Me, spilling out all my thoughts, inner and outer, on just about anything! Lots of poetry, short stories from past experiences, anecdotes about teaching elementary school, music, relationships....garage sale type thing...Something For Everyone!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Butter vs Margarine

I received this e-mail and I just had to send a response to the original writer! I'm in blue.

Hmmm...maybe I'll switch back to butter...

Hmmm...I'm glad I haven't switched back!

Subject: Pass The Butter ...back to the store!~ ~ This is interesting . . . .

Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed the turkeys, (I question this!) the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back. It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow coloring and sold it to people to use in place of butter. How do you like it? They have come out with some clever new flavorings.
Being a kid of the 50's, I remember mixing the pill...that old margarine was fun but didn't taste good! I don't doubt the original margarine had many faults!

DO YOU KNOW..the difference between margarine and butter? YES! Read on to the end...gets very interesting!

Both have the same amount of calories. Not the Light margarine....and this isn't the main issue here.

Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams compared to 5 grams.

Not today's margarines. Becel and many others have 2 g or less.

Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study.
What year? How many margarines? Perhaps some of the original margarines, but now it is simply not true. One can cite many studies done by Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, who teach current Cardiac rehab patients that # 1 good oil/margarine is Canola, followed by olive. (Plant sources!)

Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods.
Don't know about this one.

Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few only because they are added!
Not mean the vitamin D they've been adding to our milk has no nutritional value?!

Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavors of other foods.

I mostly agree but I actually like the taste AND smell of the Becel Olive margarine!

Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years.

Something has less value because it's relatively recent? So much for the value of new houses, cottages and clothes!

And now, for Margarine.. Very high in trans fatty acids.
Absolutely a Crock! Most margarines now have NO trans fats!

Triple risk of coronary heart disease.
Another gross error! The Dairy Council of Canada has had to come out with ads and questionable research results to save their failing industry. We all bought their hype in the 50's and 60's, but we all know better now!

Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol,(the good cholesterol)
So untrue! It may be true of butter actually! NO cholesterol at all in margarine now! It's plant based, people! Our cardiac program taught us, "If it has a mother, don't eat much of it"!

Margarine with added Omegas, as is the case with most margarines, promotes heart health from every angle. Also is higher in monosaturates, which is much better than butter's saturated fat.

Increases the risk of cancers up to five fold. Lowers quality of breast milk. Decreases immune response.

Don't know about the 3 above, but I'd want proof. The studies would be hard-pressed to claim increased cancer risk as there are just too many other factors at play in this biggie! And how much would you have to ingest anyway? Like the 70 cans of diet pop a day with sodium cyclamate sweetener the rats had to ingest before cancer was traced to that product?!

Decreases insulin response.

I doubt that very much!
Again, a very difficult thing to prove! You'd think all the endocrinologists in the country would be warning their patients, considering diabetes (Type 2) is reaching epidemic levels!

And here's the most disturbing fact....HERE IS THE PART THAT IS VERY INTERESTING!Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC..Hmmm...don't really get how the the canola plant gets plastic into it! PURE plant sources! Pressed oil!

This fact alone was enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added,changing the molecular structure of the substance).There are mostly non-hydrogenated margarines now. You can try this yourself:Purchase a tub of margarine and leave it in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will note a couple of things:* no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something) HELLO! The operative word is FRUIT!! And you've seen them on butter?!

* it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value;
There is much nutritional value in margarine..And besides...there are tons of "Empty calorie" foods that do rot! This is no "Yardstick".
Now, cholesterol...that's a big one...Butter has a lot and margarine has none!

nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not find a home to grow. Why? Because it is nearly plastic. Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast? Share This With Your Friends....


I suggest that these comments were based on a few old studies, carried out on original versions of margarine. My husband agreed with me on all this. will probably be an age-old battle. I do like the taste of butter but it is just not the healthier choice.

Where do you stand on the butter vs margarine battle?

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Anonymous colleen said...

Are you trying to butter me up? I'd chose butter over margine any day! Olive oil and butter are the only fats I trust.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Blogger meno said...

I use butter and olive oil. But i use so little butter that i think it's no big deal. I hate these scare tactic e-mails. It's fun to see all your remarks showing the faults with these arguments.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Blogger twilite said...

Hi motherofinvent! Enjoyed your good retorts.

Basically I eat that I enjoy these days...ignore all warnings. There are so many contradicting reports that I don't know what to believe!!!

I know of individuals who'd changed to vegetarian or soy products and foods yet a few of these contracted cancer.

What is healthy food? Today I dispense all these and eat that I enjoy in moderation. I like butter... but change occasionally to canola or whatever was on offer when my butter ran out! Tried all kinds, I still return to butter!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Blogger GEWELS said...

I, too, have a hard time knowing what to believe these days. Mostly I use olive or canola oil (in cooking- some coconut oil as well).

When sauteing I like a touch of butter added to the olive oil. Nothing like the flavor of REAL butter. I don't think margarine melts or browns food as well.
WIth bread- I usually prefer dipping in olive oil than spreading with butter (must be the Italian in me).
In baking- sorry but it pretty much has to be butter for most baked products.
My philosophy- moderation in All things.
After all, generations before us used butter (and lard, dare I say) and they were less plaqued with heart disease and fat than we are today.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Colleen: I was weaned on butter and I do miss it! I'll use it on corn-on-the-cob, though!!

Meno: Yes, I don't think it would ever be a problem when you use so little. It is for me since I use more than I should anyway. I hate those e-mails to! I just had to put mt 2 cents worth in there!

Twilite:I used to do that too, go back and forth, not knowing what's right. It probably won't matter to you, but for me, with the clogged arteries, I just can't ignore what cardio doctors are telling me. You're right about moderation!

Gewels: Sounds like it works for you! Butter definitely tastes better and I'd be eating it too if it weren't for my poor artery health.

I've often wondered about the heart health of our previous generations. They did eat lard, but exercised more so maybe it balanced out for them. Doesn't seem to be the case for us, especially kids and the diets they have with fatty junk foods. All my grandparents died of heart attacks, but there were certainly much fewer cases of cancer then.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Blogger Bob said...

my wife grew up on margarine and prefers the taste to butter. I prefer to cook (especially bake) with butter. I believe that as long as (the generic) you are eating a balanced diet and have a moderate exercise program you can continue to eat things like butter. For those such as yourself that already have problems with cholesterol and continue to want to eat butter, cut something else out of your diet to balance.

same as others above - moderation in all things.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Blogger Mona Buonanotte said...

I eat both. Butter is much more expensive, so I use it for occasions and when it's on sale. Margarine for every day. Olive oil every day.

Sounds like that butter thing was a scare tactic from the Dairy Council, to get people to plunk down $5 for a pound of butter. Ooh, that's the cynical me.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Blogger Barbara said...

I grew up with a mother who absolutely refused to eat margarine of any kind and went through tubs of butter. I'm married to a man who is lactose intolerant and we choose to use Canoleo, a margarine made from canola oil. In addition to being lactose-free, it is free of the bad types of fat commonly found in other margarines. And it actually tastes quite good.

Great and informative post!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Blogger Diana said...

I absolutely loved this!

I'm lucky in that I have no health problems that would prevent me from eating either. I mostly cook with olive oil, use butter for baking (don't do much aside from bread as we don't need to eat all the goodies) and for rolls at holiday meals. Oh! and on popcorn. Popcorn must have a drizzle of butter in my book, but that's like once a month or less.

I need to see if your olive oil margerine is availiable here. I've been using a yogurt-based low fat margerine. Seems like a good compromise.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Blogger Rapunzel said...

I use olive oil for the most part, butter for other things but in moderation. I don't like margarine, haven't had it in the house in years.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Blogger Richard said...

Well, the e-mail is filled with a lot of erroneous information and sensationalism and for that reason I consider it garbage. Notwithstanding that I stand on the butter side of the argument.

Margarine was developed in France when Napoleon III asked for an inexpensive substitute for butter be developed for the poor, but it was not terribly appealing (it did get more appealing over time - eventually, good marketing (wrapping it in foil, because butter came in foil, and foil meant quality) and health scare (cholesterol kills) made margarine more popular).

I avoid hydrogenated margarine (hydrogenation is a process in which the oil is solidified by adding hydrogen to it - it is a lot like burning, but using hydrogen instead of oxygen. Nickel tends to be used as the catalyst).

Recently it was discovered that not all margarines are created equal. Of course, this did not stop scientists proclaiming that all cholesterol was bad and needed to be eliminated. Of course, replacing it with hydrogenated margarines probably worsened the matter. It just took 30 years for the second half of the story to catch up (likely after a lot of damage was done).

I also dislike canola oil, I do not like the taste or smell. Finding non-hydrogenated, non-canola oil margarines is really, really tough, so I stick with butter - which I like better anyway (although, margarine spreads better straight out of the fridge).

While on the topic of omega-3 and 6 oils, corn oil has more than canola.

I think a lot has to do with a balanced diet and lifestyle. Let's face it, a high-(carb / far / or protein) diet with a couch potato lifestyle is not going to do any wonders for your health.

Eat sensibly, exercise regularly and barring and genetic predispositions, you should be fine.

Of course, in your case, diabetes already affects your food choices.

In Quebec, margarine is always white. It is against the law to colour margarine like butter.

While I love science, I take the news and results and compare it against what I know and understand. One problem with scientists is that they suffer from tunnel vision - if it isn't published in a peer reviewed journal, then it hasn't happened.

Science, like every other institutional organization, exists to preserve orthodoxy, not to challenge ideas (notwithstanding the protests my scientist friends will make at this assertion).

Monday, April 16, 2007

Blogger gr said...

As long as they take out the trans fats, yeah, I have lactose intolerance and no choice in the matter. Basically the stuff we get is whipped olive oil and really good.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Blogger TopChamp said...

I really don't like the taste of margarine, so I'd rather do without any spread than use it.

Butter is great - but hard to spread on bread.

So: For me it's butter or nothing.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Bob: Yes, I suppose you're right and I could eat a bit of butter, but I'm afraid I'd get really hooked and want to use it a lot. I already find it tough to limit cheese and eat the lower fat cheeses.

Mona: I grew up with butter and admit that it tastes better. I think it was a scare tactic...they had to do damage control.

Barbara: They told me in my cardiac rehab that canola was by far the best. It doesn't taste to bad but I love the olive oil based margarine.

Diana: Thanks, Diana! Popcorn is much better with real butter and so is corn on the cob! I splurge when I eat out and have butter on rolls. I'd be surprised if you couldn't find an olive oil based margarine there. I use it to bake with and it's fine.

Rapunzel: I thought I'd never switch over. I bought reduced fat butter but it is still far worse for my heart. I'm used to it now and really like the taste.

Richard: Thanks for this. I'm sure the battle over butter will continue as each side seeks to win the consumer/buyer. I really like the olive oil margarine and I'm glad we're allowed to colour it like butter! Someone was saying they didn't like the additives in margarine and I'm not aware of any harm they cause. The Cardiac Program people really stressed to us cutting down on cream, butter, eggs and cheese. You can find some lighter cheese that's okay, but even that has a fair bit of cholesterol. I use the omega eggs.

Gr: I'm with you on that olive oil! No smell and tastes great!
What's it called? Diana (above) wanted to know.

Topchamp: That's what I used to say but I'm getting to like it. Margarine is great to spread right from the fridge.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Anonymous Coll said...

I love the taste of real butter on food but rarely eat it any more. Becel Margarine is our spread of choice. But even with that.. we use it sparingly. (except when it comes to popcorn) :-)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Blogger Annelisa said...

lol... loved your answers!

I do agree with you that margerine might well be healthier, but I enjoy the tast of butter better. So, what I do is to eat margerine on bread or sandwiches, when I have another topping and I have butter on toast on it's own, as its own topping.

When I'm baking, I usually use margerine, more because you can be quite cheap baking margerines. But if I'm cooking, I'll use olive oil...

funny, isn't it. But, what it comes down to is that I think nothing should be had to excess, or to the exclusion of something else that might have other benefits (including taste :-) )... moderation in all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blogger Abigail S said...

I prefer butter because of taste. I can't stand the smell of margarine. Makes me sick.

But I do agree that margerine is healthier for you.

In my opinion, everything slowly kills you and makes you sick, so just eat whatever. (not really smart, but oh well!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Coll: yeah, popcorn and corn-on-the-cob! We use becel too...the olive oil one.

Annelisa: I love your plan for toast toppings...Sounds good to me! You're right about the can't tell when it's margarine.

Abigail: Spoken lke the young person I usd to be! I still love butter and I always hated that margarine smell.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blogger mystic rose said...

that was informative... and good observations, moi! yep FRUIT flies indeed! exactly what was going on thru my mind.

i think ost of us have learnt ot be anyway cautious about anyhting new on the market, even approved drugs... and its beena safe loooong itme for maragarine to show its true nature.. :P.

i have to say though i use only butter, but i hardly cook with it.
its just for the kids' toasts.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Mystic: It does taste good on toast when there is nothing eles on it but I have come to like a certain margarine.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Blogger Emma said...

Wow, this was a great post. I've received the same email.

Yuck, who wants to eat plastic! Let’s get technical for a moment. Plastic is a polymer, whose ingredients may include polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, acrylic, silicone, and urethane. Margarine is an emulsion of naturally processed vegetable oil, water, salt, vitamins, and other functional ingredients that ensure the safety and quality of the finished product. Emulsions consist of two or more ingredients that naturally do not remain blended or “in suspension”; and need added ingredients to keep them together; think of it like oil and water. Other types of emulsified foods that you may eat include deli meats and salad dressings.

Living a healthy lifestyle includes eating moderate amounts of various types of foods. The margarine industry has been in the forefront of reducing the amounts of trans fat, and adding more functional ingredients to its products to support health. I've been working with the National Association of Margarine Manufacturers so I've learned a lot about this particular topic. In addition, heart disease runs in my family so I have a personal interest in the subject as well. Check out the links below for more information:, and

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Anonymous Jackie said...

How can margarine (a man manufactured substance) ever be healthier? Anything modified that substantially and created by changing the structure through heating etc is NOT good for your body. The reason so many have Poor health as of late is because they eat things that are so far removed from their natural state. You want to be healthy? Eat things as close to their natural state as possible and stay away from anything modified and cooked by man. Limit animal fats and processed foods. Eat natural grains: quinoa, amaranth, oats in whole form, vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, pure pressed organic oils (coconut and olive), eggs, lean organic meats. Don't eat anything packaged due to salt, sugar and additives you don't want to know about. Be active and think before you put things in your mouth. People have health problems due to packaged cereals, microwave popcorn, store bought bread, gluten, pesticides to name a few. I doubt a little butter caused anyone's heat arteries to clog. Cholesterol production is actually due to your bodies natural response to an inflammatory environment. It is our bodies natural bandaid. I would look to reduce the inflammatory environment first and foremost. Change your entire way of living and eating (which will be contrary to popular opinion). There is no reason why everyone is so unhealthy when in our rich nation we have access to the freshest produce ever in history. We listen to those who stand to make a dime from our consumerism and lazy ways. Question popular belief as it does not seem to be working. Afterall, Remember..."the definition of insanity..."

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


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