One of the best parts of sharing with people about the great health benefits of eating a low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat, ketogenic diet is the look on their face when you tell them that they can eat butter again. Butter is back and people are realizing just how therapeutic saturated fat is in their diet! It’s as if you just told them that there really is a Santa Claus or Easter bunny–except that it’s actually true! And not only can they have this great source of delicious saturated fat in their diet, it’s actually encouraged for them to eat as part of a primal, real foods-based, low-carb lifestyle. Butter is so incredibly good for you as a real, whole food unlike its fake counterpart margarine (watch this video to see the intensive processing of some rather inferior ingredients to make this stuff that they market heavily to people as a “healthy” alternative to butter).
The myth that butter is unhealthy is one that suits the food industry well since they’d rather sell you cheaper products they can make more profit from convincing you that things like margarine are somehow good for you to eat. But consumers have been doing their own research and getting wiser by buying more butter than they have since Richard Nixon was President of the United States (and I was still in diapers). It’s becoming common knowledge now amongst people in the know that one of the most heart-healthy things you can do is consume more butter in your diet. After all, butter is a health food and will give you a fighting chance against just about any and every chronic health problem you might face. Everything is better with butter!
It’s no secret I have a passion for consuming good, quality butter as part of my low-carb, high-fat diet. And I don’t apologize for my overzealous love for butter that helps me get into a constant state of nutritional ketosis which is where I know my health is optimized to the best it can possibly be. While many people extol the virtues of consuming ketone-boosting medium chain triglyceride (MCT) fats such as coconut oil and MCT oil to help support proper ketone production, I prefer to get into ketosis nutritionally through eating more fats like high-quality butter in conjunction with my carbohydrate intake being limited to my personal tolerance level as well as my protein consumption to my individual threshold. We go into great detail about all of this in my next book Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet set to release in hardback, Kindle ebook and audiobook on August 5, 2014.
A few weeks ago, I attended the annual Paleof(x) conference in Austin, Texas and it was such a fantastic experience for everyone in the Paleo, primal, low-carb, real food community. Getting to meet so many people who shared their stories about how the work I am doing is changing their lives is incredibly gratifying and makes me appreciate the unique opportunities that this platform affords me. And while it was a positive experience attending this amazing event, the fact is it was also pretty stressful. It’s happy stress, but stress nonetheless. Plus, as you’ve know I’ve been hunkered down banging out my book on ketogenic diets which entails yet another layer of stress all to its own. Isn’t it ironic that the process of writing a book about health could be so unhealthy? Ahhhh, but I’m not complaining because the end result will be so worth all the effort it took to get there. You’ll see.
With the rise in cortisol as of late, it has taken a toll on my ketones (under 1.0 mmol), blood sugar (hovering around 100), and weight (up ~20 pounds since January). I’m not worried about these things because I recognize what’s going on. Once the editing process of Keto Clarity is finished in the next couple of months, I’ll be able to devote time to recovering and getting all of these numbers back in line again. To help kick start that process, I tweeted out what I described as my “ketogenic rehabilitation plan” that included the following delicious low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat meal:
Yes, that is indeed a full 8-ounce stick of Kerrygold grass-fed butter with my eggs. But it’s not all that strange an idea for anyone who has consumed a meal with me before. While I don’t necessarily consume an entire stick of Kerrygold butter with my meals all the time (although there would be no harm if I did) and I typically also include some monounsaturated fats like avocado in my meals, I certainly don’t fear eating a meal comprised of mostly saturated fat when I want to be satisfied for hours on end, raise my blood ketone levels, and drop my blood sugar. This just plain works. Unfortunately, not everyone shared my affinity for butter with some of the responses I received from people on social media.
Here was the most laughable of the criticisms I received:
Don’t you just love seeing such blatant ignorance on full display for all the world to see? This guy thinks I’m going to get heart disease from consuming butter although he says some butter is okay. Hmmmm. Doesn’t he realize grass-fed butter is a superfood for the heart? So I asked him how exactly eating butter was going to give me heart disease and he then resorted to personally attacking me rather than answering the question. That’s too bad since I shared in my 2013 book Cholesterol Clarity that it’s primarily refined and processed carbohydrates and vegetable oils that contribute to heart disease, not saturated fat. If he had something revelatory to share with me, I was all ears. But getting into a conversation about this unfortunately wasn’t his agenda. Throwing stones was all he had in mind.
Others had more reasonable questions for me about how my body responded to eating that much butter (is there really such a thing as “too much butter?”). Actually, I do VERY well eating a high-fat diet as I learned during my nutritional ketosis n=1 experiment. It’s both tasty and easy for me to get butter into my body taking a bite of it with every bite of my food. Some people like Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Coffee to get their butter and fat in–but since I hate coffee, this is my way to get the butter in. No, I don’t think everyone should eat an entire stick of Kerrygold butter with their meals, but maybe some people do. When you realize the incredible benefits that butter can give your body, it makes you feel confident in ditching your fat-phobia and embracing this incredible real food into your menus. Ketone production, blood sugar stabilization, soaring energy levels, complete hunger control with spontaneous periods of intermittent fasting, mood improvements, crystal clear thinking–I could go on and on with all the benefits this is giving me.
Interestingly, one of the primary concerns people had with my meal was the number of calories they think it contained. Some presumed it was 5,000-7,500 calories, but here’s the reality:
8-ounce stick of unsalted Kerrygold butter–1600 calories
5 local, pastured eggs–400 calories
1 Tbs salted Kerrygold butter–100 calories
HERE’S THE TRUTH:
1600 + 400 + 100 = 2100 calories
And that’s all I had to eat that day. As you can see, this is nowhere close to the weeping and gnashing of teeth calorie counts that some where claiming. But it’s just more ignorance on the part of people who would choose to be critical for whatever their reasons. All I know is a meal like that makes me feel healthy and vibrant like nothing else can. Fat is where it’s at and I’ll proudly continue to eat this way as long as my body is benefiting from it. If you don’t want to eat that way, that’s cool. But don’t bemoan me for eating in such a way that works for me. And for Jimmy Moore that’s a very low-carb, moderate protein, very high-fat, ketogenic diet. I’ve got so much more to share about this subject in Keto Clarity and I can’t wait for you to read it when it releases in a few months.
Incidentally, here’s a related e-mail I received from a Facebook fan over the weekend that gently reminds me why the information I’m sharing about eating more fat, for example, is so vitally important for others:
I want to thank you for some changes in my life because of you, namely my wonderful discovery of Kerrygold butter and also not feeling bad for using a lot of it. I found a local farm raising grass-fed, grass-finished beef. We went to the farm and talked a long time about their practices and had our beef delivered free right to our door.
We have a local butcher who makes weekly trips with her big van truck and huge chest refrigerator. Every Tuesday evening we just wait to hear her honk her horn and walk out the door to her truck. We look inside the fridge and tell her what we want. For example my husband will say he wants sausage, she asks how much, he says from my fingers to my elbow.
We get lots of homemade bacon–no two slices are exactly alike like in the store. I now feel better about eating my bacon too. I was depriving myself of it for so long. I have your book Cholesterol Clarity on my Kindle and have read it 3 or 4 times already because every time I do I learn something new. Because of your book I don’t feel bad about my high cholesterol of 303 because my HDL cholesterol is 99.
My family doctor never suggests I go on Lipitor and I never have. There’s more I could tell you but these are the things I think about often. Thank you so much for all you do for so many people. I listen to you on Stitcher on my walks and we also listen to you in the car. When we get into the car, my husband asks, “Are we going to listen to Jimmy today?” Sorry that was so long, but I sincerely wanted to share my thanks to you.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts about this topic of butter. Do you think eating it is controversial? And how much is too much butter to consume at one time? Whatever that amount is, why would it be somehow harmful for consumption? This should be a fun discussion! Leave your comments below.
4-29-14 UPDATE: After writing this blog post today, I found this relevant video of Dr. Peter Attia, MD on The Dr. Oz Show recently extolling the virtues of saturated fat consumption: