Since margarine was first invented in the 1860s as a cheaper alternative to butter, debates have swirled about which is healthier.
Before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the use of partially hydrogenated oils in processed foods like margarine, trans fats — which are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil — were a major health concern.
Trans fats raise low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol, while lowering “good” high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. It also increases the risks of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Now that you’ve stopped using these oils, which one is really healthier?
One recent comparative study Fatty acid content in 83 margarine and margarine – mix with butter. Researchers have found that trans-fat-free margarine is better for your heart and therefore the healthiest.
why is that? Nutrition experts say it has to do with the levels of saturated fats in food products.
Excess saturated fat, which is usually solid at room temperature, can raise “bad” cholesterol — which increases the risk of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.
Margarine and butter products have less saturated fat and more trans fat than regular butter, Cecily Webber, a nutrition intern at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, told US News & World Report.
She added that bathtub and pressed margarine are the best options because they contain less saturated fat than margarine. It’s the saturated fats that give margarine its strongest shape at room temperature.
Weber and her colleagues found that after the ban, margarine and butter products were not only free of man-made trans fats, but also had significantly lower levels of saturated fat and cholesterol.
Weber emphasized that the margarine sold in the United States today is healthier than it used to be, but it still needs to be eaten in moderation because it contains some saturated fat and a high amount of calories per serving size.
When buying food, look carefully at nutrition labels and pay close attention to the types of fat, cholesterol levels, and calories in each product.