While growing up I was told that butter was bad for you, it would cause you heart problems and high cholesterol. That is what the television said, that is what the doctors said, that what they told me in school. I believed them….
Then I slowly started to get sick, and with one of the blood test I had done while living in Italy, they found out my cholesterol was high, and that was strange. I am a woman, I was young, I was eating vegetarian, I did not use butter. According to the doctors I should have had low cholesterol, not high…
This started me to question the things I was told and with the internet I started doing my own research.
I started to read how margarine is actually made, just to compare for myself the process between the two.
For butter I knew the process: I was lucky enough to go to a school where we did trips to farms where they showed us how butter and cheese is made. From milk that comes from cows that should have been grazing in the fields. But the treatment of animals bothered me, so did the stories of hormones and the food they give the cows. I am vegetarian, after all.
So to the process of making margarine: they make margarine emulsifying a blend of vegetable oils and fats,which can be modified using fractionation, interesterification, and/or hydrogenation, with skimmed milk, chilling the mixture to solidify it and working it to improve the texture. Margarine is often hydrogenated, to give it a harder consistency and extend shelf life. Hydrogenation turns some of the vegetable oils into trans fats. Then to make it look more like butter so we consumers actually want to eat it, they add coloring.
Just the difference in the two processes disturbed me.
Then I started to research about the cholesterol claims of butter vs margarine, and I came to the conclusion that for my family the best thing would be to replace all the margarine in the house with grass-fed organic butter. Grass-fed and organic because I would like to think that the animals are treated better. As a mother, that was blessed enough to be able to breastfeed my children. I found that when I was stressed while feeding them my children would be more stressed and suffer more from colics. So I realized: if mothers pass their emotions to their children while feeding them, what kind of emotions are those, when the animals we are consuming grew up and lived in stress? What emotions are we consuming if something is almost dead and made in a factory?
So I started to replace all the margarine in recipes with butter, and bake most of the baked good we eat my self.
A few years later when I had to redo blood test in America they also tested my cholesterol. I was told I not to worry about it, as it was in the normal range…
The following article I found for writing this post explains it better then I can from the science point of view http://authoritynutrition.com/butter-vs-margarine/.