Although long deemed bad for health, butter might not be so unhealthy after all, recent studies suggest.

With cardiovascular disease the leading cause of death not just in the United States but the world, foods rich in saturated fat — such as butter — have long been nixed from health-conscious diets.

But the latest research has found no significant link between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease.

For instance, a paper appearing last year in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology suggested after a review of observational studies and trials between 2010 and 2021 that “there is no scientific ground to demonize [saturated fat] as a cause of [heart disease].”

The authors also noted that when saturated fat occurs naturally in nutrient-dense food, there is no reason it cannot be safely included in a healthy diet.

With surging obesity rates, public health officials have been sounding the alarm about America’s eating habits, especially among the young.

For instance, New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently introduced new standards for the meals served at public schools and hospitals that cut out foods laden with sodium and added sugar, including processed meats, as The Dallas Express reported.

Childhood obesity has grown in prevalence, with Texas logging the eighth-highest rate in the country.

Alongside a heightened risk of heart disease, obesity has been linked to diabetes, some forms of cancer, depression, diabetes, and infertility.

Consuming high levels of sodium, processed sugars, and trans fats is one culprit behind these adverse health outcomes.

Butter is made of mostly saturated fat but also contains monounsaturated fat — a healthy fat that lowers LDL cholesterol — and fatty acids like butyric acid and conjugated linoleic acid known to have favorable health properties, as registered dietitian Abbey Sharp told USA Today.

Grass-fed butter is the healthiest of all.

“Because the cows are fed grass as opposed to corn, their feed itself has higher amounts of Vitamin K2 and the grass actually has higher levels of short-chain fatty acids and omega-3s,” Sharp explained to USA Today.

Unsalted butter can also be purchased in lieu of salted butter for those looking to watch their sodium intake.

“Generally speaking, I think it’s better to buy unsalted products and then add sodium or add your seasoning afterward,” Sharp said.

As for those low-fat butter substitutes that became popular decades ago when butter was vilified, not all of them are that healthy.

Margarine — a product of diet culture — initially contained high levels of trans fat, which is now known to increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.

While advances in making margarine have done away with most trans fats, it is something to be mindful of.

According to Sharp, some kinds of margarine and plant-based buttery spreads can have a high percentage of omega-6 fatty acids, which are typically present in highly processed foods.

They have been linked to inflammation when not balanced with omega-3 fatty acids.

Butter made from cows fed corn or grain feed will typically have more omega-6s as well, Sharp warned, according to USA Today.

Regardless of how you decide to butter your biscuit, it appears that reading the label of your spread first is the best course of action for maintaining your health.