A Fat-Fighting Fat May Be Lurking in Your Butter

By Amanda Rose | Dairy

Dec 30

A Fat-Fighting Fat May Be Lurking in Your ButterYour glass of milk and pat of butter may have more beneficial fats if the cow that produced them grazed on grass. Milk, butter, and cream from grass fed cows are high in the heart-healthy, cancer-fighting, and lean muscle-building conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). A study published in the Journal of Dairy Science found that a tablespoon of butter from a cow on a grass diet contained 250 milligrams of CLA, whereas a tablespoon of butter from a cow in confinement contained less than 50 milligrams of this beneficial fat. In the United States, most dairy cows live in confinement, though dairies that are certified organic are required to provide cows with access to pasture.

How do you know how much grass is in the diet of the cows producing your milk? Your best bet is to ask your dairy farmer. We have a buyer’s guide available with our posts-by-email sign-up designed for raw milk consumers that would help you understand the issue and know what to look for at a dairy, but it would be useful for buyers of small production pasteurized milk as well.

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12 years ago

But who knows where those cows grazed? I read the label on a pack of butter yesterday and the info is close to non existent. The word “Cow” is only mentioned for marketing purposes.

12 years ago

I’ve never really thought about the difference in how much grass is in the diet of the cows that produce the milk I buy for myself and my family. But after reading your post, it makes me more curious. Hopefully plenty.

12 years ago

All natural is really better. But the problem really lies in determining which product would be the organic one. Will they put it on the label?

Natural Health Magazine

Wow! Going natural and choosing organic products are really ideal. I hope that milk and butter labels will show info about this soon. Thanks!

11 years ago

Old post, sorry. Had to comment. It is not just how much time the cows are on pasture. Not just the quality of the pasture, variety of grasses, legumes & forbes, etc. But also how often the cows are moved to new forage. It is my observation from managed rotational grazing my own animals, that a minimum of daily moves provides the most nutritious grass. If you are buying milk (or any “grass fed” product) from a farmer that either continuously grazes the same pasture or moves them only periodically (only weekly, monthly, less than daily really) then you are… Read more »

11 years ago

Eating grass-fed meat is a good idea and a first step to a healthy lifestyle. The next step would be to implement a diet that contains a lot of green foods..

11 years ago


I have seen the same charts on a couple of web sights but no one says what size this glass of milk is in ml

This would be of grait help for me as the parstird cows milk I am able to get hold of is expencive

11 years ago

In New Zealand all our cows are grass fed. I find the idea of cows being fed grain or being kept in warehouses to be bizarre. I’m lucky to live in clean green NZ where we don’t use grains or hormones

11 years ago

Cows are usually fed grains and other stuff in asian countries which is really harmful for health. In some parts of asia, animals are injected with medicines to get more milk and flabby meat. I think its just evil.

Sun Visor Supplier
11 years ago

With out milk we cant imagine our life for a single day.. Especially for children to make a good health. So please be good to cows and so that we can maintain good health for ourselves.

Dairy Careful
11 years ago

It may be of interest and help to note that dairy is often sourced regionally for supermarket chains, and brands may or may not be rBGH-free… so be sure to check the labels. (rBGH is a recombinant DNA version of naturally-occurring bovine growth hormone which when injected into cows increases milk production up to 40 percent.) To find where your supermarket stands and its policy on rBGH and GM ingredients, check out this list (at http://www.whatisgeneticengineering.net) of some of the largest supermarkets in the U.S., their store brand products, and company statements on rBGH and GM ingredients.

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