Butter vs. Margarine which is better

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People remain quite confused to choose between butter and margarine. There is a lot of controversy on which one is better. Both margarine and butter are used as bread spread. It is used for baking as well as cooking and also added to other meals and soups.

The solid dairy product which is made with milk or churning cream in order to isolate solid elements from liquid is known to be butter. It becomes solid at room temperature. It comprises of milk proteins, butterfat, water and some added salt. Besides cow’s milk, it could be made from the milk of goats, sheep, yaks and buffalo. The color of butter ranges from pale yellow, nearly white and deep yellow. Butter has the density of 911 g/L (0.950 lb per US pint). It could be available in both forms such as unsalted and salted.

Margarine is made from palm fruit oil, canola oil and soybean oil whereas fish oil, flax-seed oil and olive oil could also be used. It is made as the substitute or replacement for butter. It is used for baking, spreading and cooking. It is used as a vital ingredient in doughnuts, pastries and cookies. The fundamental ingredients for margarine are vegetable oil, colorants, emulsifiers and other artificial ingredients. Margarine is hydrogenated due to which it has harder consistency and expands shelf life.

Both have identical amounts of fat, calories and water. Both approximately contain 16 percent of water content and 80 percent of fat content. They have complementary amounts of total fat. Butter has high content of saturated fat whereas margarine has high content of Trans fat. Butter being rich in saturated fats increases the bad cholesterol level when consumed in excess amounts that could result in chances of cardiovascular ailments. Margarine has monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which increase good cholesterol and lowers the chances of cardiovascular ailments.

By considering heart disease, butter is the one which is rich in saturated fat and increase the level of LDL cholesterol aggressively. The older margarines have high content of Trans fats. The new margarines are high in unsaturated fat, low in saturated fat and free of Trans fats. The comparison could be made by looking at the nutrition value of these products. This product should include the information about both trans fats and saturated fats in the product. One should limit the consumption of saturated fat and prevent trans fats.

The manufacturers of margarine have lowered trans-fat from the list of ingredients to make the products healthier. Some use palm kernel oil and palm oil. It aids in managing healthy weight. Margarine with liquid vegetable oil and soft tub butters or yogurt butters are healthier option. The high cholesterol patients should consult a doctor for using plant sterols or stanols margarine.

Not all the margarine, some contain trans fat. In comparison to tub margarines, stick margarines has high content of trans fat. Saturated fat increases the chances of heart diseases due to the high increase in level of blood cholesterol. Moreover, it also lowers good cholesterol levels. So one should choose the liquid or soft margarine. The spread which has less amount of saturated fat and no trans fats, are better. One could limit the intake of calories by reading the Nutrition facts and checking the amount of trans fat and saturated fat contained in it.

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