Which is Better, Butter or Margarine?

Which is Better, Butter or Margarine?

Gene Millen, Author - Revised 02/13/15

Butter or margarine, which is better?I'm Gene Millen, a Heart Health Coach and the owner of this website with my wife Bernie. A 2012 photo of us is shown above.

More years ago than I can count I enrolled in a speech class to reduce my fear of getting up in front of a group...and hopefully improve my ability to come up with something to say that made sense.

Our instructor assigned us a page of tongue twisters to repeat as quickly as our brains and tongues would allow. The object of this exercise was to improve the clarity of our speech.

As I was reviewing the recent research on the amazing health benefits of butter the following ditty was called forth from the far recesses of my brain.

It goes something like this, "Betty Botter bought a bit of butter to make her batter better."

This gem of inspiration was penned long before the food police came on the scene and voiced the stern warning that butter was evil.

Their logic went like this. Since butter is composed largely of saturated fat and saturated fat was discovered in clogged arteries (along with other kinds of fats) it was deducted that eating butter would lead to a heart attack.

The solution these "experts" came up with to save the world from an early demise was to convert us to a miracle man-made substitute called margarine. During the 1940s the sale of margarine skyrocketed as butter intake dropped from 18 pounds per person annually to four pounds.

In defense of these misguided souls it was not widely known until the 1980s that the hydrogenation process used to make margarine look like butter created a trans fat that increased the risk of heart attack by nearly 200%!

The latest low trans fat "improved" margarines are also designed for shelf life rather than human life. The oils used in their preparation are heated to high temperatures, bleached and deodorized to make them palatable. Margarine turned out to be bitter butter that made Betty Botter's batter bitter.

The Butter Though The Ages website provides us with some interesting history about butter.

"Butter is a culinary treasure as old as King Tut's tomb. Judges 5:25 reads, 'She brought forth butter in a lordly dish'. Pure butter is produced today essentially as it was in King Tut's time, though butter made of milk from cows instead of camels or water buffaloes."

Fast forward the clock about 3,300 years to review just a few of the benefits of butter that have been discovered in recent years.

  • A Medical Research Council survey showed that men eating butter ran only one-half the risk of developing heart disease as those using margarine. (Nutrition Week 3/22/91.
  • Butter has strong anti-tumor effects. The butter from grass fed cows contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) that gives excellent protection from cancer and also helps your body build muscle rather than store fat.
  • Arthritis - The Wulzen or "anti-stiffness" factor in raw butter and also the K2 in butter from grass-fed cows, protects against calcification of the joints as well as hardening of the arteries.

The lesson here is that you better buy some better butter. It will not only make your batter better...it will make you better as well!

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