Margarine vs Butter: Which is Better?
Very often we hear about how margarine is not as good as butter – margarine is not healthy, it’s not good for us etc. But is that true? Similar to our other article on the difference between Couverture and Compound Chocolate, we at Essentials have done our research and came to a conclusion. But first, before we go on what’s what – let us first understand what is Butter and Margarine. And how do they come about.
What is Butter?
Butter is a dairy product made by churning cream. The churning process separates the butterfat (the solids) from the buttermilk (the liquid). And since, at its core, butter is made from one ingredient, it can be made at home. A few examples of good butter brands are Golden Churn Pure Creamery Butter, Anchor Tinned Butter, Kerry Gold Pure Irish Butter and Isigny Sainte-Mère Rolled Unsalted Butter.
What is Margarine?
Margarine is a non-dairy product created as a substitute for
butter. While originally made from animal fat in the 1800s, today the primary ingredients include vegetable oil, water, salt, emulsifiers, and some also include milk. It’s important to know that not all margarine is created equal.
There are variations from brand to brand, so it’s important to read the label. Unlike butter, margarine isn’t something that can be made at home. An example of a popular margarine brand in Malaysia is Planta Margarine.
Butter vs Margarine. Which is better?
Now that we know what makes butter and margarine – it is then safe to say that butter is rich in saturated fats hence, trans-fat free -because it comes from dairy, and margarine contains high in trans-fat, but it is cholesterol-free. So which is better? Trans-Fat Free or Cholesterol-Free?
Butter is composed of saturated fat, which is bad for health. And Margarine contains trans fats which may increase the bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and reduce the good cholesterol levels (HDL). So which is the lesser of two evils? It all boils down to one’s diet.
As far as which one is better, your best bet is to just use whichever one you choose in moderation.
If you have to go for butter, we recommend you to go for butter made from milk of grass-fed cows. The health effects of butter largely depend on the diet of the cows it came from. Butters from grass-fed cows contains many nutrients such as Vitamin K2, Omega-3 and etc. On the other hand, if you are going with margarine, you may choose the ones that come with trans-fat free labels. Soft tub and liquid margarines contain less trans fat than harder stick margarines. They also are lower in saturated fat and calories than stick margarine or butter.
Hopefully, this article has been useful in helping you decide which product you should go for in the battle of margarine vs butter. If you’re interested in more articles do check out our Ultimate Guide to Baking Soda and Baking Powder and Top 4 Must-Have Hari Raya Cookies.
On a side note, if you’re interested in purchasing butter or margarine online, feel free to browse through our diverse variety of affordable yet high quality baking and cooking supplies at Essentials MY.