The Great Butter vs Margarine Debate

Published on 26th September 2013

By Leila El-Dean

We've been told by health professionals for years now that butter is bad for us, but is it really? An interesting study was published in the peer reviewed British Medical Journal earlier this year. The Australian and US researchers revealed that margarine is not always the healthier choice. This had many jumping up and down with glee! Given the choice between whether butter tastes better than margarine on your loaf, butter wins hands down every time.


Butter comes in a variety of styles (image source: Flickr)

Guilt and Butter Doesn't Have to go Hand in Hand

For a start, some margarines contain additives that you can't pronounce and a few brands are still made with unhealthy trans fats. Butter is just made from a single ingredient: milk and this is a whole food. Despite the saturated fat content, when eaten in moderation, this fat actually helps you to absorb nutrients found in other food such as vitamins A, D, E and certain ant-oxidants. So, butter doesn't have to be forbidden fruit or a guilty pleasure. You might also be interested to learn that your brain actually needs small amounts of cholesterol to function. You only run into problems when you consume too much.

The Dieters' Foe?

Contrary to popular belief, eating a little fat is good for weight loss in the long term. A moderate amount makes our food tastier, more satisfying and it keeps us feeling full for longer. If you have ever been on a restrictive low fat diet and suddenly come to in the middle of a crazy binge, a little bit of what you fancy could have kept you on track!

Even Butter Has its Downside!

Obviously, some people are on strict diets for medical reasons. So, butter won't be an appropriate food for them due to the saturated fat and cholesterol content. Although butter has health benefits, eat too much and you can guarantee that your waistline WILL expand.

In Conclusion

So, unless your GP has said otherwise, you can still enjoy butter in moderation. It's all a question of eating a balanced and varied diet. This is fantastic news for breadmaker enthusiasts. That's not to say that you should munch your way through blocks of the stuff, but a little bit won't hurt you. If you're looking forward to baking and eating your favourite loaf, there's no reason why you should deny yourself a little bit of pleasure, so reach for the butter dish!

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