Butter versus Margarine

Steph Wagner

January 18, 2022

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Butter versus Margarine



The great debate on butter versus margarine, which is better?


A member asked this question to our closed Facebook group and several members commented ‘following.’ It’s fair to say this is a great question!

I decided to document my response here so others can see my input (and so I can reference this post the next time someone asks about butter or margarine!)



Shorter answer

This question seems like it should have a simple response, and it does, yet it also has some history behind it. It’s such a great question!

Quick answer: The member is right, butter is more natural. Margarine of the past was higher in trans fat which is not good for heart health. The margarines of today are usually made with vegetable oil or plant based. Butter was found to not be as strong of a link to heart disease as they once thought. In the end, it’s not really a margarine vs butter debate anymore but a matter of keeping it minimal.


Longer answer

Actually, there are whole BOOKS about the history of butter. My guess is you’re not that interested in butter but I linked it just in case. 😊

You may recall in the 1990s low-fat diets were really popular and low-fat foods were the big focus. Research was focusing on fats and learning a lot about saturated fats.

This was around the time egg yolks were recommended to be skipped and we should replace butter with margarine. (Egg yolks are good again).

What they didn’t know at the time was that margarine (especially at the time) was full of trans fat which ended up being more associated with heart health issues.

It seems when you take saturated fat out of butter, it becomes a liquid. In order to put it back into a firm texture, the additives (which are less natural) were causing it to be higher in trans fats.

Oh and guess what! They found out butter isn’t all that bad for heart health in the end.


What I use in my kitchen

In my personal kitchen, I use spray butter. It’s made of vegetable oil and buttermilk. It provides the butter flavor with portion control as it just needs a few sprays. Since I am mostly using spray butter on vegetables, the liquid texture isn’t a problem.

Many margarines on the market now are much better options. You’ll see plant based butter, butter made from vegetable oil or olive oil and so many more options.

But in the end, butter wasn’t as evil as they thought. When it comes to butter or margarine, I would say either but minimal. Another reason why I like the butter spray is that I feel it doesn’t take many sprays!

2 thoughts on “Butter versus Margarine”

  1. Whatever the store has and/or is on sale! It’s often times “I Can’t Believe it’s not Butter”

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