Jul 30, 2012
Butter Vs. Margarine
By Mama G. LeDish
Seems to me there are two types of households: butter people and margarine people. This is true of doctors as well. While long demonized among American doctors and media, butter advocates are challenging the notion that butter is bad.
Most doctors argue butter is high in saturated fat, therefore it leads to health problems such as heart disease. Makes sense to me. However, there are also doctors who are adamant that there is no evidence to support such a link between saturated fat and higher instances of heart disease and/or stroke (see http://www.viviledish.com/mamaledish/?p=559).
Some doctors believe butter is better because it’s natural and has vitamins, minerals, and fat that keep us healthy and happy. This also makes sense to me because butter (along with food cooked in bacon grease) is a common staple in the diet of the most active and oldest women in my family (my father’s mother just turned 93 and maternal great grandmother lived to be 104!).
There are good arguments from doctors on both sides of this debate. What’s a mom supposed to believe?
Personally, I choose to use butter sparingly for flavor (corn on the cob, toast, and “sometimes” splurges) and prepare foods with oils from plants that produce food I actually eat (mostly olive oil, but occasionally vegetable oil, peanut oil, etc.). I avoid consuming or cooking with oils produced from plants that I would not eat (cottonseed for example—rumors of its toxicity are reportedly untrue, but cottonseeds are not something I would eat so I make choice not to consume its oil).
But I’m not a doctor, dietitian, or scientist, just a mom trying to do the right thing by my family. This week we present well articulated arguments on both sides of the fence regarding butter verses margarine.
Pass the Margarine
Martha Grogan, M.D., makes the case margarine is better than butter, and reminds us that not all margarine is created equal.
Proceed with Caution Either Way
Information published by the Cleveland Clinic explains why both margarine and butter have a bad rap.
Pass the Butter
Stephen Byrnes, ND, RNCP, argues, “Butter is truly better than margarine or other vegetable spreads. Despite unjustified warnings about saturated fat from well-meaning, but misinformed, nutritionists, the list of butter’s benefits is impressive.”
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