Fact or Fiction? Margarine is healthier than butter
It depends. Especially if that margarine is filled with artery-clogging trans fat. Most brands of margarine are lower in saturated fat than butter—that’s a bonus because saturated fat tends to raise total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, contributing to heart disease and stroke. But if that very same margarine contains partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils in the ingredients, you are better off using butter.
Trans fats (trans fatty acids) are created when a liquid oil is put through a process called partial hydrogenation to make it a solid fat. It’s usually found in margarine and other processed foods like commercially baked cakes, cookies and crackers.
They’re even more harmful than saturated fat, so eliminating them from your diet completely is a good idea.Trans fats raise both your total and LDL cholesterol levels. If that isn’t bad enough, it also lowers your good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein, or HDL cholesterol) level. In fact, just like saturated fats, trans fats increase your risk of developing heart disease!
Earth Balance and Smart Balance are two of my favorite trans-fat free margarines.