What Is Margarine and Why It Is Not the Healthy Choice?

Of all the unhealthy products created as processed supermarket foods took over in our diets, margarine must be one of the worst and quite possibly the strangest and most bizarre in it’s manufacturing process. Here’s why you’ll hopefully go to your fridge right after reading this article, throw that tub of margarine in the bin and never buy it again.

The Margarine Manufacturing Process

What is margarine exactly and how is it made?

To make margarine and the vegetable shortening that is used in huge variety of supermarket foods, the chemical factory starts with vegetable oils extracted from soybeans, corn, cotton seeds or canola under high heat and pressure and with toxic solvents like hexane.

The foul-smelling oil is then treated with acids and caustic soda and bleached for the first time to minimize the very unappetizing shade of dark gray it starts out as. A second high temperature deodorizeration process destroys anything resembling nutrition in the oil and increases the likelihood of it becoming completely rancid.Unhealthy Margarine

Next the oil is blended with a nickel catalyst and hydrogen gas in a high pressure reactor. This forces the hydrogen atoms into the fatty acid molecules, making them solid rather than liquid at room temperature. This process is known as hydrogenation and leads to the creation of toxic trans fats, strongly linked to cardiovascular disease.

From the high pressure reactor, the noxious smelling grey grease that results is filtered to remove the nickel, mixed with emulsifiers and high-temperature steam cleaned yet again.

Because no one in their right mind would eat this grey sludge if they could see it as it’s produced, the manufacturers then bleach it again and add artificial flavors, synthetic vitamins and the yellow color to help it masquerade as butter.

So that’s how margarine is made. The question is, why on earth would we eat something like this? No animal, bird or insect will touch it. Even ants and flies avoid it and yet we’ve somehow been convinced that margarine is the healthy choice. Very little could be further from the truth.

That this dangerous ‘food’ is actually still recommended as ‘heart healthy’ is a testament to how little regard certain foundations have for current medical research, or even basic common sense when sponsorship dollars are involved.Margarine vs butter

Grass Fed Butter Is the Healthier Choice

Butter from cows grazing on grass rather than being fed corn waste from ethanol production is far and away the healthiest type of butter. While it is becoming more popular, you might still have to go to a large health food store or specialty deli to find it. If you can it’s worth stocking up for consistent supply.

Grass fed butter is particularly rich in fat soluble nutrition such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K. It also helps with the absorption of other fat-soluble nutrients like pro-vitamin A carotenoids in vegetables.

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a nutrient that is been shown to aid in weight loss and grass fed butter is considered one of the best sources of it. Other beneficial fatty acids such as lauric acid, glycosphingolipids and omega-3 fats are all found in natural grass fed butter and, on balance, are far and away more important than any concerns about a few extra calories.

Healthy natural foods like grass fed butter can heal and nourish our bodies. The toxic gray sludge that comes out of the margarine chemical plant is now being linked to chronic illnesses like arthritis, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

Replacing saturated fats like butter with polyunsaturates like margarine has also recently been shown to increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Margarine the healthy choice? I really don’t think so.

Did you know how the margarine you’ve been spreading on your bread is made? Now that you do could you still eat it? I’d really like to hear what you think about unhealthy products created like this being called food in the first place and then sold to us as healthy.


Jim Dillan

Jim Dillan is health and wellness researcher, writing about natural nutrition, improving your physical and mental well-being and moving to a healthier lifestyle. His website Superfood Profiles has detailed articles on superfood health benefits, hair and skin treatments and healthy recipes.

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