Butter and margarine: Which is healthier?

Every day we can see on television and on the Internet a very large diversity of advertisements about margarine, a food product created to replace butter, selling itself-apparently-that it is supposed to be a healthier food than this because its supposedly Fat content is lower. That is to say, It is common for margarine to be sold as a healthy alternative to butter. Something that began to spread especially a few decades ago, when it was believed that margarine was the "light" option.

But did you know that, in reality, the amount of fat found in margarine and butter is practically the same? Around 80% by weight, to a greater or lesser extent. However, it is true that we must clearly differentiate between the type of fat found in both products. And that is that while the butter has Saturated fats (that increase the levels of fats in blood), the margarine has Trans fat (which as we have already mentioned on many occasions, is even worse than saturated fats).

These trans fats are difficult to metabolize by our body, so they tend to fix in different fatty tissues and lipid accumulations. In addition, it is known that margarine releases a large amount of furans and acrylamides. Both are compounds that are under constant study and investigation, which warn that they are toxic substances that among other aspects could increase the risk of cancer, besides affecting both the health of the liver and the kidney.

Therefore, we come to a more than obvious question: why is it to sell that margarine is healthier than butter, when in reality the former contains trans fatty acids, which are much more harmful to our health than fats saturated that we find in the second ?.

Far from creating alarm, we must warn that, at present, many of the margarines sold today have eliminated trans fats, using a kind of mixture of vegetable hydrogenated fats and oil. But that does not mean that ordinary margarines still contain them. And going back to the new generation margarines, the 'soft margarines' stand out precisely because they are low in fat, and because they do not contain trans fats, with a lower content of saturated fats and a greater proportion of unsaturated fats.

Therefore, the conclusion is evident: If you have to choose between butter and regular margarine, it is best to choose butter. But if you can choose between butter and soft margarines low in fat and without trans fat, obviously the best choice would be the latter.

But if we seek to take care of our health and choose healthy fats, the most suitable from a nutritional point of view is to eliminate from our diet both butter and margarine, and use only extra virgin olive oil daily and in small quantities.

If you want to learn more, I recommend a very interesting oil jelly item, which discusses which is healthier, butter or margarine.

Image | Paulo Henrique This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist.

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