Should You Be Using Butter or Margarine?

By Betchy Crocker

For those of us who eat, there’s a war on between butter and margarine. The recipe may call for margarine, but isn’t butter better? Or, your toast screams for a slather of butter, but isn’t margarine better for preventing fatness?

We needed these answers and more, so, we investigated.

Margarine: Made from vegetable oils and contains unsaturated “good” fats – polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. They help “bad” cholesterol when substituted for saturated fat. Margarine weighs in at about 100 calories per tablespoon and about 11-12 grams of fat.

Butter: Made from animal fat – usually from churning cow’s milk until it becomes solid (DUH) – and, therefore, contains more saturated fat. Like its pal margarine, butter also weighs in at about 100 calories per tablespoon and 11-12 grams of fat per serving. Hooray for spreadable fat and America.

So, which should I use? Ok so, to break it down really fucking simply, neither margarine or butter are GOOD for you, but, we say – when in doubt, go natural.

Some margarine contains a lot of trans fat, which is supposedly evil and has a lot of negative consequences for heart health. It can also be linked to more health issues than just saturated fat on its own and has been shown to lower good cholesterol levels. Butter is a good place to employ the same rules as the Mediterranean diet – natural fats like those found in things like real butter, avocados, olives, and Greek yogurt are okay in moderation – plus, those skinny Italian and French betches are clearly doing something right. Margarine has had its fucking moment, and is more or less on its way out thanks to hipsters and “I ONLY EAT LOCAL EVERYTHING WITH NO CHEMICALS” foodies. Just remember that everything in moderation is more or less okay.

BUT WHAT IF I’M BAKING AND IT CALLS FOR MARGARINE?! As a general note, if a baking recipe for cakes, cookies, pie crusts, or something of the like calls for margarine and you use butter, you may have a less crisp/less flaky product. However, overall you can substitute butter for margarine and vice versa without any catastrophes.





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