Butter vs. Margarine

4331388639 3ed68df625 Butter vs. Margarine

Summer school holiday is over.  The school started on Monday and  kinder is back to full hours next week.  For me it means back to lunchboxes, school -kinder-home triangle, but also back to writing in peace and quiet :-).

Sandwiches are on the menu again.  But, what to put on the bread: butter or margarine?

The butter vs. margarine debate is always a hot one.  For our family it is butter that’s winning.  Having said that, we don’t consume a lot of it and butter is not automatically in every sandwich and on the table every day.  Instead it might be avocado, tahini (ground sesame paste), sour cream or just a lot of veggies as a base.  I cook with butter, too.

Why butter is a healthier option

Butter has earned a lot of negative press due to being high in saturated fat.  The same happened to coconut oil.  In fact, coconut oil has anti-viral and many other healing properties.  And butter?  Well, it seems we have gone full circle and began to realize some positive facts about butter.  Here are just some of them:

  • Butter is completely natural
  • Butter is rich in natural vitamin A, also good source of vitamins D, E, K
  • Also contains mineral selenium, an anti-oxidant, iodine and lecithin
  • Linoleic, lauric and butyric acids play important roles in our body and butter contains them all
  • And yes, it contains cholesterol – a very important ingredient for brain development, cell elasticity and healthy intestines.   Children especially need it in the diet!

Here are just some of the health benefits of eating butter.  If you aren’t convinced so far, please do some research on the topic.

Why margarine should be avoid

What is margarine and what is in it?  Margarine spread is oil in the base, mostly processed, fully or partly hydrogenised (chemical process) to solidify it into the spreadable form.  It contains not so healthy polyunsaturated fat and bad trans-fatty acids, the latter formed during the process.

In addition, most margarine spreads contain preservatives, usually preservative 220, artificial colours and flavours.  Before you eat it again, read the ingredients!

In the past decades, as the consumption of butter and other saturated fat decreased in favour of low fat diet, margarine and highly processed oils consumption – cholesterol, cancer and heart problems increased.

Danger of Polyunsaturated Highly Processed Oils

Vegetable oils are healthier option?  Well, vegetable oils aren’t all made equal.  On the healthy side there are cold pressed extra virgin oils, on the other highly processed oils containing high percentage of polyunsaturated oils.  Polyunsaturated oils are very unstable when exposed to heat, oxygen and moisture and become rancid.  Rancid oils contain free radicals that cause damage to cells, DNA, etc.

About 30% of calories in the modern age diet come from polyunsaturated oils.  Instead it should be only a few percents.  So watch for the amount of polyunsaturated fats, especially in processed and fast foods.  Processed oils are cheaper and widely used in the food industry. For frying, coconut oil, butter and animal fats are better option.

One Unpractical Thing about butter

There is only one thing about butter that isn’t handy:  it’s too hard to spread directly from the fridge.  But there is a way to overcome that: soft butter spread.  Stay tuned, the recipe is coming in the next post, as well as types of butter available and how to make your own butter.

It’s the first week of school and the next week kinder is back to full hours.  Summer school holiday is over.  For me it means back to lunchboxes, school -kinder-home triangle, but also back to writing and some peace and quiet J.

The first post for this year is one that meant to be written long time ago, but somehow was forgotten.  It’s back to school and work, so sandwiches are back on the menu.

The butter vs. margarine debate is always a hot one.  For our family it is butter that’s winning.  Having said that, we don’t consume a lot of it and butter is not automatically in every sandwich and on the table every day.  Instead it might be avocado, tahini (ground sesame paste), sour cream or just a lot of veggies as a base.  I cook with butter, too.

Why butter is a healthier option

Butter has earned a lot of negative press due to being high in saturated fat.  The same happened to coconut oil.  In fact, coconut oil has anti-viral and many other healing properties.  And butter?  Well, it seems we have gone full circle and began to realize some positive facts about butter.  Here are just some of them:

Butter is completely natural

Butter is rich in natural vitamin A, also good source of vitamins D, E, K

Also contains mineral selenium, an anti-oxidant, iodine and lecithin

Linoleic, lauric and butyric acids play important roles in our body and butter contains them all

And yes, it contains cholesterol – a very important ingredient for brain development, cell elasticity and healthy intestines.   Children especially need it in the diet!

Here are just some of the health benefits of eating butter.  If you aren’t convinced so far, please do some research on the Internet on the topic.

Why margarine should be avoid

What is margarine and what is in it?  Margarine spread is oil in the base, mostly processed, fully or partly hydrogenised (chemical process) to solidify it into the spreadable form.  It contains not so healthy polyunsaturated fat and bad trans-fatty acids, formed during the process.

In addition, most margarine spreads contain preservatives, most commonly preservative 220, artificial colours and flavours.  Before you eat it again, read the ingredients!

In the past decades, as the consumption butter and other saturated fat decreased in favour of low fat diet, margarine and highly processed oils consumption, cholesterol, cancer and heart problems increased.

Danger of Polyunsaturated Highly Processed Oils

Vegetable oils aren’t all made equal.  On the healthy side there are cold pressed extra virgin oils, on the other highly processed oils containing high percentage of polyunsaturated oils.  Polyunsaturated oils are very unstable when exposed to heat, oxygen and moisture and become rancid.  Rancid oils contain free radicals that cause damage to cells, DNA, etc.

About 30% of calories in the modern age diet come from polyunsaturated oils.  Instead it should be only a few percent.

My intention here was only to write about butter, but if you are interested to read more about fats and oils, margarine production process or extracting oils with chemicals, below are some links you might find informative.

There is only one thing about butter that isn’t handy:  it’s too hard to spread directly from the fridge.  But there is a way to overcome that: soft butter spread.  Stay tuned, the recipe is coming in the next post, as well as types of butter available and how to make your own butter.

http://www.fromthesoilup.com.au/news/why-butter-is-better-and-tallow-is-terrific

http://www.westonaprice.org/The-Skinny-on-Fats.html

http://www.westonaprice.org/Know-Your-Fats/

http://www.bodyecology.com/07/07/05/benefits_of_real_butter.php

Similar Posts:

Comments

  1. says

    Totally agree that butter has developed an undeserved reputation as something to avoid. Whilst I wouldn’t describe it as a ‘healthy’ food, it is certainly not unhealthy, unlike the poisonous compounds we call margerine.

    Coconut oil, on the other hand, is one of the healthiest oils on earth, and I would also suggest the addition of omega-3s to all diets (not omega-6s, though).

  2. stitch says

    I think you may be spreading some untruths here. The process to make margarine does no longer creat trans fat. I havent heard that polyunsaturated fats are bad, ive actually heard and studied that all unsaturated fats are better than saturated.

    I think maybe we should do some more research thats all.

    • Vesna says

      Hi stitch,

      Only non-hydrogenated margarine contains no trans fat (in some countries hydrogenated are still around), but hydrogenated oils are used in processed food. Polyunsaturated fats are very unstable and when exposed to even smallest amounts of light, moisture, air or heat, get rancid and contribute to free radical damage in the body. Yet canola and other vegetable oils are preferred choice in food industry and in households.

      We are constantly bombarded with the messages that saturated fats are “bad fats”. I recommend reading this article:
      http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/519-why-butter-is-better.html

      I believe in natural food and wouldn’t touch margarine with a ten-foot pole. As for the research, there is plenty out there and saturated fats are winning so far.

  3. Lydia K says

    I really like this site. I use butter in my cooking, I have for many years. I can’t stand the taste of margerine, it just isn’t as good tasting as butter.

    • Vesna says

      Thanks Lydia. I’m with you: margarine often contains artificial flavours to mask the horrible taste, not to mention other additives.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *