Some foods get a bad rap for years before they’re redeemed — eggs and coffee come to mind.
Butter, too, has been making a comeback in recent years, and a new study may move it off the “bad for you” list altogether. Although it probably isn’t the next kale, butter isn’t quite the nutritional enemy that everyone tends to believe it is.
A recent study from Tufts University found that butter is better for you than other foods like sugar and starch, and—contrary to popular belief—it doesn’t raise your risk of heart disease. In fact, it can even help protect against type-2 diabetes, although more research is needed. The study looked at the connection between butter consumption and a variety of health threats including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic diseases, and mortality, and it examined a group of over 635,000 people from 15 countries.
This doesn’t mean that butter is a health food, but eaten in moderation, it can still be part of a healthy diet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends one tablespoon a day, and if you stay within those limits, you shouldn’t have to live in fear of eating the previously disgraced dairy product.
Of course, it’s always best to consult your doctor before making any major changes to your diet. And if you get the green light, slather away (one tablespoon’s worth)!