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Jun 27, 2014 06:33 AM

Butter versus Margarine

I'm considering switching back to butter from margarine since a recent medical study concluded margarine does not have an advantage over butter in preventing heart attacks and/or strokes.
(Annals of Internal Medicine) May 2014 (?)
Dietary saturated fats no worse than unsaturated fats in preventing vascular diseases.

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      1. I think is only reason this stuff became to be was that it was a cheap alternative to butter, way back in the day.

        5 Replies
        1. re: treb

          And it was thought to be healthier for you. "Experts" would tell you back in the 70's that it was better for you.

          1. re: treb

            It came to be because Emperor Napoleon the III was looking for an alternative to butter for his army.

              1. re: mike0989

                Though I don't have a source, I'm pretty sure trans-fats were invented by German organic chemists, the best in the world at that time. Yes, there was a fat shortage for European poor people then, with marg and shortening being a cheaper alternative.

                1. re: mwhitmore

                  Nope. Studied by the Germans but first invented\ patented by a Frenchman.


                  He never made any money off it and sold it to the Dutch.

            1. Like others, I grew up on maragine, but as an adult, started to weigh the hydrogenation factor of margarine vs. the fat scare factor of butter.

              Butter won for me and mainly what I use.

              I do keep a few stick of margarine around for some recipes tha have to jhave it, but, like Hostess Twinkies , will survive years in my fridge with no problem.

              Naturally made vs. overly processed dyed yellow vegetable oil and water.

              20 Replies
              1. re: jjjrfoodie

                What recipes can only use margarine?

                1. re: c oliver

                  Good question. I'd find different recipes, or adapt the ones that call for it.

                    1. re: Davwud

                      Yes, just use butter instead of margarine. Done.

                      1. re: sandylc

                        It does affect the texture of some baked goods - subbing different solid fats may give you a cookie that's chewier, or crispier, or spreads out more when baking.

                        1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                          Yup. Unless you're in a factory setting where you are looking strictly for consistent product, you'll probably still like the outcome - probably more.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    The original recipe for Buffalo Wings supposedly used margarine:


                    As for me, grew up eating Saffola margarine. I switched to butter the moment I stocked my own fridge the first time. Never looked back.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      Potentially kosher meals to avoid mixing meat and dairy.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        The ones you are making for your kosher in-laws where the dessert you are bringing can be prepared in your heathenly dishes but contain no dairy. That is the only time I'll use margarine. Otherwise it's butter all the way for me. I prefer food over chemicals, thank you very much.

                        1. re: 16crab

                          I guess your in-laws aren't too fussy about the kashruth laws if they'll eat something that's prepared in "heathenly dishes."

                      2. re: jjjrfoodie

                        I too grew up on margarine and have had an extremely difficult time adjusting to the taste of butter. It really is a shame. I cook & bake with it but I put cream cheese on my toast.

                        Maybe I should try some butter from a local dairy instead of generic Kroger brand.

                        1. re: UTgal

                          You must!!! There is a huge difference in flavor. Try Kerrygold salted for everyday use, unsalted for baking.

                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                            I haven't bought salted butter in more years than I can count. No.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              Me either, though there is one exception which is a caramel frosting which works better for me with salted butter. But I have made it twice in my 40 years of cooking.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                For cooking, I agree that unsalted is preferable, so you can season to taste. But for spreading on toast, what's the problem with salted? I tend to use unsalted butter because that's what I have in the fridge, but sometimes I sprinkle a small pinch of salt on the toast as well, to compensate.

                                1. re: Scrofula

                                  I grind fresh, black pepper on my toast, on the rare occasion I eat toast, and my family thinks I'm nuts.

                                  1. re: John E.

                                    I grind fresh black pepper onto my buttered popcorn.

                                    1. re: The Professor

                                      I don't eat much popcorn anymore, but I do the same thing. I recently bought some Penzey's Whole Special Extra Bold Peppercorns that would be great on popcorn, and almost anything else too.

                                  2. re: Scrofula

                                    The problem with salted is that some of us, myself included, just don't like salted butter.

                                  3. re: c oliver

                                    Me either. When I need some salt I just sprinkle some kosher or sea salt to my liking or according to recipe.

                            2. I switched to butter - Irish Butter, yum!