Spreading the word on butter

Since becoming a Registered Associate Nutritionist in 2016, I have increasingly become an advocate for eating foods that are as natural as possible and by that I mean resembling how foods are found in the natural environment. The more processed a foodstuff, the more it has had a chance to be tampered with, thereby increasing the chance for health to be negatively impacting upon – see my article on ultra-processed foods for more information.

So what are the differences between margarine and butter? Let’s look at some of the facts listed below:

So it is controversial – which should you go for? For me personally, I would always prefer the less-tampered with product, butter.

If you are hesitant about consuming butter, I did see a great way to make your own “margarine” at home - just one warning, the second ingredient after coconut oil is vegetable oil and my recommendation would be to use extra virgin olive oil. I am not a fan of the cheap cooking oils labelled “sunflower oil” or “vegetable oil” (also ultra-processed) for good reasons.


  1. Monteiro et al. (2019). Ultra-processed foods, diet quality, and health using the NOVA classification system.

  2. McGee, H (2004). On food and cooking – the science and lore of the kitchen.

  3. Peters et al. (2016). Total cholesterol as a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke in women compared with men: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

  4. DiNicolantonio, J and O’Keefe, J (2018). Omega-6 vegetable oils as a driver of coronary heart disease: the oxidized linoleic acid hypothesis.

  5. Daniali et al. (2016). Acrylamide formation in vegetable oils and animal fats during heat treatment.

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