We have this love affair with the taste of butter. In effort to produce a cheaper and healthier product, food chemists produced margarine. Today, products have been developed to meet the needs of today. Choosing to consume butter or margarine is now a matter of health status and preference. Butter just gives that extra flavor especially in baked goods, but if your watching your cholesterol and fat intake. Just remember, the recommended daily intake for fat is 2 tablespoon according to the NSDA standard food pyramid.
Butter is derived from whole milk thus considered a more natural food than margarine. On the other hand, margarine is made of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. The trans fatty acids is what you need to avoid as chances for coronary problems become three-fold and risk for cancer becomes five-fold. A Harvard Medical Study noted that women who overate margarine had 53% increase in heart disease. In addition, Trans fatty acids lower your good fats- HDL and increase bad fats-LDL cholesterol.
Trans fatty acids are produced from extreme heating of poly and mono unsaturated fats combined with multi processing of carcinogenic chemicals like benzene. Although enriched with antioxidants, these are petroleum based. Please avoid!
Fortunately, today’s margarines have been modified to get rid of most of the bad stuff. It is now required knowledge on food labels. There are fantastic substitutes in the market such as yogurt butter or butter cream. These generally have less cholesterol and still attain some natural butter flavor.
Butter contains the saturated fat, butyric acid which is responsible for the distinct flavor of butter. It also helps in nutrient absorption and contains such nutrients such as linoleic acid (ironically, a monounsaturated fat) and vitamins E, K, and D that promote cellular function. For a mother to be, the nutrient factor may outweigh the lack of nutrients found in margarine. Margarine has been found to lower the quality of breast milk, lower immune system and lower insulin sensitivity. If you observe the ingredients listing for butter, it has milkfat and a little salt. Whereas, margarine has a slew of chemicals that only a chemist can more likely understand. Whatever the preference, weighing the difference can help when designing a good diet.
Margarines’ ingredients contain typically the following:
salt or potassium chloride,
mono- and di-glycerides of fat-forming fatty acids,
diacetyltartaric and fatty acid esters of glycerol,
Propyl, octyl or dodecyl gallate (or mixtures thereof),
propylene glycol mono- and di-esters,
sucrose esters of fatty acids,
ß-apo-carotenoic acid methyl or ethyl ester,
skim milk powder,
vitamins A and D.
Whereas, butter merely has 2 ingredients: