Butter vs. Margarine… don’t panic.

I received an email urging people to cut out margarine from their diets because it is so unhealthy. It was urging people to consume butter instead. I tend to not believe these types of emails without further research, and rather enjoy researching the information presented in them to find out whether it is fact or fiction. HERE is more information on the email that has been circulating for a while now. First of all, I don’t think that either butter or margarine are very good for you. That being said, there were some things that were stated in the email that I thought should be brought up.

The most disturbing claim was that “Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC”

Okay, if you think about it, saying that is just silly. Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2)is one ATOM away from water (H2O). Oxygen gas (O2) is one atom away from poisonous Ozone gas (O3). Table salt (NaCl) is one atom away from Chlorine (Cl). See? Who ever put that in the original email was just trying to panic people. I don’t like being motivated by panic, so that’s why I like to find out the facts.

Some other things :

Margarine is high in trans fatty acids”

This used to be true, but if you read the labels these days, many of the margarines/spreads on the market currently have 0 trans fat, and no cholesterol either (whereas 1 Tbsp. of butter contains 30 mg of cholesterol). And so if there are no more trans fats in most of the margarines, then the following aren’t currently true (for those spreads containing 0 trans fats) anymore because the following claims are simply based on research pertaining to trans fats in general, not specifically to margarine:

Margarine lowers quality of breast milk”

Margarine decreases immune response”

Decreases insulin response”

And finally, there’s the claim that “Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for Less than 100 years”

That statement is suggesting that butter is healthier for you because it has been around a while. While this is true that butter is older than margarine, just because something has been around for a long time, it doesn’t mean it is beneficial, or even safe. Anyone remember medicinal leeching? Yeah, that’s been around for a long time too. People still do it, and you can even buy leeches online. The safety or benefits of something shouldn’t be based on longevity, but by using research that is unbiased as in the blind experiment method.

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