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How much Butter people Eat

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How much butter do you eat? Probably not that much, people in the past ate wayyy more butter than you do today.

Our society has been conditioned into believing that butter is not part of a healthy life. And because of these beliefs, butter consumption in America declined rapidly over the last century as people began to see butter as unhealthy.

Over the last century, It became trendy to eat low-fat diets. But since the government started recommending a “healthy diet,” — two-thirds of Americans are now overweight or obese. Butter consumption collapsed, yet incidences of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer skyrocketed.

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There is now overwhelming evidence that saturated fats like butter are not unhealthy as previously thought. Butter is actually a superfood and provides your body with an array of health-enhancing, bioactive compounds. In fact, researchers are learning that butter actually helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The food we avoided was the food essential to good nutrition.

To get the health benefits of butter, you should be eating much more butter that you are today. Butter is not bad for you, it’s actually a superfood. But how much butter can you eat?

Read more about the health benefits of the milk fat globule membrane.

Butter Consumption in the U.S.

If you’re worried about eating too much butter and negative health consequences from butter, you have nothing to fear. People in our past ate quite a bit of butter. Like wayyyy more than you are eating today.

In the early 1900s, Americans consumed about 17 pounds of butter per person per year; by 2004 butter consumption was only at 3.7 pounds per person per year.

How much butter eat per capita

That means Americans today are eating about 10 lbs. of butter less/ year than people did in the past. 10 lbs. of butter less per year!

People at more butter and dairy products in the past and had healthy lives. If you don’t believe that people prior to 1909 were eating a lot of butter, there aren’t extensive records about butter consumption in the 1700s and 1800s, but there are sailor’s rations for sea voyages from that time period. And they show that sailors ate a lot of dairy.

It makes sense because butter is a great nutrient dense food. Butter would be a great superfood for sailors.

Butter Powered Sea Sailors

Butter consumption prior to 1900s Pirates ate butter

Provisions listed for the British ship BELLONA – 74 guns in 1760 listed as provisions for 650 men for four months: (Source)

  • Beef 5,200 pieces 20,800 lbs
  • Pork 9,620 pieces 19,240 lbs
  • Beer 236 butts 29,736 US gallons
  • Water 339 butts 30 puncheons 60 hogsheads 49,018 US gallons
  • Bread 650 bags 72,800 lbs
  • Butter 3,900 lbs
  • Cheese 14,160 lbs
  • Oatmeal 19,008 lbs
  • Peas 20,800 lbs
  • Flour 15,590 lbs

Butter Consumption = 3,900 lbs. = 6lbs/ person for 4 months = 18lbs. of butter per year.

(Noticing Cheese Consumption also) 14,160 lbs. = 21.8 lbs/ person for 4 months = 5.4 lbs/month = 64 lbs. of cheese a year per person.

Provisions reported on-board the British Sloop ALERT – 1777, a sloop of 60 men for 4 months: (Source)

  • Beef 462 pieces in 6 barrels weighing 2238 lbs
  • Pork 777 pieces in 5 barrels weighing 1753 lbs
  • Beer 12 barrels weighing 788 lbs
  • Water 56 hogsheads and 25 casks of 18 gallons each about 4091 US gallons
  • Bread 6048 lbs in 54 bags
  • Butter 420 lbs

Butter Consumption = 420 lbs. = 7 lbs/ person for 4 months = 21 lbs. of butter per year.

USS Constitution

A sample menu that sailors aboard the USS Constitution notes that sailors ate 4 oz. of butter per week in 1798: (Source)

Butter Consumption = 4 oz per week = 208 oz. per person per year = 13 lbs. of butter per year.

It appears that butter was a main component of the sailors food ration and we can see that eating 18 lbs. of butter per year was not unreasonable.

People ate a lot of butter in the past.

Butter Beliefs Holding you Back?

So what is stopping you from eating more butter? Probably those voices in your head from all the conditioning and propaganda you learned.

I can still hear my mom warning me not to put too much butter on my pancakes. Do these thoughts sound familiar:

Old Thoughts about Butter and Fat

Don’t eat too much butter; you’ll clog your arteries”

Easy on the butter, you don’t want to get heart disease

Careful not to use too much, you’ll end up like Paula Dean

Lowfat is healthier for people watching their weight

Fat-free is the healthy choice

Always choose low or reduced fat to be healthy

Even though we can consciously know that butter is healthy, it’s still hard to think of butter as a good thing.

It’s hard to break habits or thinking once it’s been ingrained in our minds. But you can start reminding yourself when you eat butter that it’s good for you:

New Thoughts about Butter

Fat is a healthy part of my diet

Eating fat is a necessary part of a healthy diet

Butter is probably the healthiest thing I can eat in the morning

If anything the social experiment of eating less natural fats, like butter, this last century has proven how paradigms can change over time. It’s shown us that just because an idea becomes mainstream, the majority of people can be wrong.

Eat More Butter

Butter is one of the healthiest things you can eat. Our forefather knew this; why else would they eat so much butter. Butter is a great source of fuel for our bodies, rich in bioactive compounds, and an extremely cost-efficient source of nutrition. Research and science is still catching up and rediscovering what we already knew in the past.

Put butter on toast. Put butter on pancakes. Put butter on everything. Then watch your body, metabolism, and health change for the better. It’s probably the healthiest thing you’ve been eating each morning.

16 COMMENTS

  1. What a terribly bogus article. Encouraging people to eat more butter like it is some kind of elixir is irresponsible at best and bordering on dishonest. I assume you are not a nutritionist or scientist when you are not milking cows.The jury is still out and the health benefits of eating butter remain very much a point of contention.
    Quoting the diets of 18th century sailors as proof of the health benefits of butter is laughable. Just because they took it with them doesn’t mean it was good for them. As well as consuming big lumps of fatty butter, they also drank copious amounts of rum when they could and guess what, life expectancy was not great back then. I guess you’re not a historian either.
    So, a dairy farmer who makes a living selling the stuff makes wild claims which blatantly encourage eating more butter. Hmmmm…

    • When people ate butter, they lived happier, healthier lives. I’m guessing you haven’t done much research into this.. Obesity was not as prevalent until our society switched to high carbohydrate and sugar ladden diets. The jury still seems like it’s out for you on this topic because that what the public narrative has been the last 100 years or so… that how our society has gotten to this point.. Do some research before you start mocking dairy farmers. The dumb farmer is another stereotype that you’ve fallen for.. I’ve been studying dairy my whole life – practically and academically. You’re kind of proving one of the points of the article so thank you..

      • WHEN PEOPLE ATE BUTTER, THEY LIVED HAPPIER, HEALTHIER LIVES – No they didn’t! Unless you can quote me a reliable source that’s just not true?
        I’M GUESSING YOU HAVEN’T DONE MUCH RESEARCH INTO THIS – err, yes I have…
        OBESITY WAS NOT AS PREVALENT UNTIL OUR SOCIETY SWITCHED TO HIGH CARBOHYDRATE AND SUGAR LADDEN DIETS – humans consume more meat and dairy than they ever have. While consuming meat and dairy has some nutritional value no question, the connection between eating too much fatty meat and dairy and the record levels of obesity, cancer, heart disease and diabetes are well documented and generally accepted as fact within the medical industry.

        Here’s what the World Health Organisation (WHO) says about a “Healthy Diet for Adults”:
        A healthy diet contains: Less than 30% of total energy intake from fats. Unsaturated fats (e.g. found in fish, avocado, nuts, sunflower, canola and olive oils) are preferable to saturated fats (e.g. found in fatty meat, butter, palm and coconut oil, cream, cheese, ghee and lard).
        Practical advice on maintaining a healthy diet on Fats:
        Reducing the amount of total fat intake to less than 30% of total energy intake helps prevent unhealthy weight gain in the adult population.
        Also, the risk of developing noncommunicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer is lowered by reducing saturated fats to less than 10% of total energy intake, and trans fats to less than 1% of total energy intake, and replacing both with unsaturated fats. Fat intake can be reduced by: limiting the consumption of foods containing high amounts of saturated fats (e.g. cheese, ice cream, fatty meat).

        By quoting WHO I am quoting an undeniably reputable source, but the internet is full of credible facts and figures, from reliable sources, about the health risks associated with consuming too much fatty dairy…

        THE JURY STILL SEEMS LIKE IT’S OUT FOR YOU ON THIS TOPIC BECAUSE THAT WHAT THE PUBLIC NARRATIVE HAS BEEN THE LAST 100 YEARS OR SO… THAT HOW OUR SOCIETY HAS GOTTEN TO THIS POINT – No, I imply the research is inconclusive because… it’s inconclusive!! …and I think I am being generous to the “butter is good” brigade
        DO SOME RESEARCH… – I have
        …BEFORE YOU START MOCKING DAIRY FARMERS – Behave!!
        THE DUMB FARMER IS ANOTHER STEREOTYPE THAT YOU’VE FALLEN FOR – Oh you are not dumb Dairy Guy. Manipulative yes, but definitely not dumb. I am sure you make a hansom living exploiting animals and your website helps tell you customers all’s good, nice one.
        I’VE BEEN STUDYING DAIRY MY WHOLE LIFE – PRACTICALLY AND ACADEMICALLY – but clearly not impartially or compassionately
        YOU’RE KIND OF PROVING ONE OF THE POINTS OF THE ARTICLE SO THANK YOU – Your welcome… err which one?

        • Sorry, I did’t mean to offend you.. I’m thinking you’ve probably just researched the facts or sources that only reinforce your current beliefs because there are now actually more credible organizations and researchers saying butter is good for you than not. I cite sources in my previous articles. People did live healthier lives when eating butter and still do today. Take the website -butter makes your pants fall off . com. This guy shares his story about how he lost 150 lbs in 1 year by eating more butter and less carbohydrates and sugar. You should try this also and see how you feel after a few weeks. You should not deny until you try. It would probably change your life for the better.

  2. One of the greatest threats to health on long sea voyages was scurvy, a potentially fatal disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, normally sourced from fresh fruit and vegetables. No amount of butter was going to help this…

    • Touche, also one of the greatest threats to a long sea voyage was hunger. Remembering that butter helps with hunger and satiety, you cannot discounts butter’s assistance in reducing mutinies.. lol

          • 21 pounds of butter a year? That’s nuthin’. I consume about two ounces a day either melted in a bowl of very warm milk for breakfast and lunch or used in cooking meat. This comes to over 45 pounds a year. But then its fair to say those sailors in the 1700s were smaller than men today. Badger ought to travel to Mongolia and try to talk the ruddy-cheekd, white-toothed and vigouous Mongols out of eating meat and dairy. I’d watch that show!

          • I’ve been watching the show Marco Polo on Netflix, the mongols drink milk and are fierce warriors. I also think about the vikings, they were a herding culture. Many of their leaders were buried with barrels of butter. I don’t think anyone can say that butter (or dairy) is bad for you physical health. If your a warrior, you need to be fit.

  3. Consuming dairy products may or may not have health benefits, but one thing’s for sure, it is massively unhealthy for the dairy cows that are forced to produce milk for their greedy human owners. Any nutritional benefits there may be in consuming butter can be gained in other ways that do not involve the unnecessary suffering of animals. After all, cows are bred specifically to spend their short life producing milk for humans. Cows, like all mammals, only produce milk when they are pregnant or have given birth. To do this they are regularly artificially inseminated (raped) by humans, while pinned in a rack, against their will of course. They then have their babies (calves) forcefully taken from them causing massive distress to both, as it would to any sentient being, before spending a short lifes being hooked up to a milking machine a couple of times a day. Is this misery really justified when there are plant based alternatives to butter??

    • Being a hater is bad.. You can condemn humanity for eating meat, but you are guilty of the same thing as a meat eater -plant murderer, torcher, ect, ect..

      • You’ve got me wrong Dairy Guy, I am not a hater of omnivores; I was one myself for many years; most of my family and friends are omnivores too.
        ‘Hate’ is a strong word which you have chosen to use. What I will fight to expose is liars, deniers and those who make false claims to further their own cause; those who distort the truth and say things which are not proven or substantiated. Unlike you, I do not believe animals are objects meant for humans to exploit. That’s where you and I differ.
        As for the horrors of vegetable abuse and exploitation, this website may just help in understanding the comparison you make with animal cruelty 😉 vegetable cruelty .com

  4. I’d love to simply “agree” with people like Badger… If it could be guaranteed from then on that my daily supply of cow products (milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, meat, liver…) would continue thenceforth uninterrupted. I could care less what an idiot like him/her/it thinks and I don’t care to educate the masses who’ve swallowed all the líes put out in the 20th Century. The World Health Organization was mentioned? Yes, and in their “MONICA” study on heart disease vs cholesterol levels the cold, hard reality was found that the people on planet Earth with the highest blood cholesterol levels (the Swiss, French and Spanish) had the LEAST amount of cardiovascular disease and had the greatest longevity. Who had the shortest lives and the most heart disease? Australian aboriginals, who also have the lowest blood cholesterol on Earth. Badger, go to YouTube and watch “Fat Head – the movie” or “Saturated Fat & Cholesterol Lies”. And also watch “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith.
    I would further point out that some people – like myself – have genetically adapted to dairy consumption to such a degree that it is even encoded in our DNA. It’s known as the lactase-persistence gene. For some European groups like the Swedes lactose tolerance is nearly 100% of the population. As for treatment of animals and for human health I only support farms and dairies that are humane and organic and by defintion raise their stock on grass. Without human stewardship and interest for mutual survival cows, sheep, goats,etc would be left to the balance of nature. Badger, have you ever seen wolves “slaughter” and butcher their prey? Hey that’s yer natural order at work. Modern, humane slaughtering is far, far less cruel and brutal compared to what happens in “nature”. I care about animals and their suffering too. I eat meat and drink milk and because of everything mentioned above I sleep very well at night and am ridiculously healthy. Good luck Badger. Believe what you want, say what you want… I’ll keep on on laughing at people like you into my Nineties. Just keep yer damn paws off my meat and milk providers.

    • Hey Alvin, you’re not the sharpest are you? But if calling me an “idiot” somehow makes you feel big, you go for it. By the way, it’s “couldn’t care less” and not “could care less”, but I’m sure a smart guy like you knew that. I personally think you should make more effort to be civil.
      It’s an interesting tact you take regarding the effects of cholesterol; choosing not to deny that fatty dairy (and red meats), heavy in saturated fats cause increased levels of cholesterol, instead arguing that increased levels of cholesterol are not harmful, despite the mountain of medical research directly linking the consumption of harmful saturated fats from dairy and red meats with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Others will have to make their own minds up about the research on this subject. It’s fairly irrefutable as far as I can tell. I personally go with the scientists.
      I, like you Alvin, am also lactose tolerant. However, I choose not to consume dairy because of the undeniable cruelty and violence involved in producing it. Let’s also not forget that billions of people around the world are in fact lactose intolerant and cannot consume milk into adulthood without feeling ill. It seems incredibly unnatural in principle to consume the milk from other animals and to do so beyond weening, but yes, if you do it over a number of generations you can build up a tolerance to its effects. But Alvin, just because you can do something doesn’t make it right to do so. I personally choose not to consume dairy for companionate reasons.
      So, you’re in favour of ‘humane’ farming and ‘humane’ slaughter. You do know there is no such thing right? Words like ‘humane’ are used in the animal farming industry to try and hide the truth about how animals must suffer to become food, which makes the public feel better about buying and consuming animal products. It’s like saying on a scale of suffering, nine is better than ten. I personally believe any unnecessary suffering is unacceptable. I see what people are doing when they use the word ‘humane’ and I don’t buy it. Consider this Alvin; if a man murdered another man could he argue in court, for a lesser sentence, that he slaughtered his victim in a more ‘humane’ way than another murderer? Would this lessen his crime? Of course not, that would be silly. Murder is murder and slaughter is slaughter however you dress it up. All farmed animals suffer violent deaths. Try and see the truth in this and be honest about it. What exactly do you think a ‘humane’ farm is anyway? Cows fed on grass? Do you really believe that the world’s dairy cow population can be fed on grass? Do you seriously think this is even remotely feasible? You need to research and rethink that idea as it just doesn’t stack up; there’s not enough room.
      Finally, you use the way wolves kill their prey to draw a comparison with premeditated, systematic, industrial-scale animal slaughter (150 billion+ animals slaughtered a year!). Why? Humans have evolved to operate on a more civilised, more intellectual, compassionate level than that of animals in the wild. We have the ability to think and to reason and choose not to do something against our instincts because it might be morally questionable. You clearly don’t care about animals and their suffering as not only do you knowingly participate in perpetuating animal abuse, but you seek to justify it. I get the distinct impression that you are a bit of a bully, don’t think things through properly and really don’t care much about animals, but hey, you just keep laughing at me big man and sleep easy

    • Excellent points Alvin, My faith in humanity has been restored. I think we will look back on the 20th century as an example of what happens when take food advice to the extreme – fat is a necessary part of a healthy diet

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