Guest Post from Abdi-Karim Berleen/Personal trainer in Loughton: Butter or Margarine?

May 19, 2014

Guest Post from Abdi-Karim Berleen/Personal trainer in Loughton: Butter or Margarine?


Let’s start by talking money. Butter is pretty much a commodity, which means it has high production costs and small profit margins. On the contrary margarine is made from low cost ingredients and hence has a huge profit margin.


Margarine manufacturers will make health claims backed up by research. It could be anything from less calories than butter, to claims that their brand can lower cholesterol and heart disease. How about this one, less saturated fats?


It is not a coincidence that human breast milk is made up of 48% saturated fats, 33%  monounsaturated and 16% polyunsaturated fats. This is a clear indication that saturated fats are not as bad for us as we have been made to believe. Mother nature is not often wrong.

Once there is money involved you can prove anything with science. By all means, look at the research but remember to always ask yourselves questions such as: who paid for this study?


As we have been consuming natural fats for thousands of years without any problems, can they really be as bad for us as we are being told? The food industry and the medical industry tell us that saturated fats are the bad fats whilst promoting artificial products containing man-made trans fats.


I personally believe that if you avoid artificial substances such as preservatives. artificial colourings, flavourings and trans fatty acids then it must be better to go for the natural alternative. Margarine is processed; to make it solid it is hydrogenated. Margarine is a substitute for the real thing and the colour that margarine has is not even real – it is artificial, to make it visually more appealing and to resemble butter. I strongly believe that butter is a better choice than margarine.


When choosing butter you need to make sure that you go for a high quality brand. The most important thing is that the cows that produced the butter were grass-fed. If you can get hold of unpasteurised butter that would be a better option otherwise Kerrygold butter is from grass-fed Irish cows. Or even better, go visit your local farm and then spend your money there. Unfortunately the packets of butter that you find in the supermarket won’t reveal whether the butter is grass-fed or not. I actually had to email different producers to find out which butter to buy.


Butter unlike margarine contains primarily medium chain fatty acids. Medium chain fatty acids will be utilized first when your body is looking for energy sources. So even if butter has got more calories than margarine, it will not make you fat. Instead it can actually help you to burn more fats. Margarine made from vegetable oils consists mainly of long chain fatty acids. Did you know that long chain fatty acids are the ones that are stored in your body as fats? Not to mention, butter also has anti-inflammatory properties.


To expand a little further on this I want to talk about cooking oils. Polyunsaturated cooking oils have been around for just over 100 years and just like the case with butter, these oils are manufactured using very cheap ingredients such as seeds, soy beans and corn. When the big companies wanted to sell these oils they pushed the health claim of “saturated fats are bad for you and polyunsaturated fats are good for you”. Since then heart disease and obesity are more rampant than ever.


Up to this day, very sadly, the health officials still tell patients to use polyunsaturated fats and margarine instead of natural fats. The scariest thing about all is that it is the food industry and the medical industry that are laughing all the way to the bank. We are simply not being told the truth, instead we are being told that natural fats will clog up our arteries (and lots more propaganda). Very, very shocking indeed.


By: Abdi-Karim Berleen/Personal trainer in Loughton

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