With so much having been studied and written about the butter versus margarine debate, it is a wonder why the discussion still rages. When examining which foods to eat are better, making a case for why we should be using margarine at all if we truly have dietary concerns is like making a case for hot dogs as a health food: no matter how you slice it margarine will not be healthy for our bodies. So to establish which foods to eat are better, first we will examine margarine, then butter.
As for margarine, what is it that should eliminate it from being something we should eat? Although the inherent harm of margarine, unlike cigarette smoking, is not obvious, one would become more skeptical if we were to examine the process by which it is produced. There is nothing natural about it, as the process starts with cheap oil, such as cottonseed oil, and is sent through the hydrogenation process, where hydrogen molecules are forced into oil molecules under high heat and pressure, with the use of nickel as a toxic catalyst. It is then bleached and deodorized, artificially flavored and colored with yellow dye. The whole process does not give off pleasant thoughts. Some advocates of margarine claim that there is a lower trans-fat alternative with soft margarine, which again using the cigarette analogy is like saying low tar cigarettes are good for you. What we all should endeavor to feed ourselves is natural, not manufactured, products that our bodies through many generations of evolution are designed to ingest.
Butter, when deciding which foods to eat are better, in comparison to margarine has the same amount of calories. It increases the absorption in the body of many other nutrients, and has nutritional benefits in itself, plus it tastes better than margarine and enhances the flavor of other foods. Where it has traditionally taken a rap is its slightly higher content of saturated fats. Butter being from animals will score lower on fat-loss scale than products derived from plants, but there is recent evidence that this does not have to be an automatic disqualifier. If consumed in moderation, saturated fats actually can help in the body in the utilization of Omega 3. Additionally, recent research has suggested that the small amount of natural Tran’s fats in butter can be beneficial for health, and have anti-cancer properties. Finally, if you use organic butter, that is, butter that contains no pesticides or antibiotics, it scores not at all badly in its health benefits versus its risks. I think we can reasonably assume that the debate on the health benefits of butter will continue as new data and research comes available.
So when deciding which foods to eat are better, butter or margarine, our opinion could not be clearer: stay away from margarine at all costs. Butter, especially organic, is okay, as long as it’s used in moderation and if you are intent on using one or the other. However, in our research we have found that for cooking or the preparation of any foods where the option presents itself, we find that olive oil is the way to go. It is a staple in the Mediterranean Diet and its health benefits are becoming more pronounced. But be aware that olive oil is high in calories, so use it in moderation, and also remember you can’t make unhealthy foods healthy merely by adding olive oil to them.
For more information on detox diets have a look our website at http://healtheybalanceddiet.com/. Our goal is to inform those people who are trying to lose weight on comprehensive, realistic programs for weight loss. We are definitely not into quick-fixes, but programs that involve proper diet, cardio work, and muscle tone. Rich Carroll is a writer and health advocate now living in London.
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