Is Grass-Fed Butter Paleo?

kerrygoldThere are a lot of recipes out in the Paleosphere that call for “pastured butter” or specific brands of butter, like Kerrygold. Are these recipes meant to be cheat foods? Is grass-fed butter any different from regular grocery store butter? Does the Paleo doctrine say avoid dairy except butter? Is grass-fed butter Paleo?

What is Grass-Fed Butter?

Cow’s milk is separated into milk and cream. The cream is churned until all the fat sticks together (butter) and the liquid separates (buttermilk). Commercial butter must be 80% fat and the rest is water, leftover milk solids, and sometimes salt. Grass-fed butter comes from cows that eat grass instead of eating grain (which they would never naturally eat). Everything else about the process of making butter is the same. So why are grass-fed cows so special? We’re glad you asked.

Grass-fed butter is significantly higher in omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed butter. Butter that comes from grain-eating cows has a higher ratio of omega-6 (bad) fatty acids to omega-3 (good) fatty acids. Meaning that grain-fed butter has more omega-6 fatty acids than grass-fed butter, which is bad. So, according to just about everybody, grass-fed butter is certainly better for your health than regular grain-fed butter. Kerrygold is a widely available brand of grass-fed butter.

Is Grass-Fed Butter Paleo?

So you probably expected to hear a resounding yes. But, butter is still butter, and it is made from the milk of the cow, and it contains milk solids. Even though it is better than grain-fed butter, grass-fed butter is not Paleo; however, grass-fed butter is Primal. One of the “fathers” of the Paleo plan, Dr. Loren Cordain, clearly says, “Avoid dairy products.” But there are many who don’t agree, or who classify their food choices as Primal instead of Paleo and choose to eat butter or ghee, as long as it is grass-fed. This is where your experiences, gut feelings (literally, does it give your gut distress?), and overall opinions must guide your decision. Don’t worry; we’ve included plenty of articles below to help you!

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Image Source: FoodRenegade

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