Butter vs. Margarine (Heart Health)
If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, you may be thinking about switching to margarine. Why? Butter is high in saturated fat, which raises blood cholesterol more than anything else you eat. On the other hand, most margarines are made from vegetable oils that are hardened through a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation forms a type of unsaturated fat called “trans” fat that appears to raise blood cholesterol more than other unsaturated fats, but not as much as saturated fats.
There are now margarines available that contain no “trans” fats. You can also read food labels and choose margarines that contain liquid vegetable oil as the first ingredient (rather than hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil) and the least amount of saturated fat. While changing from butter to margarine may be a small change, these tiny tweaks in your diet can affect your cholesterol levels â€” and your health â€” in enormous ways.