If you google “butter vs margarine” countless websites and resources will pop up. The age old question of which is better for your health is not always a simple one to answer. Before digging deeper into this debate let us first learn a little bit more about what margarine and butter are made of and where they come from.
Margarine is an artificial product made from vegetable oils and fats, which are processed by emulsifiers, water, flavors and acidifiers. Usually salt, beta-carotene and usually vitamins A and D are added to enhance the nutritional profile of the final product. For a long time, margarine was demonized because its high level of trans fats from partially hydrogenated fats. In recent years however, the production technologies – to make liquid oil spreadable – have been improved and today margarine – depending on the variety – contains almost no trans fats.
Butter on the other hand, is a natural product derived from dairy. Unlike margarine, butter naturally contains vitamins A, B12, E, beta-carotene and calcium – micronutrients that often have to be added artificially to margarine.
In the debate of which is better, the argument against butter typically centers on its high content of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol (which are both essential – i. e. essential to life). Our opinion at Metabolic Balance is that margarine should be avoided. It is much better to stick to natural whole foods which do not confuse our taste buds, do not damage our body and interfere with its natural physiological processes. When buying butter look for grass-fed varieties with minimal processing.
If you interested in diving deeper into this debate check out the following websites and resources: