In today’s day and age we have many choices available to us as we make out way through supermarket aisles; which brand to choose, which size, which flavour and which one is the healthiest. Then of course there is the question of products manufactured here in the Middle East, or imported products. These are the choices you are faced with when it comes to margarine and butters. So how do you decide which is best?
Most people tend to believe that margarine is the better option when considering what to put on toast in the morning. We have been told through multiple advertising campaigns that margarine is made from polyunsaturated oils. Each tub or stick of margarine is covered with slogans which insist that this tub is free of cholesterol, making it the ideal healthy choice.
At first it was made from animal fat that was used, then fish and vegetable oils, all of these being cheaper options to butter for the lower classes. Now there are several varieties available, from real margarine, to butter blended options and then those that claim they are fat free. Unfortunately what few people stop to consider, that while the margarine might be fat free, if you are eating it over a large baked potato, then your body will convert the unused energy in the carbohydrate into fat.
Buying fat-free margarine isn’t the real issue, when you consider the process of making margarine. The oils need to be hardened, but first they are refined, deodorized, and then hydrogenated. The next step is adding salt and removing excess water in order to make it into that perfect spread for toast, or the ideal cooking consistency.
So at the simplest level, margarine is oil hardened through a chemical process, making the obvious question: is this something your body really needs? There are already enough chemicals in our life which we absorb through our skin, such as in beauty products so it would be beneficial to avoid more. Considering the process, the harder the margarine the greater the chemical process, so if you can’t avoid margarine, the softer versions are the least tampered with, chemically speaking.
Margarine manufacturers delight in reminding us that their products have a lower percentage of saturated fats than butter but what they fail to mention is that this isn’t necessarily an advantage. There is a certain amount of saturated fat which is good for the body since it contributes to your daily energy as well as bringing nutrients to the cells of your body.
Taking this into consideration it becomes more important to consider additional information than what you have in the fine print on the container of margarine. There are aspects you might not have considered, (just like various issues with sunscreen) which are worth taking into account.
Neither butter nor margarine should be major parts of your daily diet since it is like so much else in life; a little is beneficial but too much can be harmful. So sticking with just a bit of butter could be better.
Read more on healthy food options:
Freekah, Delicious Ancient “New Grain”
Recipe: Seasoned Slow-Roasted Tomatoes