufactured foods containing hydrogenated fat such as bakery products, snacks and fried foods. Trans fatty acids found in industrially produced products have been shown to have a negative effect on risk factors for CVD. However naturally occurring trans fatty acids found in dairy products do not have the same effects. In fact, one natural trans fatty acid; conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a component of milk and dairy foods, has been suggested to offer a number of potential health benefits.