It has been said that “To prevent heart disease, replace the butter that clogs your arteries with margarine, which is good for the heart.”
Since the mid-1980s, when government health agencies began promoting low-fat, high-carbohydrate foods, margarine has been viewed as an alternative health food to fats like butter. But is margarine a food miracle?
Don’t be fooled by the heart-shaped check marks on the packaging. Not only is margarine no better than butter, but it can also increase your risk for heart disease. Here are why margarine is rancid for the heart; let’s read more to get more knowledge.
Contains Increased Bad Fat
Margarine is made from vegetable oil. Depending on the specialty, this vegetable oil can be soybean oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, or one of the many other vegetable oil derivatives.
Vegetable oils are made from polyunsaturated fats, also known as PUFAs. These fats are easily oxidized (by heat and light), and oxidized PUFAs have been shown to cause more health problems when ingested.
In general, using margarine for cooking, frying, or simply heating can oxidize fatty acids at low saturation. However, even if you don’t heat margarine, heat treatment may damage during production.
Vegetable oils are also rich in PUFAs in the form of omega-6s. High consumption of omega-6 fatty acids has been linked to all kinds of illnesses such as:
- Heart disease
Contains Decreased Good Fats
The main reason people keep buying margarine is that saturated fat is bad. This is a common misconception that has been proven over and over again by doctors and scientific researchers.
However, it is still not the main point that saturated fat is not harmful and can benefit our overall health. Margarine companies are taking advantage of people’s ignorance on the subject and continue to market low-fat, healthy margarine products. Meanwhile, instead of the saturated fats found in premium butter substitutes for margarine, margarine products contain polyunsaturated fats and trans fats. This all leads to the risk of many diseases, including heart diseases.
Contains Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated fats aren’t the only problem with margarine’s fatty acid profiles. Commercial margarine can contain high levels of trans fat, which can be very dangerous. Trans fats are fatty acids formed during the hydrogenation process, and Hydrogenation turns vegetable oils into fats.
These newly developed fats are highly toxic, and their use has been linked to heart problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Increased inflammation
- Insulin resistance
Although the quantity of trans fats in margarine products has been declining for many years, it is still one of the most visible fats. Food labels allow the product to be declared fat-free if it contains less than 0.5 grams of fat at a time. If you, too, are planning to add migraine to your diet, you should consult a Cardiologist in Karachi.
Lack of Vitamins and Minerals
Unlike butter, margarine lacks essential nutrients such as vitamins A and K. Butter is high in fat-soluble vitamins, and in healthy beef, butter is more nutritious. Some of these nutrients protect us from heart disease.
For example, natural vitamin A is essential for thyroid and heart disease. Butter more contains the antioxidant vitamin E, which can help prevent the breakdown of PUFA fats in your diet. Because margarine is extracted from resistant vegetable oils, the end product lacks nutrients. Some margarine companies now supplement their products with vitamins A and D synthetics.
In terms of strength, butter and margarine are similar, and both have the same benefits as whole oil. But when you look at the differences in micronutrients at the macro level, it’s clear that butter is a more nutritious food than margarine, regardless of the amount of stable fatty acids.
Contains Plant Sterols
Sterols, also called steroidal alcohols, are found in plants and animals, and they can lower cholesterol in humans. Margarine marketers are aware that many consumers are (wrongly) concerned about saturated fat and cholesterol. Manufacturers and retailers take advantage of this risk factor and increase the cholesterol level in their products by adding plant sterols to their margarine products.
If lowering cholesterol is the key to reducing the risk of heart diseases, it may be okay, but it isn’t. But even worse are the potential hormonal effects of plant sterols present in the body.
Consuming these steroids lowers your body’s antioxidant and carotenoid levels, which can lead to cancer and birth deficiencies (some countries require you to follow a cholesterol-lowering diet, and these risks require caution). Animal studies have also shown that low levels of sterols can cause endocrine problems and infertility.
Contains BHT Preservatives
Preservatives have been added to the margarine product to ensure longer shelf life. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is regularly used in commercial products from vegetable oils to achieve this. BHT is generally advertised as safe, but many BHT studies are not. A study found that the drugs stimulated the bladder in mice. Meanwhile, another study identified BHT as a toxin and tumor.
If you and any of your family members have a heart problem and think of adding margarine to your diet, you should not be. And if you are already using margarine and now experiencing any heart problems, you should consult a Cardiologist in Karachi. You can book your appointment with the Cardiologist in Karachi through Marham.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Does margarine block blood vessels?
Butter has more saturated fatty acids that clog arteries, and margarine is a mixture of bad fats and trans fats, so it’s best to skip both fats and use fats like oil. Olive, canola, or safflower.
2. What could be the substitutes for margarine?
- One cup of 60-70% vegetable oil spread or trans-fat-free olive oil spread.
- One cup of beans (ideal for brownies).
- One cup of baby plums (preferably for dark-colored items due to their color).
- One cup of unsweetened applesauce with reduced fat and added vitamin C.
3. Is margarine bad for blood pressure?
Cheese, Margarine, and Mayonnaise, A slice, cube, or a teaspoon of margarine contain enough sodium to raise blood pressure.