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The Difference Between Butter and Margarine

Both butter and margarine have their good points and bad points when it comes to your health. Usually, people who are diet or price conscious will lean towards margarine instead of butter. But is margarine really that good for you? Let's look at the differences between the two.



  • Butter is created from cream which rises to the top of milk if it sits for a period of time. Through the process of churning the cream, a chemical reaction takes place which makes the cream begin to solidify.
  • Butter is an excellent source of vitamins A, D, E, and K. None of these fat-soluble vitamins are found in margarine.
  • The best quality butter is made from certified raw cream. Certified raw butter is made up of healthy fatty acids.
  • Toxic metals or trans-fat is not found in butter.
  • It is a dairy product, but is actually easy to digest to even the most dairy sensitive people. Butter doesn't contain milk sugar or milk protein which are the main allergens found in dairy products.
  • Contains dietary cholesterol as well as saturated fat. These are two cholesterol raising components. Dietary cholesterol is found in animal-based products not plant-based.
  • According to the Cleveland Clinic, a healthy person should intake up to 200mg of cholesterol each day. Butter has 33mg of cholesterol in one tablespoon.
  • When it comes to saturated fat, butter has plenty and that could be a problem. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and found in high-fat dairy products as well as red meat.
  • A saturated fat increase in diet can contribute to heart disease.
  • A healthy intake of saturated fat is 10-15 grams a day. One tablespoon of butter has over 7 grams of saturated fat.


  • Margarine is made from vegetable oil that has been extracted chemically and refined.
  • In order to actually make margarine, the oil must be solidified to some degree.
  • The solidifying process begins when hydrogen is bubbled through the vegetable oil at a high temperature. This saturates some of the chemical bonds, resulting in a solid product at room temperature.
  • It has less saturated fat than butter.
  • Margarine contains trans fats that lower good cholesterol and raise bad cholesterol.
  • According to the Cleveland Clinic, one tablespoon of margarine has 3 grams of trans fat and 3 grams of saturated fat.
  • Vitamin E is destroyed in the oil.
  • Margarine contains nickel as well as other toxic chemicals if consumed in great proportion. If Nickel is consumed in excess, it could lead to kidney disease, lung cancer along with other conditions.
  • The more solid margarine is at room temperature, the more trans fat it contains. Margarine in a stick form has 3 grams of trans fat while margarine in liquid form or in a tub has 1-2 grams.

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