I came across this interesting video looking at how butter is made which inspired me to share it and discuss the age old argument of Butter Vs Margarine.
The question of whether butter or margarine are better for our health is an ongoing controversial issue in the nutrition world.
When margarine was initially developed it was hailed as a healthy alternative to butter. However, manufacturers were using a process called hydrogenation which involves heating oils to very high temperatures in order to make them solid. Unfortunately, this created what we now know as trans fats which raise the “bad” cholesterol in the body and lower the “good”.
Since this was discovered manufacturers in the UK worked very hard to reduce the levels of trans fats in margarine and now most of these products contain only traces of it. The process of hardening these fats without hydrogenating them is now a process called interesterification and involves changing the structure of the fat molecule which is usually done with chemicals and enzymes.
As you can see from the video above butter is also made in a way that involves a fair amount of processing and the addition of quite a lot of salt as well as sometimes preservatives, however it is perhaps still more ‘natural’ than its margarine counterpart.
So what is the answer?
Seeing as in the UK most of our fat consumption comes from foods other than butter and margarine such as meat and processed meat products, fast foods and foods such as cakes and biscuits does our choice of spread really matter?
As long as we remember that most spreads are high in fats and should be used sparingly then I would leave it up to an individual to decide on their own preference.