A review of nine studies which covered more than 600,000 people has found butter is healthier than previously thought.
Formerly accepted wisdom linked butter to heart disease, but researchers have now renamed it a ‘middle-of-the-road’ food which is unlikely to do much harm.
New evidence shows there is no relationship between butter and heart disease and eating it could actually protect against diabetes.
Dr Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science in Boston, USA, where the research was carried out, said: “Overall, our results suggest that butter should neither be demonised nor considered a route to good health.
"More research is needed to better understand the observed potential lower risk of diabetes, which has also been suggested in some other studies of dairy fat.
“This could be real, or due to other factors linked to eating butter.”