Butter vs. Margarine. Which is best?

butter or margarine

Nutrition experts have varying opinions when it comes to butter vs. margarine.  But for me, it comes down to a quote I heard about 10 years ago in graduate school:

“Who do you trust more: cows or chemists?”

I’m not sure who said this, but I am sure about the answer. Cows! Chemists are impressive, but nothing they create in a lab is gonna make it onto my morning toast.

Here are my reasons for preferring butter:
  • It has only 1 ingredient, or two if you buy salted
  • Butter from pasture-fed cows may contain some heart-healthy fats
  • I think the taste is far superior to any alternative
  • The texture and taste allow you can use less, which keeps calories under control
What to look for when buying butter:
butter or margarine
If you choose margarine, look for:
  • No “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredients list. This is a sign of trans fat. (Even if the label says “No trans fat” there may still be up to 0.5 grams per serving if there is any hydrogenated oil present).
  • Earth Balance (the best choice) or Smart Balance.
  • Spread rather than sticks. Nearly all the sticks contain hydrogenated oils.
  • Organic or Non-GMO.

As with all fats, butter and margarine are high in calories and need to be used in small amounts no matter which you choose.

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  1. I’m right there with you on this one!! I can’t imagine anything else BUT butter on my toast. I also like Earth Balance, which is always in the house for when my brother visits (he’s vegan,) but I usually opt for the rich, buttery flavor that I love. And you’re right, a little certainly does go a long way. Great post! :D