“Is margarine worse than butter?”
If you know me, you more than likely know my answer, “Man cannot improve on Mother Nature.”
For years advertising and medical doctors have told us that butter, which is high in cholesterol, is bad for our heart and blood vessels and that margarine, which is cholesterol-free, is a lot safer. New research now shows that cholesterol is not as dangerous as we are led to believe and that the real problem lies in the unnatural fatty acids produced when vegetable oils are hardened into margarine.
In one study, blood levels of trans fatty acids (found in margarine) were higher in people with clogged arteries than in healthy people. In another study, 85,000 women filled out a diet questionnaire and were then followed for eight years. During that time, there were 431 new cases of heart disease among this group. Women who consumed large amounts of trans fatty acids had a greater risk of developing heart disease than women who kept their fatty acid intake to a minimum.
Studies in animals have shown that trans fatty acids are more likely than butter to damage the heart and blood vessels. History also points out that heart disease did not become epidemic in the U. S. A. until margarine was introduced. The other major source of trans fatty acids in the diet is partially hydrogenated vegetable oils found in many cookies, crackers, cakes and white bread.
There is evidence that good antioxidants such as Ester-C®, Vitamin E and beta-carotene can greatly reduce the risk associated with high dietary or serum cholesterol. So, I advise you to use unsalted butter over margarine. Store your butter in the freezer and take out only what you will use in nine days.
- Siguel E. American Journal of Cardiology 7993; 71:916-920 and
- Willett WC, Lancet 1993; 341: 581-585