What’s the Lesser Evil: Butter or Margarine?

If you're to choose between the two, what would you choose: butter or margarine? Some people would answer butter. Others would say margarine. So what's the real score? Which of these two is truly the lesser evil? You'll finally know the answer to this question by reading this article.

Is Butter Better?
Regular butter made from cow's milk or cream is shaken until it forms into a semisolid state.
- It contains 80 percent milk fat and 11 quarts of milk per pound.
- It comes in salted and unsalted varieties, in stick forms, and in plastic tubs.
- The worst butter to buy is the traditional stick, which has 100 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 7 grams of saturated fat in one tablespoon. That's already a third of the recommended daily value. Not to mention, it also has about 30 milligrams of cholesterol, which makes up 10 percent of the recommended daily value.

The better choices are:
- whipped butter
- light butter
- vegetable oil blends

• When butter is whipped, it becomes lighter and less dense. Getting a tablespoon of whipped butter would mean 50 percent less calories and saturated fats.

• Light stick butter is also a smart option. This one is made with water or gelatin so that it would still have solid consistency, minus the fat and calories of the traditional stick butter.

• Vegetable oil blends, meanwhile, has been added with olive or canola oil. It has just as much calories and fat, but the good news is that it's a lot lower in terms of saturated fat and cholesterol.

• Remember: A good way to gauge if the butter you're buying will not be too keen in clogging your arteries is to see if it comes soft and spreads easily after you bring it out of the refrigerator. If it's hard and solid, there's a good chance it would stay that way while traveling inside your body.

So, Is Margarine the Winner?
This vegetable-oil-based butter spread is also known as the soft margarine spread. Margarine was introduced in the 1800s when the butter became scarce and expensive in France.
- Proponents of this butter alternative claim that it's healthier and safer.
- But because it's artificial and packed with trans fats, many say it's not good for you at all.
- According to health experts, the worst type to buy is the stick that is loaded with trans fats. The vegetable oil used to make this margarine is hydrogenated so that it stays solid at room temperature. This process creates trans fats that can dramatically increase the levels of Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol in the bloodstream.

The better option would be the margarine packaged in tubs. They don't only contain less saturated fat, they are also free of trans fats. These are great for cooking, spreading on bread, and so on. But you can't use them for baking.

The Verdict: Neither
Now if you really want to stay in the pink of health, the best route for you to take is to skip butter and margarine altogether. Why choose the lesser evil if you can ditch evil completely?

• It would be best to use olive oil or vegetable oil for cooking.

• You can also use avocado or nut butters in place of butter spread for sandwiches. This way, the only fat you'll be taking in would be good fat.

 


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