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There seems to be a lot of misinformation circling the Internet about butter and margarine. Well, here’s the deal. Margarine is made from vegetable oils, so it contains no cholesterol. The bad thing about this is that margarine / vegetable oil is synthetically made. Unlike olive oil, vegetable oil does not come from vegetables.  Butter, while dairy, is technically made from animal fats so it isn’t good for you if you have high cholesterol.

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The Mayo Clinic has commented on the great Butter vs. Margarine debate. They say, “Some margarine contain trans fat. In general, the more solid the margarine, the more trans fat it contains. So stick margarines usually have more trans fat than tub margarines do. Trans fat, like saturated fat, increases blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. In addition, trans fat lowers high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol levels. So skip the stick and opt for soft or liquid margarine instead.”

I wouldn’t recommend one over the other until we consider your full health and wellness background and goals. Options like yogurt butter also exist and may be appropriate. Also, you have to consider what you’re using the butter or margarine on.  For example, toast with avocado right now is really trendy, delicious and an excellent source of healthy fats. This trend beats out both margarine and butter.  If you’re greasing a pan for a veggie casserole, olive oil is the better option. For baked sweet potatoes you can use a small amount of butter, margarine, yogurt butter, or honey and cinnamon.

All this said, there is no winner. Moderation, the type of food, and your health circumstances all have to be accounted for before declaring one type of fat over the other. As a rule, saturated fats aren’t the best for you but some stick margarines aren’t any better.

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