0

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Cow butter for cooking - do the PUFAs stay intact?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 31, 2012 at 6:49 PM

When butter is used to cook, is the PUFA content oxidized? The PUFA percentage is small, but it's still a concern to me. Should I be concerned about heating it too much?

I'm thinking that if the butter is grass-fed, there are sufficient antioxidants. I'd like to see some links to articles/studies on the topic.

4bd4e2fe6a095663f80c69656936e487

(744)

on February 12, 2013
at 05:16 PM

When it comes to cooking, it has a much higher smoke point. Also, some people who are allergic to regular coconut oil can take the refined one without a problem. The one I use is not chemically refined, it's expeller-pressed coconut oil from tropical traditions.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on February 12, 2013
at 04:16 PM

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17392082

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on February 12, 2013
at 04:14 PM

What's the deal with many people suggesting refined coconut oil lately? Unless it's specifically says "not chemically refined", avoid refined coconut oil like you would any other industrial food oil. Stick to the unrefined coconut oil for most uses, and other fats or oils for very high temperature cooking.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on October 05, 2012
at 01:26 AM

That's not how chemical kinetics works. Reactions happen at all temperatures, they usually scale exponentially with temperature though.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 25, 2012
at 07:20 PM

If you say so. As far as refraining from commenting - No. This is crowd sourcing and the point is to hear everyone's view. If you don't want answers don't post. Many people on this site really think that by making some tiny change to their diet they will have won the mortality lottery and it just ain't so.

70c75942b975919dfbed8dddbd767b60

(289)

on September 25, 2012
at 04:41 PM

You misinterpret my "concern" as "stress". I gave no indication that I am stressed about it. I have not changed any of my eating habits due to this concern (contrary to orthorexics); I don't even think about the issue often. For the sake of people trying to learn, you should refrain from suggesting - without much evidence - that a person may have a borderline mental disorder. Actually, I'm sure some people on the Standard American Diet would think paleos/primals are orthorexic - the definition of the disorder seems very subjective.

05de181d71c1df6304a03566fe821d4b

(795)

on September 21, 2012
at 12:46 AM

To be safe I just use coconut oil or grass fed tallow to fry in, and if I want butter flavor I just pour melted butter all over it at the end

70c75942b975919dfbed8dddbd767b60

(289)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:54 PM

@Alvaro but I thought butter is relatively low in PUFA. How hot is too much?

Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:49 PM

Matt, you are right about the smoking point of Ghee For persons choosing to cook in fat at higher heats in the 400˚-500˚F (204˚-260˚C) range, ghee makes sense the use of butter at higher heats does not make sense to us due to its lower smoke point (325˚-375˚F/163˚-191˚C).

Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:46 PM

Do not fry food using oil rich in PUFAs: Avoid using oils that contain high levels of omega-3 or omega-6 PUFAs for frying because they are highly prone to oxidation due to their high levels of unsaturation. Oxidation produces free radicals and other compounds that are detrimental to your health.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:45 PM

I think the milk proteins will brown and burn long before anything happens to the PUFA in the butter.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:38 PM

That doesn't necessarily relate to the smoke point either. Coconut oil is largely saturated yet has a lower smoke point than most other plant oils.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:35 PM

The smoke point is low because of the dissolved solids in butter. Rendered butter (aka ghee) has a quite high smoke point (485°F).

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4 Answers

1
4bd4e2fe6a095663f80c69656936e487

(744)

on February 26, 2013
at 06:43 PM

You can use ghee (which is made from butter) for high temperature cooking. You can also make ghee from butter, google can help you find instructions.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 21, 2012
at 12:43 AM

The amount of oxidized Pufa in butter is so small... This is, to me, bordering on Orthorexia. The stress you are feeling over this issue is far, far more dangerous than that amount of oxidized PUFA. Even if that stress is only small...

70c75942b975919dfbed8dddbd767b60

(289)

on September 25, 2012
at 04:41 PM

You misinterpret my "concern" as "stress". I gave no indication that I am stressed about it. I have not changed any of my eating habits due to this concern (contrary to orthorexics); I don't even think about the issue often. For the sake of people trying to learn, you should refrain from suggesting - without much evidence - that a person may have a borderline mental disorder. Actually, I'm sure some people on the Standard American Diet would think paleos/primals are orthorexic - the definition of the disorder seems very subjective.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 25, 2012
at 07:20 PM

If you say so. As far as refraining from commenting - No. This is crowd sourcing and the point is to hear everyone's view. If you don't want answers don't post. Many people on this site really think that by making some tiny change to their diet they will have won the mortality lottery and it just ain't so.

0
4bd4e2fe6a095663f80c69656936e487

(744)

on February 12, 2013
at 04:08 PM

Butter is ok for low temperature cooking, use refined coconut for higher temperatures.

4bd4e2fe6a095663f80c69656936e487

(744)

on February 12, 2013
at 05:16 PM

When it comes to cooking, it has a much higher smoke point. Also, some people who are allergic to regular coconut oil can take the refined one without a problem. The one I use is not chemically refined, it's expeller-pressed coconut oil from tropical traditions.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on February 12, 2013
at 04:14 PM

What's the deal with many people suggesting refined coconut oil lately? Unless it's specifically says "not chemically refined", avoid refined coconut oil like you would any other industrial food oil. Stick to the unrefined coconut oil for most uses, and other fats or oils for very high temperature cooking.

0
Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:19 PM

The smoking point of Butter is 325ºF, i think above that temp. some oxidation may occur.

Moral of the story, don't use Butter for High temp. Or prolonged cooking.

70c75942b975919dfbed8dddbd767b60

(289)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:54 PM

@Alvaro but I thought butter is relatively low in PUFA. How hot is too much?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:45 PM

I think the milk proteins will brown and burn long before anything happens to the PUFA in the butter.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:35 PM

The smoke point is low because of the dissolved solids in butter. Rendered butter (aka ghee) has a quite high smoke point (485°F).

Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:49 PM

Matt, you are right about the smoking point of Ghee For persons choosing to cook in fat at higher heats in the 400˚-500˚F (204˚-260˚C) range, ghee makes sense the use of butter at higher heats does not make sense to us due to its lower smoke point (325˚-375˚F/163˚-191˚C).

Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:46 PM

Do not fry food using oil rich in PUFAs: Avoid using oils that contain high levels of omega-3 or omega-6 PUFAs for frying because they are highly prone to oxidation due to their high levels of unsaturation. Oxidation produces free radicals and other compounds that are detrimental to your health.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:38 PM

That doesn't necessarily relate to the smoke point either. Coconut oil is largely saturated yet has a lower smoke point than most other plant oils.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on October 05, 2012
at 01:26 AM

That's not how chemical kinetics works. Reactions happen at all temperatures, they usually scale exponentially with temperature though.

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