The answer is not that simple. Whether butter or margarine is more healthy depends on the type of margarine that we are comparing butter to. They are both not very good for your health – however, we are human, and butter tastes good!
Let’s agree that there is only one type of butter, because it comes from cow’s milk. On the other hand, margarine is a man-made product from vegetable oils as well as other sources. Therefore, depending on the process of production (the chemical reactions leading to margarine), margarine can either be better or worse than butter.
But how can you tell? Look at the nutritional information label!
Saturated and trans fats increase your cholesterol and rick of heart disease. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are “good” in that they reduce you cholesterol levels and promote heart health.
Saturated fats are high in butter and may be lower in margarine. However, only man-made fats contain trans fats; which margarine has, and butter does not. So the health benefits & risks depend on which fats are present in what amounts.
Let’s look at it in a simple way: the more saturated and trans fats a product contains, the more solid it will be at room temperature, and the worse it is for your health. Thus, if you buy margarine, you should be choosing the ones that are more liquid-y.
I wish the answer was simpler, but it is not! There are many butter-derived and butter-imitating products out there so don’t let yourself be fooled by products that are labeled “made from vegetable oils” (which we know to be better than butter) because the man-made process adds trans fats, even when starting with a “healthy” ingredient compared to butter.
In case you are visual, here are some general facts about butter and margarine:
So, the point is: the best choice for your heart is to pick a product that has NO TRANS FATS and the least amounts of SATURATED FATS, be it butter or margarine.
Live healthy ❤