Is Butter Better than Margarine?

Everyone is jumping on the "get healthy" bandwagon. I think that's fabulous! But, when I see a perfectly nutritious salad drowning in dressing or perky green beans swimming in melted butter, it makes me sad. All those extra calories and saturated fats may taste good, but it really negates the healthy factor, you know?
Do you choose butter or margarine? Photo: SXC


But, sometimes you simply need a little extra flavor. I understand.

I used to be a margarine girl. I loved the faux butter spreads, some made with yogurt, that promised the delicious taste without the side effects of butter. But, in the last several years I've switched to butter for its limited ingredients and flavor.

But, really which is better for us? I turned to a few experts and here's the 411 on butter vs margarine:
  • Margarine made without trans fats (which are man made) are more heart healthy and lower in cholesterol than butter, which is made from animal fats, according to the Mayo Clinic's Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D.. Look for a spread low in calories and low in saturated fats.
  • The Cleveland Clinic also steers patients toward margarine over butter. It claims, "Keep in mind, margarines contain greater amounts of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils which helps reduce bad cholesterol when used to replace saturated and trans fats."
Despite these findings, I still like my butter. There's something about being able to read the ingredient list without stumbling over 12-letter ingredients. Butter really only needs to contain cream and salt.

I think the key is enjoying butter in moderation.

Which do you use: butter or margarine? Or, do you forgo fats and stick to seasonings and herbs to add flavor to your meals?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Each day during April (excluding Sundays) I will be posting a blog related to a specific letter of the alphabet. Stop back tomorrow, join this site with Google friend connect, or sign up for email reminders on the top, left side of this page to keep up with what I've got cooking!

13 comments:

  1. I am a butter girl, never even buy the other! Margarine tastes funny and it melts all watery...

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    1. Oh Jen, I agree! When I was a kid I used to call some margarine "tire butter". I thought it tasted like dirty old rubber tires! Now, how in the world would I know what tires taste like? Weird kid!! LOL! ~Angela

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  2. Butter and it must be unsalted :)

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    1. I don't pay much attention to whether or not it's salted. Hmmm. I need to actually add salt to my diet for health reasons, so I probably should! ~Angela

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  3. I'm a butter girl too - I just don't see how forcing fats and water to emulsify using chemicals in margarines and spreads can be a good thing! Great post! Sarah :0)

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  4. butter better be bettah...lol(New England accent-oops)
    I use to be a margarine gal...no more!
    Actually I mix butter with olive oil and make a blend and put it in the fridge~

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    1. LOL! So, I have never heard of mixing butter and olive oil. Does that make the butter stay soft and more spreadable? I need to do this! Do you use a food processor, or mix by hand? I'm curious!! Thanks! ~Angela

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  5. I go back and forth between the two as I don't use much of either. I admit to using a fair amount of extra virgin olive oil and can't see that changing lol.

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    1. I'm an EVOO girl too! I use it for baking, sauteing, roasting, etc. I save butter for things like toast and baked potatoes! ~Angela

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  6. I'm with you Angela, butter it is instead of margarine for daily use, and use sparingly. However if I've to use more fat in a cooking, I'll use vegetable oil instead, or margarine and butter when making cookies. Then the eating has to be sparingly. But like Tracy, my weakness is olive oil, I love its nutty taste, in dips and as salad dressing ... yup, no changing there too ;)

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    1. I also use vegetable oil in baking! Sometimes butter is just too rich if that makes sense! ~Angela

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  7. I am a firm believer in the moderation philosophy. Butter for me thanks. I am a good Scandinavian farm girl after-all.

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