Butter or margarine, which one is the healthier option? Despite being weaned off eating full fat butter in the Eighties when margarine was first promoted as the healthier option of the two, we have now come a full circle. By now most of us have heard the argument for returning back to butter, but are you convinced?
Below our Naturopath explains the margarine making process and lets you decide what pack you will be grabbing when next at the supermarket:
The process of converting a liquid vegetable oil into the solidified product we call margarine begins with the oil being extracted from soy beans, corn, cotton seed or canola seeds by high temperature, pressure, hexane and other solvents. The oils, now rancid, are steam cleaned which removes all vitamins and antioxidants, leaving pesticides and solvents intact. This mixture is then mixed with a nickel catalyst and is subjected to hydrogen gas in a high-pressure, high temperature reactor (hydrolysed). Soap-like emulsifiers are then mixed in and the oil is again steam cleaned to remove the horrible odour and bleached to remove the grey colour. Now artificial flavours, synthetic vitamins, the preservative EDTA, citric acid (a source of MSG) and yellow colour is added.
This chemical bomb is then packaged and advertised as a health product often with endorsements such as a heart tick. These spreads then add to our over consumption of omega-6 oils, which have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and may contribute to cancer, asthma, osteoporosis, inflammation, depression and other ailments.
Alternatively, butter (especially when made from grass-fed cows) is rich in beneficial conjugated linoleum acid (CLA) which is known to help fight cancer and diabetes. It is a natural whole food product that contains lecithin, vitamins (Vitamin A, D, E and K2), minerals (manganese, chromium, zinc, copper, iodine and selenium), is balanced in its omega-3 to omega-6 ratio and when used in moderation can be included in a healthy diet.
So, your choice. What will you be spreading on your piece of toast or tossing through a bowl of vegetables?
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