butter better than margarine?
Probably not. Butter
is saturated fat while margarine has unsaturated fat. The problem
with margarine is that it contains trans-unsaturated
fatty acid. Yes it will raise your cholesterol, possibly increase
increase your risk of some cancers, but it has been shown that margarine
is more heart healthy than butter.
Trans unsaturated fatty
acid will increase bad cholesterol, LDL, and lower good cholesterol,
HDL, but not as much as saturated fat. The best recommendation is
avoid both forms of fat as much as possible. The more liquid the
margarine (tub or liquid form) the less hydrogenated it is and the
less trans fatty acids it contains.
Fortunately, in the
U.S. only about 2-4% of our total calories are from trans-unsaturated
acid. Saturated fat is about 12-14% of the typical diet.
- Use non hydrogenated
oil like canola or olive oil,
- Read labels and avoid
processed foods made with hydrogenated oil,
- Use soft margarine
over harder, stick forms. Prefer margarine with liquid vegetable
oil as the first ingredient,
- Avoid foods high
in trans fatty acids such as french fries, donuts, cookies and
Finally, it should be
remembered that there is a worldwide epidemic of obesity and obesity
is related to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, back
pain, joint pains, and a whole host of other health issues.
Total fat - not trans
or saturated fat - is related to obesity and some forms of cancer.
The general consensus is that the risk from TFA is small, however
the content should not be increased. My personal recommendation
is that you should lower your total fat. Watch saturated and TFA
and in the process of lowering them and saturated fat, you will