“Butter Causes Diabetes”

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Homemade Butter

This morning, my husband Joe, had one of those ‘morning shows’ on.  I wasn’t really paying attention to it until one of the ‘medical contributors’ made a statement something like “Paula Deen has diabetes from eating butter.”


Butter causes diabetes? It’s not the highly processed donuts and white bread sandwiches (or how about the Ladies Brunch Burger which is a sandwich made out of a donut?), and a generally less than optimal diet prevalent in our society and promoted by our health care experts?

While this is not the clip that I watched this morning, this one also mentions Paula Deen and her use of fried foods, butter and cream.  While I would never advocate deep frying in the crisco or (1)peanut oil which Paula Deen uses, butter (and cream) is abundant in health promoting properties.

(2)Butter helps with brain function, provides anti-oxidants, protects from tooth decay, protects against joint stiffness, prevents goiter, protects against gastro-intestinal infections and a whole host of other things. Not to mention it tastes great!

Here is the interview with Al Roker where Paula Deen discusses her diabetes and her new venture as a paid spokesperson for a Type 2 Diabetes drug. Which brings me to an opportunity to link a wonderful article Treating Diabetes: Practical Advice for Combating a Modern Epidemic by Thomas Cowan, MD as opposed to only taking ‘your medicine’ for diabetes (Paula Deen actually says that toward the end of the linked video). In fairness, the doctor that joins in on the linked discussion with Al Roker, does not target butter and cream as the cause of Paula Deen’s diabetes but rather lists certain ‘risk’ factors.

I want to say that I do not make light of Paula Deen having Type 2 Diabetes. What I take issue with is the mainstream promotion that healthy fats, like butter, causes diabetes and the idea of ‘let’s just take a pill or a shot to make everything all better’ instead of attempting to eliminate the issue.

Type 2 Diabetes is something that I pay attention to. My grandma and my dad both had/have Type 2 diabetes.  Both lost their eye sight due it, had heart attacks and other issues. My grandma is no longer living but my dad lives daily with the side-effects of diabetes.  While my diet is far from perfect, I am very mindful of eating a real/whole/traditional foods diet in order to help prevent falling victim to this degenerative disease for myself and my children.

I would love to link the segment that I watched this morning that got my blood boiling but it does not seem to be available. I believe this is a link to the entire program that our channel was turned to when the snippet came on but it may have been the earlier (crack of dawn) actual newscast on ABC. I really wish I would have been paying better attention.

Does this kind of stuff rile you up as much as it does me?


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(1)Peanut Oil: From Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell page 19 ” Peanut Oil contains 48 percent oleic acid, 18 percent saturated fat and 34 percent omega-6 linoleic acid. Like olive oil, peanut oil is relatively stable and therefore appropriate for stir-fry on occasion. But the high percentage of omega-6 presents a potential danger, so use of peanut oil should be strictly limited.”

(2)Butter Benefits Sources: Why Butter is Better, The Oiling of America-Benefits of Animal Fats,  The 20 Health Benefits of Real Butter 

Millie Copper
Millie Copper is a Wyoming wife and mama. After reading Nourishing Traditions in early 2009, her family began transforming their diet to whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods—a little at a time while stretching their food dollars. Millie is passionate to share how, with a little creativity, anyone can transition to a real foods diet without overwhelming their food budget. Millie began blogging in late 2009 and has amassed a collection of frugal recipes and methods. Her specialties include cooking with wild game and creating “Stretchy Beans”. Discovering a love of writing, she has penned four books focusing on healthy eating on a budget and is trying her hand at fiction writing. Learn more at MillieCopper.com.


  1. Erin D.

    Oh wow – this really *does* get me riled up, because it ignores the real problem, as you say – the highly-processed fats, sugars and other carbohydrates. When I think of my great-grandparents and grandparents, who ate lard, real butter, whole milk, locally-grown meat and veggies and compare it to people of my generation (I’m 41,) the incidence of health disorders is comparatively low for the old-timers.

    Granted, they didn’t have the sophisticated means of diagnosing cancers and such we do now, but I’m pretty darned sure the incidence of cancer and diabetes was far far lower “back then” because of whole foods.

    When I was diagnosed with a severe gluten allergy a couple of years ago, I stopped eating a lot of processed foods out of abject necessity. I have not been sick since! I haven’t had a cold, a flu, nothing (said she, thusly cursing herself for something horrible!)

    Our bodies are designed for certain foods. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, as you’re all about the soaked grains. 🙂 I’m actually going to try making Jill’s soaked buttermilk biscuits soon, to see if soaking helps the gluten issue. I don’t think it will, but it’s worth a shot – and my husband will surely eat what I can’t!

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      Soaking may help your gluten issue. It does for Wardeh’s daughter. She talks about it in several of her blog posts. Sourdough might be a good option too. But you are right, I’m sure your husband will enjoy it if nothing else 🙂

  2. Krista

    I will say that pasteurized, unfermented milk has been correlated with Type I diabetes. So if you consume milk make sure it is raw or, if pasteurized, then fermented! Especially important for chilluns of those with Type I (like mine).

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      Thanks for pointing this out Krista. In my ‘huff’ over the butter causes diabetes statement, I got a little narrow minded in my defense of butter 🙂

  3. Cornelius

    Says “Doctor” Marie Savard: “The more fat you consume, the more weight you gain, and gradually your pancreas works overtime, and you develop diabetes.”

    This is absurd, and is a statement made by a “doctor” who doesn’t seem to understand how the human body works. Eating fat does NOT cause you to gain weight, it can actually help you to lose weight. In fact it is physically impossible to gain weight by eating fat. GAH! I get SO tired of these idiots spouting dangerous misinformation for money. People like this should be shot, before they destroy any more lives than they already have.

    If you want to lose weight and stave off diabetes, stop drinking gallons of sugary tea a day, stop making sandwiches with doughnuts, and stop eating things with a high glycemic index. Fat is made when insulin turns excess energy (glucose) in the bloodstream into stored energy (fat.) Our bodies run on glucose as fuel, and excess glucose in the bloodstream is caused by eating things with a high glycemic index: things that are easily and quickly converted to glucose.

    Fat is one of the things with the lowest glycemic index. Fat provides satiation, flavor, and long lasting energy. For any skeptics out there, this is not opinion, it is not hearsay, it is biological fact, and easily researched by anyone who has the desire and at least half a brain.

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      Hi Cornelius,

      It really is distressing to always see the ‘fat is the enemy’ propaganda being spewed. Personally, I lost 40 pounds when we switched our diet to included traditional, healthy fats–like butter!

      Thanks for the comment!

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