Is butter paleo approved? What butter is paleo approved, if any? These are questions that people often ask when they are looking to follow the paleo diet. And we’ll be exploring those questions in this post.
We know that the paleo diet has been growing in popularity, but what does it allow you to eat? And more specifically, what is the verdict on butter?
It’s important to note that not all butters are created equal. Can you just select a high-quality butter that is made from grass-fed cows? This type of butter has a higher nutrient content and provides more health benefits than other types of butter.
So, let’s dive in!
What is Paleo?
The Paleo diet is a way of eating that focuses on foods our ancestors could hunt or gather. It eliminates all grains, legumes dairy products salt and refined sugars from the equation in order to mimic what they ate 10 thousand years ago before the agricultural revolution!
Paleo is a diet high in protein, moderate in fat, low to moderate in carbohydrates, high in fiber, low in sodium, and eliminates refined sugars.
The diet is meant to mimic what people ate in the Paleolithic era. The foods back then were meant for human bodies, so they didn’t contain all those chemicals we’re now coated with!
What can you eat and not eat on the paleo diet?
When it comes to Paleo, there is no one true way to eat. It depends on the expert you follow. However, there are a few basic guidelines they can all agree on!
- Lean Meats, like chicken
- Nuts and Seeds
- Fruits and Vegetables (low glycemic)
- Unrefined oils, such as olive and coconut
- Honey (sparingly)
- Root Vegetables
Foods Not Allowed
- White Potatoes (high glycemic)
- Processed foods
- Whole grains
- Refined grains
- Sugar (added) and artificial sweeteners
- Refined oils, such as canola and vegetable
Is Butter Paleo Approved?
So, is butter paleo approved? Butter is technically not paleo approved because it is a dairy product. Dairy products are not allowed on the paleo diet because they contain high levels of lactose, which can cause digestive problems for some people.
Dairy contains three components that make it unsuitable for Paleo:
- Lactose. Most adults are actually lactose intolerant and don’t even know it! I found out I was through a DNA test! some of us just simply lack the enzyme necessary to break lactose down.
- Casein Protein. Casein is a protein that is slowly digested by the body. Several people have an allergy or food intolerance to this kind of protein that is found in dairy products.
- Whey Protein. Can spike blood sugar. It’s always best to ingest whey protein with a healthy fat to counteract this.
Health Concerns With Dairy
There are a few health concerns that come with consuming dairy products. For one, dairy is a common allergen. Some people have trouble digesting dairy, which can lead to problems like constipation or diarrhea. Additionally, dairy is high in cholesterol and saturated fat, which can raise your risk for heart disease and other chronic health problems.
Consumption of dairy is linked to:
- Digestive issues
- Common joint pain
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Gas The Paleo diet can address all of the above issues and more, by eliminating dairy from the diet
All of the above can be addressed through the Paleo diet.
What Butter is Paleo Approved?
To determine what butter is paleo approved, let’s look at the reasons people go on the diet in the first place. There are numerous reasons to go Paleo!
- Reverse autoimmunity
- Lose weight
- Improve digestion
- Decrease inflammation
- Control blood sugar
It’s true, Paleo is not one size fits all. But it can be modified depending on your goals.
Is butter paleo approved if your goal is to improve digestion or deal with IBS? I’d say, no.
Is butter paleo approved if you are looking to improve your health, decrease inflammation, or lose weight? In this case, I would personally add butter to my diet.
However, not all butter is created equal!
Grass Fed Butter vs Regular Butter
Butter, and the majority of dairy products on the grocery store shelves, typically come from your average dairy cow. They are given antibiotics, growth hormones, and GMOs. Don’t even get me started on all these “butter alternatives,” like margerine. They are loaded with hydrogenated fats.
Steer clear of these butters:
- Plant based butters (they typically contain GMO riddled soy)
Grass-fed pure butter is a great addition to any diet!
Grass-fed butter comes from cows that are raised on pasture and never given any grain, antibiotics or hormones. These cows eat only grass and their natural diet of hay, which makes for a healthier fat profile than you would find in milk from conventionally raised cows.
The nutrients found in the milk are passed through to the cream making it richer in:
- Vitamins A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K2
- Omega 3 fatty acids
The higher levels of these nutrients also make this type of butter more stable when heated so it can be used for baking without breaking down into trans fats like regular butter does. This means that rather than being something to stay away from because it’s not “paleo”, grass fed butter can actually be a paleo approved food if you’re looking to improve health or lose weight.
But what if you are doing the Paleo diet to improve digestion because you have an intolerance to dairy?
Let’s look at some substitutes for butter on Paleo.
What is a Paleo Substitute for Butter?
Even though Ghee is technically butter, there is some question as to whether it’s true dairy. The milk solids (the parts containing lactose, casein, and whey) have been removed. And it’s a much healthier option than butter!
other non-butter substitutes:
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Butter Inflammatory?
Remember, not all butter is created equal. Conventional butter is more inflammatory than grass fed.
Conventional butter contains more Omega 6 fatty acids, while grass fed contains more Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 6 fatty acids are linked to higher levels of inflammation.
Casein can also pose inflammatory properties, especially in people with gut issues.
What Kind of Butter is Anti-Inflammatory?
All butter is inflammatory to some extent. However, grass-fed butter is less inflammatory than conventional due to the higher nutritional profile!