Butter vs. Margarine

27 Feb

So this is a topic I’ve tried to research a bit lately and come up with a reasonable opinion on.  I’m shaking my head right now because it seems to be an impossible task!

There are people out there who claim margarine is better for you because it doesn’t have the saturated fat and cholesterol in it that butter has, which they claim can increase your risk of  heart disease.

There are also people out there who claim that primitive cultures used real butter liberally, and were in better health than our modern society because the fats in the butter are actually something your body needs, in moderation.  They site many studies and resources that show an increase in heart disease AFTER the introduction of the so-called “bad-for-you” oils into our modern diet.


Both sides are convincing.  I can’t really made a definitive opinion on my scant research so far, because so much of it sounds good, on both sides.

BUT…..what I don’t like about margarine is the “processed” nature inherent in it.  You basically (if I’m right) take cheap oils, add a metal catalyst to it (usually nickel), heat it up, add emulsifiers and starch to help the consistency, heat it again, and then color it to make it look like butter.  I can’t get over that.  I just don’t get how that can be good for me.  You take a bunch of things and mix them together and even have to color it to make it look like something that is natural in the first place?  I don’t think so!

I’m eating butter.  Real butter.  I don’t eat a ton of it.  At this stage in my diet I probably only eat a few tablespoons a week.  I would much rather err on the “natural” side right now, rather than on the side of something processed that needs color added into it to make it easier for us to accept.  I’m also going to start feeding my kids a “real butter” spread that has canola oil in it.  I would like to move them to butter, but don’t think that’s possible right now, so I’m doing what I can. 

Do you own research.  The best way for me is to look at the labels.  I did that today.  The amount of ingredients in the margarine spreads is amazing.  A lot of the things I’m not sure even what they are!  The butter spread?  It basically has real cream, salt, and canola oil (to help with spreadability).

For right now, that’s where I’m going to land.  It might change in the future, for my family.  But for me? 

I’ll stick to real butter, thank you very much!

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Posted by on February 27, 2010 in Crohn's Journal


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