If you have ever picked up a French book recipe, and not necessarily the one written by Julia Child, you may have noticed right away that the French almost do nothing, not even the most basic recipes, without reaching for butter. For anyone who does not live in France, the amount of butter in French recipes seem to be at suicidal levels, and the biggest shock is learning that despite all this, the French are actually pretty thin, pretty slim and pretty happy. I have so far experimented firsthand how people in Provence do not even think about cooking without butter. I have just stocked on butter, too, since I am aspiring as being capable to cook just like a real French cook, even if one that is home based.
The French say, and they are right, that everything tastes better with butter. No one can really say anything else, because, well, this is an absolute truth. Nothing can replace butter for real in any French recipe. Try the same thing using oil, or some low fat replacement, and you will see that you are not getting exactly the same thing. And do not even attempt to tell a French person they should use less butter. Unless you really enjoy being scolded and given a lecture on how French people know how to enjoy life, while the rest of the world seems to be hung up on just feeling guilty all the time for whenever they get a chance to feel happy.
I was taught, like any other person living in the Western world, and not in France, that saturated fats are bad for your health. But, according to some studies, nothing can be further from the truth. Butter, which is a great source of saturated fats, is not responsible for clogging your arteries, or for causing obesity. If anything, the type of saturated fats in butter are good for you, and they help you lead a healthy, happy life. These studies show that actually eating more butter helps protecting the immune system, and its saturated fats are essential for the nervous system. Did you know that butter is a source of linoleic acid, well known for its anti-cancer properties? Apparently, the French know, or at least, their tradition of including butter in almost all their recipes is based on something that is healthy and tasty at the same time.
There is another secret to why the French are much thinner than others, while eating so much butter. For the French, snacking is not a thing; actually, if you do not care about eating full meals and you prefer to snack here and there, you can never be French. But, if you do like them, and you treat meals as an occasion to bond with others and eat small portions without ever overstuffing yourself, you will discover why having too much butter is simply impossible.