NYS Certified Nutritionist

Butter vs. Margarine…Some Answers, At Last

During a 13 year period, about 71,400 women aged 50-79 participated in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study to help researchers finally answer that old question– Is there a health benefit to eating margarine, rather than butter?  A 2016 issue of the journal Epidemiology, reported on this revealing study.

For every teaspoon per day of tub margarine used instead of butter, there was an 8% lower risk of heart attack.  Even better, for every teaspoon of tub margarine per day used, instead of stick margarine, there was a 13% lower risk of heart attack.

My own suggestions to clients include using tub margarines containing no trans fats, with beneficial plant sterols and stanols.  These ingredients come from pine trees or other plant sources, and have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.

If a client is unable to give up butter, I then suggest using a light, whipped tub butter.  It is a good compromise.