To add to our knowledge of the importance of fat (discussed, e.g., in “Real Brain Food“) to our health, to our nervous system and brain, to our body function, and hence to learning and education, we can read “Fish Oils and Oils, Fats and Trans Fats,” where the Arizona Center for Advanced Nutrition (about which center I know nothing) said:
Fats have been demonized for the last 40 years or more. And yet Americans are more overweight and more prone to chronic disease than ever before.
Today heart disease causes at least 40% of all US deaths. If, as we were told, heart disease results from the consumption of saturated fats, one would expect to find a corresponding increase in animal fat in the American diet. Actually, the reverse is true. During the sixty-year period from 1910 to 1970, the proportion of traditional animal fat consumed in the American diet declined from 83% to 62%, and butter consumption plummeted from eighteen pounds per person per year to four. During the past eighty years, dietary cholesterol intake has increased only 1%. During the same period the percentage of dietary vegetable oils in the form of margarine, shortening and refined oils increased about 400% while the consumption of sugar and processed foods increased about 60%.
Butter contains many nutrients that protect us from heart disease. For starters, it has a number of anti-oxidants that protect against the kind of free radical damage that weakens the arteries. Butter has vitamin A which is needed for the health of the thyroid and adrenal glands, both of which play a role in maintaining the proper functioning of the heart and cardiovascular system. Abnormalities of the heart and larger blood vessels occur in babies born to vitamin A deficient mothers. Butter is the most easily absorbed source of vitamin A.
Butter is a good source of iodine, in highly absorbable form. Butter consumption prevents goiter in mountainous areas where seafood is not available. The vitamin A in butter is essential for proper functioning of the thyroid gland.
It doesn’t stop there. Butter also contains:
• lecithin, a substance that assists in the proper assimilation and metabolism of cholesterol and other fat constituents.
• butyrin, a precursor for the fuel used by intestinal cells for their normal functioning.
• selenium, a vital anti-oxidant—butter contains more selenium per gram than herring or wheat germ.
• short and medium chain fatty acid chains that have strong anti-tumor effects.
• conjugated linoleic acid which gives excellent protection against cancer.
 Enig, Mary G., PhD. Trans Fatty Acids in the Food Supply: A Comprehensive Report Covering 60 Years of Research, 2nd Edition, Enig Associates, Inc., 1995, p 4-8.
 Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, Ph.D; Why Butter is Better, Weston A. Price Foundation, 1999
 Jennings, IW Vitamins in Endocrine Metabolism, Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Ill, pp 41-57
 Cohen, L A et al, J Natl Cancer Inst 1986 77:43
 Belury, MA Nutrition Reviews, April 1995 53:(4) 83-89
© Copyright 2007-2009. All Rights Reserved. Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine.
A plethora of resources on health and nutrition — objective, inductive, scientific health and nutrition; or at least research where they are holding those as standards, as opposed to Ancel Keys and most all that followed from him — can be found in Mark Sisson‘s blog post “Stuff That I Read (Or Watch), And You Should Too.”