Butter is considered by many to be responsible for heart disease, clogged arteries and weight issues. Made from milk, butter is loaded with saturated fats and cholesterol, both of which raise bad LDL levels. When margarine was introduced in the 1800s, it was thought to be an excellent, healthy alternative to butter, with lesser saturated fats and cholesterol. Unlike butter, margarine uses plant oils and water; however, later studies showed that margarine is not without its own issues either. While it does not have saturated fats, it has trans-fats, which have the same adverse affects. Trans-fats lower levels of good HDL cholesterol and raise the bad LDL cholesterol. When it comes to deciding whether butter is better than margarine, we need to consider various things.
Butter has no trans-fats
As mentioned earlier, butter only has saturated fats and no trans-fats. Trans-fats are not natural, and are a result of the processing of polyunsaturated fatty acids. People who consume trans-fats in high quantities are more prone to coronary heart diseases and high blood pressure issues.
Butter is a source of vitamins
Since butter is made from milk and is a dairy product, it includes all the vitamins present in dairy, such as A, D, E and K. These vitamins are vital for bodily functions and reactions, and since these are all fat soluble vitamins, butter actually helps your body absorb them. While it is not possible to meet your daily vitamin requirements with butter alone, it is better than margarine, which has no natural vitamins in it.
Butter is Natural
Butter is made by churning milk fat and sometimes includes a little salt. The color, flavor and consistency is all natural. Margarine on the other hand is manufactured after the extraction of fats from plants. These fats are refined at high temperatures before the addition of hydrogen to solidify them. This whole process results in the creation of trans-fats, which, as discussed earlier, are not good for your health. Moreover, margarine is then treated for artificial coloring and flavor in order to make it taste better.
Is Butter better?
The answer to this question depends on how you use both butter and margarine. While it is true that margarine has trans-fats, the manufacturing processes have improved over the years, resulting in various types of margarines. Typically, the softer varieties of margarine have lesser trans-fats and should be preferred. Likewise, there are types of butter, like whipped butter, which tastes like traditional butter but has lesser fats and is healthier. Neither of the two is a particularly healthy food item, but when it comes to choosing the lesser evil, real butter is a winner.