The heart of this eRumor, the
comparison between butter and Margarine, has been circulating since
2005. Later versions added the tidbit about Margarine being
manufactured to fatten turkeys.
We'll go through the email one fact at time but it needs to be kept in
mind that not every Margarine product is the same. There are other
spreads that are loosely called Margarine but may, for example, be part
vegetable oil or a fat-free Margarine product.
was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed The
turkeys, the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a
Payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with
this Product to get their money back. It was a white substance with no
food Appeal so they added the yellow coloring and sold it to people to
use in Place of butter. How do you like it? They have come out with some
clever New flavorings-Fiction!
According to the
National Association of Margarine Manufacturers, Margarine was the idea
of a Frenchman named Hippolyte Mege-Mouriez in response to a request
from Emperor Louis Napoleon for ideas for a substitute for butter.
In 1869 he used margaric acid and the name of his formulation became
known as Margarine. It became a hit in the United States in the late
have the same amount of calories-Truth!
A tablespoon of butter is 100
calories. A tablespoon of Margarine is 100 calories.
margarine can increase heart disease in women by
53% over eating the same amount of butter, according
to a recent Harvard Medical Study-Truth!
We didn't find the
"53%" study, but Harvard School of Public Health has published
a report on this. It says that more than 30 years ago research
indicated that saturated fat (such as in butter) was bad for the heart
and people were told to switch to margarine. A Harvard study of
women between 1980 and 1994 found a significant reduction of heart
disease risk by reducing smoking, hormone treatment, and dietary
improvements including reducing or eliminating saturated fat (such as in
butter.) Further research has shown, however, that some margarines
contained trans fat, which was even worse for the heart than saturated
fat. The report cautions us not to make decisions as a result of
just one study but to consider the body of recent research about an
issue like butter versus margarine.
4. Butter is slightly higher in
saturated fats at 8 grams compared to 5 Grams-Truth!
A tablespoon of butter is 7g
of saturated fat. A tablespoon of margarine is 2g of saturated
butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other Foods-Unproven!
We could not find anything
definitive about this.
Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few only
because they are added!
It depends on what you are measuring.
The advantage of butter is that it is a more natural product than
margarine and does have more vitamin content. But butter is high
in saturated fat, which is associated with increased heart attack
risk. Saturated fats are the ones that are solid at room
temperature and increase the "bad" cholesterol (LDL) as well
as the "good" cholesterol (HDL). The disadvantage of
true margarine is the trans fat level. The more solid a margarine
is at room temperature, the more trans fat it contains, as much as 3
grams per tablespoon. Margarine makers have responded to that by
releasing tub or liquid products that have either reduced or eliminated
trans fats. Watch for the labels. Heart doctors recommend
butter over normal margarine but recommend trans fat free margarines
over butter. It all gets very confusing. There are even
margarine products now that say they actually lower cholesterol.
7. Butter tastes much better
than margarine and it can enhance the flavors of other foods-A
Matter of Personal Taste!
has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for Less
than 100 years-
Margarine was introduced as an
inexpensive alternative in France in 1869, according to a history found
Margarine and Spreads Association
in the United Kingdom.
9. Margarine is high in trans
10. Margarine triples
the risk of coronary heart disease-Unproven!
Although trans fats are to be
avoided, we did not find any research that says that the use of
margarine triples the risk of heart disease.
Margarine ncreases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad
cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol)-Truth!
Increases the risk of cancers up to five fold-Fiction!
We could not find any
substantiation of this claim.
lowers quality of breast milk-Truth!
We didn't find any research on
this but there are studies on how a mother's eating of trans fats
affects the level of trans fats in her milk. One study, for example,
comparing Canadian breast milk to Chinese breast milk found that
Canadian mothers had 33 more trans fats in their milk than the Chinese
mothers. So the quality of the breast milk can be affected by the
consumption of trans fats.
14. Margarine decreases
We found several references to
this including an article by nutritionist Dr. Mary Enig that said that
consuming trans fatty acids "Affects immune response by lowering
effeciency of B cell response and increasing proliferation of T
Actually the trans fat can
increase blood insulin levels, which increases the risk for diabetes.
is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC-Fiction!
We found no support for
this. Perhaps whoever wrote this heard a discussion about the
"plasticity" of margarine. It is "plastic" at
room temperature meaning that the shape of it can be changed when
pressure is applied. That doesn't mean it is composed of what we
normally think of as plastic. It was originally made of animal fats but
increasingly now is made from vegetable oils.