The FAT Facts: Butter vs Margarine

When you’re in the dairy aisle in the supermarket, how often do you see a butter product being marketed as ‘healthy’? Almost never. It’s always the margarine alternative that boasts of health benefits, but the reality is that butter can actually be better for your health.

Some margarine are so similar to butter it can be hard to tell the difference. But don’t let the buttery smell and colour fool you. The substance that creates margarine is nothing more than a scientific process, which created something that has proven to be incredibly bad for our bodies – trans fats.

Margarine was created as a cheaper alternative to butter and started being mass produced in 1903 when it was found that adding hydrogen to vegetable oil turns it into a more solid, spreadable product. Margarine was much cheaper to produce than butter and so became a popular product.

The effect trans fats have on our body was not recognised by the early manufacturers, but in recent years studies have shown that trans fats act differently in the body to saturated and unsaturated fats, both of which we need for our body to function properly.

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