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Butter or Margarine – Which Is the Healthy Option?

[24 Jun 2012 | No Comments | | Author: ]
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There have been debates about which is better of the two when someone is trying to lose weight. Butter or margarine, which one is the healthy option?

Both of them have advantages; this comparison may help you decide which one is the best choice for you.

Mankind has been making butter in one form or another for thousands of years. It was originally made from the milk of water buffalo or camels. Today it’s made from cow’s milk but the process is exactly the same as it’s been for over six millennia.

One of the reasons why some people say to stay away from butter is that it contains saturated fat. Saturated fat raises the bad form of cholesterol, known as LDL cholesterol, as well as raising the total blood cholesterol levels.

What most people don’t understand, however, is that the cholesterol in the food you eat has little to no effect on the blood cholesterol levels of most people.

As a way to combat the problems claimed to be caused by butter, margarine was created toward the second half of the last century. However, margarine didn’t live up to all the claims made about it either. Margarine was laden with man-made trans fats which are created during hydrogenation, the process of taking liquid vegetable oil and making it into a solid which is spreadable.

Of course, now that medical and dietetic medicine has realized how harmful trans fats truly are, margarine has changed to meet the new medical guidelines. Does this mean margarine is the better choice? That may or may not be true. Manufacturers are in the process of creating margarines which are not hydrogenated; the results are softer margarines, but at least they’re not full of trans fatty acids.

Are there reasons to continue using butter rather than using margarine? The truth is there have been studies which have explained the importance of adding butter to healthy diets. Butter contains vitamins A, D, E, and K which are absent in margarine. It also helps to boost our immune system which margarine cannot claim.

The studies go on to explain how butter actually helps to produce hormones. The fat in butter also supports our organs, bones, and our brain. Add all of the results of the studies together and you may decide to begin purchasing butter again.

Is there another reason to choose butter over margarine? Animal fats are more satisfying than vegetable fats. If you’re eating something made with an animal fat, like butter, you’re likely to be more satisfied, will have to eat less to achieve that sense of satisfaction, and be less likely to eat snacks between meals. When you’re more satisfied and eating less, you can’t help but to lose weight.

From a merely culinary standpoint, margarine can’t compare with butter. Butter can be heated to a much higher temperature which means you can achieve the browning effect called for in many recipes. Animal fat is also a good carrier of flavors so your food will probably taste better, which goes back to the sense of satisfaction you’ll feel.

Butter and margarine have nearly the same calories, so there isn’t much difference between the two from that standpoint. If you choose margarine over butter, be sure you find one of the brands which are not made with trans fats.

Have you made a decision about which is better – butter or margarine? If you need more help, why not check with your doctor or a dietician and see which one they recommend. Then you choose which one is right for you.

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