Butter vs. Margarine
Here’s a quick post for you after the Canadian long weekend. For those of you that don’t know, we still celebrate the Queen’s birthday. Weird, I know; but I’ll take a holiday whenever I can. Also, people celebrate this holiday with fireworks, and fireworks are awesome.
At least once per month, I get asked “Hey Jay, what’s better for you: butter or margarine?” The easy answer? The one with the fewest ingredients. Let’s look at what makes up these two yellow spreads:
- Salt to taste
- Canola Oil
- Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
- Plant Stanol Esters
- Vegetable Mono- and Diglycerides
- Soy Lecithin
- Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
- Potassium Sorbate
- Citric Acid
- Calcium Disodium EDTA
- Artificial Flavor
- DL-alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate
- Vitamin A Palmitate
- Beta Carotene
In other words, butter is made from natural ingredients, and margarine is made from a ton of shit. I’ve always been pretty logical, but it doesn’t take an aerospace engineer to figure out that if the ingredients are shit, then the final product is probably shit.
A bunch of the ingredients in margarine (particularly the oils) has been shown to actually raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol (the exact opposite of what you really want to happen). There is also a ton of research showing that margarine promotes an increased risk in developing cancer.
For those who only care about weight loss: MARGARINE MAKES YOU FATTER
Opt in for butter.
But Butter is Made from Milk…
If you’ve been following my articles for a while, then you probably know that I’m not a huge supporter of milk unless it is raw, grass-fed organic. The problem is that butter made from this type of milk is hard to come by. Here’s the deal, if you’re going to ingest butter, at the very least, go organic, or skip it.
The toxins in cows are fat soluble. Butter is essentially animal fat. Animal fat is fine to eat if it has no toxins, and is actually very healthy for you if the animal was also raised in a stress free, pasture environment. Knowing these facts, I’ll let you make your own decisions.
The good thing about butter, is that even though it is made from dairy, it doesn’t spike insulin like milk does since it is 99.97% fat. Saturated fat is your friend in moderation if it doesn’t contain toxins.
Why Do People Think That Margarine is Healthy?
Marketing. Think of it this way, if you invented a spread similar to butter, and wanted to make money off of it, what would you do? You’d attack your competition and tell people that it is harmful. Luckily, you have the “healthy” alternative: margarine (…scarcasm…).
Margarine was created in the 1800s, and butter has been around for millennia. As a general rule, avoid most foods created in the past few centuries (with the exception of some supplements), and you will be be healthier than your great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents.
My Times at the Grocery Store
Throughout high school, I worked in a grocery store. Every other Saturday, I had to wake up at 6am to go work in the dairy department. While working in the dairy, I learned a few things: milk stinks, milk in bags will explode pretty easily, and you don’t need to refrigerate margarine or cheese slices (processed cheese).
Often times, when margarine was on sale, I’d have to make a margarine display outside of the refrigerators. For days, the margarine would not be cold, but would still be “safe” to eat. McDonald’s hamburgers have this same why-won’t-I-go-rotten kind of attitude.
The Butter vs. Margarine Experiment
The following image has been floating around the internet. Because of this, I don’t know who holds the true rights of this image, but it is a pretty fantastic visual piece.
The bottom line, if ants won’t eat it, then neither should you.