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Fact VS Fiction: Butter VS Margarine

Fact VS Fiction: Butter VS Margarine

In looking over the realm of spreads people use for their toast, bread, or any food, one can start to wonder what’s the healthiest option.  Walking down the grocery aisle it’s tough making health conscious decisions when food shopping. You don’t want to spend hours researching what to buy and not to buy for yourself or your family, so here’s a few tips on what to look at when picking out a spread.

It’s of surmount importance to fuel your body with the right foods, vitamins, minerals, and fats in order to maintain a balanced diet.  One thing many people do not know about the topic of spreads, when it comes to butter or margarine, is which one to pick. Which one is healthier?  In reality both spreads have some pros and cons but there is some more detail to it than one would expect.

Harvard medical school has done research and they found that butter is higher in saturated fats to margarine, but older margarine typically had higher trans fats.  Trans fats are known to be the worst of fats because of the fact they lead to higher LDL (bad cholesterol) and actually lower HDL (good cholesterol). Newer margarines tend to have little to no trans fats but replace this with saturated fats to keep the product solid.  Make sure to double check the nutrition label because the FDA allows companies to put on the label a product is trans-fat free even if it contains up to .5g of trans fat per serving. So, make sure to buy products that contain no partially hydrogenated oils to insure there’s no trans-fat within your product.  

Bottom line butter can be made at home where margarine contains and relies on many chemicals to keep shape and flavor.  Usually the rule of thumb when it comes to food, the more natural the better for you. Oils are usually a healthier replacement for cooking with butter or margarine, or even for spreads due to beneficial monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.