Why Katie Silcox Thinks You Should Eat More Butter

Katie Silcox will be leading our FP Escapes retreat with YOGASCAPES to Sonoma this August. Today she shares why healthy fats are the key to vibrant health.

My little sister called me a few weeks ago. She had dreamt that I had a little baby in my lap, and I was endlessly feeding the baby sticks of butter. Her dream was a Jung’s bullseye right to the heart of my love affair with all things oily. And wet. And unctuous. And nourishing.

Yes, I’m really into butter. And coconut oil. And ghee. And gelatinous broth. I like to put in my mouth, on my skin and in my hair, and I recommend you do the same.

Like many young women who were doused with the chemical and antibiotic onslaught of the 1980’s (and sadly, through current times), my little belly was less than happy. My entire life, I have struggled with chronic digestive issues. For decades, I have studied ancient methods for healing such as yoga and Ayurveda. I even wrote a whole book on the topic. And if there was one thing that really helped (besides straight up self-love), it was deeply shifting my understanding of true nourishment. Think grandmas and soups and buttery cornbread. And butter.

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So here’s why you gotta’ get on the butter train. The butter train is a big deal. It’s about more than the fact that butter is hella’ good for you, keeps wrinkles at bay, heals your gut lining and is basically jet fuel for the brain. It’s a true movement, especially for women, away from the ideals of emaciation and dryness, and towards the energy of juiciness and vitality. Butter represents moistness, being turned on and tuned in with the sensuality of life. Butter, like many other beloved oils (ghee, olive, sesame and coconut to name a few of my faves), has always been associated with fertility, youthful glowiness and sexy-times. I want my clothes to be buttery soft. My skin to be that right amount of glowing. And inner thighs to be, well, buttery. Yeah, I said it. I also want to give my body the unctuous juice it needs for my machine to be well-oiled for as long as possible. That’s why my toast and my skin is buttered. And why I encourage you to do the same.

Libby Convertible Dress, Nadja Halter Dress

Our ancient mamas (Ayurveda, for example), got this. They churned butter slow. They broke it down into ghee, a naturally refined form of butter where the milk solids have been removed. They found it to be great for boosting the metabolic fire. In fact, butter is as important to Ayurvedic cooking and medicine as lubrication is for sex. You can read more about ghee here.

You can think of butter as “love oil for the body.” This oily love nectar, made from milk, is a medicine. It is also an excellent carrier (anupana) for herbs, in that it helps your body actually absorb what the medicine offers.

Okay, enough esoteric butter talk. Want science. You got it.

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The emerging science on why butter is the bomb:

Butter heals the belly. It holds high levels of glycosphingolipid, a component of fat that helps heal the gut lining. Contrary to popular thought, we need some dietary cholesterol, especially to prevent belly issues like leaky gut and IBS. A study from British researchers found no association between saturated fat and arterial plaque. source

Butter helps us absorb vitamins and nutrients from the food we eat. Butter has a ton of Vitamins A, D, K and E, and it helps your gut absorb those nutrients. The Weston Price Foundation has been a long-time promoter of eating healthy fats for high-level nutrition absorption. source

Butter makes us younger, longer. Why? Because it has high amounts of something called the Wulzen Factor- a hormone-like substance that keeps the joints juicy and the bones strong.

Butter is high in minerals like manganese, zinc, copper, iodine, chromium and selenium.

Butter is high in healthy fatty acids that support your immune system, metabolism and nervous system.

Butter may keep your weight balanced! It has both omega-3, omega-6 fats, arachidonic and linoleic acids – important compounds that support brain function, cancer prevention and aid the body in storing muscle instead of fat! OMG.

Want more? Check out this butter article from Harvard.

Today my diet consists of a lot of warm and wet soups and stews. I eat high quality protein, including grass-fed beef, marrow-rich bones broths, seafood and chicken. I avoid all processed grains. I’ve traded those in for quinoa, black rice, sweet potatoes and rutabega. But mostly, I’ve fallen in love with butter and other high quality oils. I truly believe a shift from “burning sugar” to “burning oil” in my body has been the major factor in dramatically reducing gut inflammation and blood sugar weirdness inside my own body. Make sure to get your butter from a good source. I recommend only eating grass-fed butter from reliable farms and health markets. You can read more about why I love butter in my new book, Healthy, Happy, Sexy – Ayurveda Wisdom for Modern Women. Or even better, join my online yogini school where I will teach you how to cleanse with high-quality foods and yes, fats!

Into the Groove Bodysuit

Katie Silcox is a nationally-known yoga teacher, New York Times Best Selling author and passionate spiritual mama. More at www.katiesilcox.com

Photos by Naomi Huober

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7 years ago

Makes sense I guess. But I am just not a butter lover. I never liked butter on my toast or bread and I absolutely hate it when my food looks or tasted too oily or greasy… So I get my healthy fats mostly from nuts, cheese and avocado.

7 years ago

Loooove this.

7 years ago

Bad post for vegan people. Butter involves animals death and suffering. Don’t forget that.

7 years ago

Encouraging people to eat more cholesterol and saturated fat is seriously dangerous. Most Americans eat WAY too much of these disease-causing foods. Butter has 7g of saturated fat per tablespoon, and the American Heart Association recommends eating only about 11g per day TOTAL. So if you ate no other saturated fat in the form of meat, dairy, cheese, or other fats, then you could “safely” have 2 Tbsp of butter in a day. That’s it!

I get it may work for you, but everyone else out there– do your research. Consult with a nutritionist. Get information before gobbling down dangerous fats and animal protein. It doesn’t do a body good.

7 years ago

Butter doesn’t involve animal death and the writer is promoting eating grass fed cow butter, which means healthy cows and in turn healthy butter. It’s fine if you’ve embraced Veganism As a lifestyle choice but saying things that aren’t true means you probably we too close minded to actually read the article.

7 years ago

“In March 2014, an article appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine that sent the food-obsessed public into gastronomic raptures. Though saddled with a drab title—“Association of Dietary, Circulating and Supplement Fatty Acids with Coronary Risk”—the article reported a seemingly stunning result: eating less saturated fat, the dietary demon that makes buttery croissants so irresistible, doesn’t actually lower a person’s risk for heart disease.” – Harvard article

Geez does everyone comment without reading? Lol

7 years ago

Erika- you eat butter from grass fed animals because it contains a higher concentration of nutrients like vitamin D. When cows eat freshly growing grass, they consume a higher amount of Vitamin D from the sunshine that helps the grass grow :) It’s not about ethics or veganism.

7 years ago

I agree with plant based oils – that’s all good! But butter from a ‘happy’ organic grass fed animal is still butter from an animal that has been forced to be pregnant, and has had her baby taken away from her so that we get most of her milk instead of the calf, which is a cycle that causes emotional, psychological, and physical stress to the animal.

And Erika, if the baby is a female the process repeats for her until she can no longer produce milk then she IS killed. If the baby is a male he will most likely be killed too, as he is useless to an industry thats sole purpose is to make money exploiting animals.

This isn’t my ‘opinion’ as a vegan. This is fact.

Not only is it cruel for the animal but it is also very damaging for the environment, and also for our bodies, as humans are not designed to consume milk from other animals. We ARE however, designed to have fats from nuts, seeds, coconuts, olives and avocados and they are good for us as part of a nutritionally balanced diet!

I am honestly very disappointed to see this on the Free People blog.

a girl from another world
7 years ago

This article kinda made me grossed out, I see the benefits but the health scares and ethical views about the treatment of animals override your views. However, I wish the author was specific when talking about butter versus ghee.
Generic butter SUCKS. There is not going to be one scholarly article that will make me believe butter is actually good for you/me. Ghee is good. It’s probably butter than vegan butter because it contains soy and canola oil. While canola oil and soy is not bad for you, most is owned by Monsanto, who is the largest producer of creating deadly pesticides. Ghee has wonderful benefits, NOT butter, to Katie from Katie please be specific about that. Butter has saturated fat which is one of the worst kind along with trans fat.

Here is what’s important ethically about Ghee. If you read the article “The Riddle of The Sacred Cow” there is an overpopulation of cows. Cows are worshiped and adorned with floral necklaces for what they provide. In certain parts of India, certain cows are NOT slaughtered.

7 years ago

I loved your article!! I would love to send you some of our super fine cultured pasture raised Jersey cow ghee made in Chico Ca!! I love FREE PEOPLE!!! I love to see you writing about my favorite food. Thank you for sharing this important nutritional information. If you send me your address I would live to send you some of our ghee that you can share with your family and friends. It’s super low temp which preserves the nutritional components and keeps the antioxidants and essential fatty acids in tact.!
Please send me your mailing address.
All the Best,
Mama Sattva

7 years ago

Thank you for this article, and for showcasing such a wide variety of philosophies and lifestyles in this blog. I’m not a vegan, but I enjoy cooking vegan food and try to eat by my own personal sense of ethics and global responsibility. I’ve made quite a few of the vegan and/or gluten-free recipes you’ve featured in the past and I’ve loved them. In this article, I appreciate the author’s focus on the importance of real foods. I think it’s easy to be scared of fat in today’s health-focused, trend-dieting world, but I believe moderation is pretty key. I may not dive into a stick of butter face first (and Bulletproof Coffee still weirds me out), but I love to bake and sometimes, nothing beats butter.

7 years ago

I’m a bit confused. This article is singing the praises of butter and refers us to a Harvard study as backup- but the Harvard study does NOT recommend butter as part of a heart healthy diet. Did Katie actually read it?

7 years ago

Butter is amazing. Bread and butter, cooking with butter, yummy.

7 years ago

Erika saying that butter doesn’t involve animal death is delusional. It’s up there on same the ignorance level as people saying Uggs don’t harm sheep because they are made of wool (which of course they aren’t, they’re made from shearling).

Cows are mammals. Mammals need to give birth to produce milk. Cows are forcefully impregnated, babies taken away within hours if not minutes after birth, either killed immediately (often times just with hammer blows to the head, it’s approved industry standard) or put in veal crates or little plastic huts where they are kept for weeks or months in solitude before they are sold for dog food or veal in the case of the males and surplus females. Other female calves are kept as replacements for their mothers who are shipped off to slaughter when then are “spent” by this relentless cycle at 4-6 years of age.
Those are just the broad strokes, why don’t you educate yourself on de-horning, tail docking, living on cement floors most of if not your whole life with no hoof or other vet care etc etc. An animal product being labeled “grass fed” only means they got to go outside for some of the time. All the other horrors still apply in varying degrees.

That a woman like Katie who has herself labelled a yogi and “spiritual mama” would actively promote such wanton abuse of, and disregard for, mothers and their babies is incomprehensible and shows how self promotional labels are just that. It has nothing to do with actual character or how you move through this world. Namaste.

7 years ago

Honestly this is so disappointing and makes me not want to read this blog at all anymore…. butter is HORRIBLE for your body and the girl who wrote this clearly knows nothing about nutrition or the human body…