Margarine vs. Butter - The Debate is Over
When it comes to the margarine versus butter debate, margarine is definitely the winner. Why? Research continues to clearly show that soft margarines are the best choice compared to butter of when it comes to heart health.
Eleven recent studies that directly evaluated the health effects of margarine versus butter have all confirmed that soft margarine is healthier. These 11 studies, involving more than 70,000 individuals, clearly demonstrate the cholesterol-lowering benefits of margarine products compared to butter. Many population studies that looked at the diets of thousands of individuals also demonstrate that margarine consumption resulted in better outcomes than butter consumption. To improve the quality of their health, people should limit saturated fat and cholesterol by selecting foods such as margarine/spreads over butter.
Margarine products today contain 40 percent less total fat, 37 percent less saturated fat and 59 percent less trans fat than a decade ago. These changes have occurred over the years in response to consumer and health professional demand that products be reduced in total fat, saturated fat, trans fat and calories. The softer, reduced-fat or liquid margarines contain lower amounts of saturated and the spray and liquid margarines are trans fat-free (as are some soft margarines on the market today). And, the predominant ingredient in margarine is natural vegetable oil from soybeans.
Margarine is clearly the heart-healthy choice recommended by health professionals and leading health organizations. The American Heart Association (AHA), the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and NHLBI’s National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) have recently confirmed their recommendation to choose soft (tub or liquid) margarine products instead of butter. Health professionals recommend choosing margarine instead of butter as one of the simplest ways people can improve their diets to become more heart-healthy.
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