Is margarine healthier than butter? Neither is ideal, because butter is loaded with saturated fat, and almost all margarines have some saturated fat and trans fatty acids. However, if you must use one or the other, margarine may be better than butter.
Here are some guidelines:
- Use canola or olive oil instead of butter or margarine.
- Choose soft margarine (tub or liquid) over harder stick forms.
- Choose margarines with liquid vegetable oil as the first ingredient.
- Even better, choose "light" margarines that list water as the first ingredient, because these are even lower in saturated fat.
- If you have high cholesterol, talk to your doctor about using margarines made from plant sterols or stanols. These substances, made from soybean and pine tree oils, can help lower your LDL cholesterol by as much as 20%. The American Heart Association recommends further study for children, pregnant women, and those without high cholesterol.
Another Article states:
When placed side by side, margarine and butter remain similar in calorie count. While butter does contain a bit more saturated fat, it isn't enough to make that big of a difference in our diets. In fact, a recent Harvard study showed that margarine actually caused more heart disease in women than butter did, when eaten in the same quantity. This implies that our systems digest butter more easily than they do margarine. One of the reasons for this is that butter helps us absorb other nutrients better, something margarine is incapable of doing.
Margarine has little if any nutritional value, whereas butter comes complete with nutritional benefits. As mentioned above, it helps us absorb nutrients better, and it enhances the flavor of other foods making us more likely to eat healthier choices, providing we add a touch of butter to them. It seems butter not only helps digestion, but it enhances flavor, and taste good too. As if that were not enough, margarine increases bad cholesterol counts. It actually raises them, often tripling the risk of coronary heart disease in some people.
Aside from this, the chemical make-up of margarine has been manipulated so much that it is only one molecule away from plastic. That's right! Eating margarine is about as close to eating plastic as you will ever get, unless of course you like eating indigestible items. Some people have even gone so far as to test this, leaving margarine out for weeks at a time. It does not decay, attract bugs, or smell in any way. It simply sits there, like a plastic blob, unable to change form.
This is the real test of margarine validity. Why would anyone purposely ingest something that has been chemically engineered to the point of no return? It sits on the grocery shelves, purchased by all who have been deceived of its worth, people like you and me who bought the line that all natural butter wasn't as good as chemically manufactured plastic, commonly called margarine, and created from a contest to be a butter substitute for those of lesser importance; perhaps it should be prized and reserved only for the ones dumb enough to create this stuff and call it food in the first place.
So now I was really confused (and curious) and I decided to research further to see if anyone really did any kind of tests between margarine and butter in terms of leaving them out for 'weeks'.. and lo and behold! - sciencejunkies.com-The Great Butter vs. Margarine “Rot-off” did just that! There were hardly, if any difference in change between the two! The butter was just a bit 'bubbly' on the surface.
It seems the main difference between butter and margarine is that butter is made from animal fat which is saturated fat, while margarine is made from vegetable oils, so it contains no cholesterol. Margarine is also higher in "good" fats — polyunsaturated and monounsaturated — than butter is, but not all margarine is created equally.
It seems neither one is really good but if you must use one, the lighter the better would be best.
As for me, if I had to decide between the two, I would have to go with the butter just for the simple fact that it showed 'signs' of being something more edible than margarine, lol!