Many of us use butter and margarine regularly in our daily diet and our decision is often based on taste preferences. However, we should consider health-related factors. So, let’s start with margarine. People choose margarine because it’s a plant-based product. It also has long shelf life and generally less expensive. There are also healthier margarine products, which are not hydrogenated and won’t put trans fat into our body. With a method called interesterification, margarine producers are able to make vegetable oil turns into a solid form and no trans-fat is produced. Producers alter the molecules and composition of the vegetable oil to create the new kind of margarine. However, there’s no valid study on the safety of the non-hydrogenized margarine. There could still be hidden danger with this new kind of margarine and it is important to be careful with the assumption that plant-based margarine is always better than butter. However, there’s hidden problem with the interesterification proves. The vegetable oils used as the infredient may not be virgin or cold pressed. If the oil has been heated, the nutritional properties will be damaged. Some margarine products are fortified with Omega 3, but we should get it from natural sources and not from margarine.
Butter is considered as a source of vitamin A and D. French people are known for their love for butter, meat and cream, but they don’t have higher rate of cardiovascular diseases, compared to people from other countries. However, French people also include fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits into their diet. This negates the bad effects of unhealthy fat, which can be flushed right away from their system. Even so, there are major problems with butter that we need to consider. It is important that we choose butter or margarine that use organic ingredients, which won’t be contaminated with fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Butter can be contaminated by growth hormone and antibiotics that are injected to cows. Milk in many mammals tends to absorb any external substances that enter their bodies. Lastly, just like any dairy product, butter also comes with its own specific drawbacks. We should be aware that the smoking point of butter is only at 90 degrees Celsius and at this temperature, fat in butter will become toxic. Whatever butter we choose, we should make that we don’t overheat it. If we already eat a lot of cold cuts, meat and cheese, we need to cut down on the consumption of butter and margarine. Our best bet is to use butter from other alternatives, such as sunflower.
Instead of using butter or margarine, we may dip bread in a herb and garlic infused olive oil. We may also refrigerate the olive oil, so it will solidify and we will be able to use it as a spread. Also, you may also make avocado spread using various recipes in the Internet. If you can’t separate from the wonderful buttery taste of dairy butter, you should mix butter and olive oil spread. You may still get a taste of the butter, but the mixture should be healthier.