As far as demonized ingredients go, butter is right up there with sugar. But new data suggests it really isn’t as bad as its reputation suggests. That’s not to say that it’s the latest superfood. According to a new study, butter is neither good nor bad for you—it’s more of a neutral condiment you can use when you want, instead of ransacking your kitchen for a creamy substitute.
According to Time, researchers looked at data for 600,000 people (featured in nine separate scientific papers) and found that butter was not linked to heart disease, a widely held belief. And researchers say it even might help protect against type 2 diabetes. The lead researcher—Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University—says it’s more important to be mindful of what you’re putting the butter on (like that everything bagel) than the butter itself.
The findings come shortly after the news that full-fat dairy isn’t all that bad for you either. Current research suggests that eating full-fat dairy products actually decreases the risk of many illnesses, including colon cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Given all the new reports coming out, it’s not surprising that the ketogenic diet, a high-saturated fat, low-carb diet, is having a moment right now.
The big takeaway here? Instead of blindly buying low-fat everything, balance your diet with healthy fats—and don’t stress about the butter.