Butter's reputation as an unhealthy food is undeserved - in fact, it can even confer some protection against diabetes on consumers.
New research shows that butter may have earned its bad reputation because of flawed studies from the 1950s and because it is spread on unhealthy foods, such as white bread.
A review of nine studies involving more than 600,000 people found that butter was only weakly associated with total mortality, and not linked to cardiovascular disease at all.
It even seemed to protect, slightly, against diabetes.
Although traditionally dieticians have advised people to cut down on animal fats, in the last year multiple studies have shown that they are unlikely to raise the risk of stroke, heart disease or diabetes.
But the academics warned that foods normally associated with butter, such as bread and potatoes, could be bad for health.
Dr Laura Pimpin, who carried out the research while at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts in Boston, said that people who ate a lot of butter often had worse diets in general.