Actually, Margarine May Be Worse Than Butter
New study re-analyzes decades-old research
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2013 11:24 AM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Eating margarine in an effort to safeguard your heart? In what Forbes terms "an exceedingly strange turn of events," it turns out the fake stuff may be worse for your heart than the real stuff. Researchers were able to access previously unpublished mortality data from a nearly five-decades-old study of 458 heart disease patients. The data revealed that while the group that switched from saturated fatty acids (ie, butter) to polyunsaturated fatty acids (in this case, safflower oil and safflower margarine) did indeed see a 13% drop in cholesterol, they were more likely to die from cardiovascular or coronary heart disease.

As the Daily Mail reports, this is the only "randomized controlled study" to look at the increased consumption of omega 6. Also known as linoleic acid, it's found in margarine made from corn, sunflower, safflower, and soybean oil and happens to be the most common PUFA found in most Western diets. The body converts it to arachidonic acid, which can ultimately spur inflammation ... which just so happens to be a leading cause of heart disease. But the Mail spoke with a number of scientists who pooh-poohed the study, with one calling it "enormously underpowered."

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Showing 3 of 77 comments
YankeeJane
Feb 12, 2013 12:49 AM CST
Spot on! I grew up eating margarine because of my Father's heart disease, we had to. Yuck! Now I will not touch the filthy stuff. Real butter in moderation. All foods in moderation. Real sugar, sour cream, cream cheese, cheddar and other cheese, yogurt, etc.. I can't see why any one would prefer tasteless boxed food when, for just a few extra minutes, you can have real food.
dianewelland
Feb 11, 2013 3:38 PM CST
This research study uses data that is more than 40 years old and its reliability is highly questionable. See the statement from Dr. Walter Willett, Chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health at the end of this newspaper article. Mainstream health professionals continue to encourage consumers to lower their saturated fat content and consume mono- and polyunsaturated fats. See the American Heart Association’s statement in response to this Australian research. Today’s typical margarines, now known as buttery spreads, are made from plant-based oils, contain mono- and polyunsaturated fat, less than 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat and no cholesterol. Compare that to 7 grams of saturated fat and 30 milligrams of cholesterol in butter which is made from animal fat and has no mono- or polyunsaturated fats. If your heart could talk it would tell you buttery spreads are still the best choice! -Diane Welland M.S., R.D., Manager of Nutrition Communications, National Association of Margarine Manufacturers
1freeusa
Feb 10, 2013 10:51 AM CST
margarine was developed as a additive to fattn turkeys. because of the high mortality rate, the practice was changed. with the technology, they had to do something with it... hence....its not realy butter. ever notice that insects like flys will not land or magarine. if left in open containers, most varments will not consume it.(dogs are the exception)