Today’s topic is inspired by my Grand-Mother who accepted to get rid of her margarine and start eating raw butter again, exactly as she used to do more than 70 years ago…!
1. Margarine: what is it
The way margarine is produced and processed shows how many un-natural and harmful chemicals are used in this cheap butter-imitation spread.
First, a blend of vegetable oils and fats get emulsified, and modified by fractionation, and more often by hydrogenation, of plant fats. Hydrogenation is the result of passing hydrogen through liquid oils and fats, in order to increase their melting point, and “harden” them. Hydrogenation is often obtained with a very toxic and harmful nickel catalyst. Industrials use this process in order to solidify and improve the texture. This “hardening” of vegetable oils and fats leaves some artificially obtained trans-fats (bonds that didn’t get hydrogenated), and these are the villains that improve drastically the risk of Cardiovascular Disease.
Making things worse, to boost the “health” profile of their margarine, manufacturers often add a wide variety of Animals or Vegetable Fats, mixing them to Skimmed Milk (which is DEAD food basically), emulsifiers (like Soy Lecithin, SEE ARTICLE ABOUT SOY HERE), or preservatives.
Margarine has become famous for various unfounded reasons based on profits and misleading studies analysis rather than actual health facts. It became a “great replacement for butter” as Butter was demonized because of its high Saturated Fats nutritional profile. Today we know how good Natural Saturated Fats are, and keeping on advertising this to boost margarine sales doesn’t make any sense (see ARTICLE ABOUT GOOD FATS HERE, or ARTICLE ABOUT CHOLESTEROL HERE). Now the industrials decided to add some Omega-3 to their lab-made margarine, as we know that the ratio Omega 3/Omega 6 is very imbalanced in the Western world: it should be about 1:1 to 1:4, and it is in average about 1:15 to 1:20 in some populations. But again, this is just an illusion. Those plants-derived Omega-3 added to the chemical-laden margarine are obtained through toxic extraction, adding even more toxic components to this already harmful “food-like” substance. And on top of that, those Omega-3 added don’t change anything compared to the big amount of Omega-6 that margarine contains. So at the end, this can only make the ratio Omega3:Omega6 worse.
2. Margarine: the wide list of toxic and harmful chemicals
Once you know the list of the harmful chemicals that are used in the fabrication of the margarine, you will think twice before buying some again for your home, and maybe you won't even want to keep the rest of the tub in your fridge...
a. Trans Fats
As explained earlier, because of the way it is processed, margarine contains a lot of unnatural harmful trans fats. Those fats have a direct impact on:
- Heart disease
- Hormonal imbalances
- Skin disease
- Bones problems
- Growth and Development problem for children
- Low Birth weight
It is important to understand that in nature, there are some natural trans-fats occurring in Butter, for example, or in other animal fats. But MAN-MADE trans-fats, like in margarine, are TOXIC and UNSAFE at any level.
Solvents like Hexane are used in Margarine fabrication, and are VERY DETRIMENTAL and TOXIC to human’s health.
c. Synthetic Vitamins
Manufacturers often add Synthetic Vitamin A to their margarine, again, because they are trying to give some health benefits to this toxic “NON-FOOD”. But these synthetic vitamins (often added to any buttery-spreads), have actually the opposite effect and are quite detrimental compared to the natural vitamin A that natural Butter contains.
d. Emulsifiers and Preservatives
In order to stabilize the mixture obtained, manufactures have to add a mix of emulsifiers and preservatives like BHT for example. These are proven carcinogenic and detrimental chemicals that you don’t want to put into your body….
Yes, exactly. And yes, we are talking about “food” that you are supposed to be able to eat…. The natural color of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils is grey. Because people are supposed to believe that margarine is a “better version” of butter, manufacturers bleach it to make it white. And because good healthy natural butter is yellow, they then have to add some artificial yellow colourings and BINGO! Here we have something that looks like butter but… yes, you’ve got the picture. I wouldn’t even call it food.
f. Artificial Flavors
Because the result of this whole process can not be tasty, manufacturers have to add some more chemicals to it in order to make it taste like good food… That’s how artificial flavors and even odors are added in order to obtain kind of a fake butter-taste substance…
g. Soy Protein Isolate
Non-fermented Soy is VERY HARMFUL (SEE ARTICLE ABOUT SOY HERE). But in order to improve the texture of their substance, especially to add more “body” to “low-trans” fats, manufacturers add this highly processed powder from Soy. This is terrible, because it adds even more harmful components to those margarines! Soy Protein Isolates disrupt your thyroid function, provoke digestive disorders and are at the root cause of many other potentially dangerous health problems.
h. “Cholesterol-lowering” Sterols
Another argument for industrials who want to have you buy their terrible substance, is that it is supposed to lower your cholesterol…. Well first of all, this doesn’t mean anything, SEE ARTICLE ABOUT CHOLESTEROL HERE. Second, lowering your cholesterol is not necessarily a good thing. On top of that, those sterols are estrogen compounds that disrupt your hormonal balance and can impact your health in a very bad way. They induced sexual inversion in animals, so how good can they really be for us…
3. TRUST NATURE AND CHOOSE BUTTER
Natural Raw butter from healthy grass-fed and cows is an incredible health food, rich in many essential nutrients that can have a great impact on your overall health.
Let’s see what the most important components of real natural butter are:
Natural butter is incredibly rich in good bio-available vitamins A, D (see article HERE), E and K2 (see article HERE). Those vitamins are essential, not easy to find in today’s western average diet. The antioxidant effect is highly important to fight off the free-radicals from poor diet and daily stressors.
Butter is a rich source of trace elements, like Manganese, Chromium, Zinc, Copper, Selenium and even Iodine. All of them are crucial to your health, and are often lacking in our food. They help strengthen all essential functions of your body, like the Immune System, the digestive System, the Thyroid function, the Metabolic Function…. Basically anything you can think of. So yes, this is important to know and keep in mind.
c. Healthy Fats
Butter is rich in Short and Medium-chain Fatty Acids, that are extremely beneficial for you at a cellular level. They are key components for your Immune System, they boost your metabolism, they have antimicrobial properties and balance out your Omega 3 / Omega 6 ratio. More particularly Arachidonic acid. This one is essential especially for your BRAIN and your SKIN health.
d. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
In butter obtained from green grass-fed cows, there is a high level of CLA, which is an EXCELLENT protection for Cancer. It also helps your body metabolism, by boosting muscle building rather than fat storage.
Those lipids are fatty acids that help protect your digestive tract. Especially against gastrointestinal infections. Research shows that children drinking with low-fat milk are more prone to diarrhea than those drinking whole milk…. Another good thing to keep in mind.
And this is amazing, because Butter is rich in GOOD ESSENTIAL CHOLESTEROL that is needed by EVERY SINGLE CELL of your body….. Please read my article about CHOLESTEROL to understand how essential it is for your health and how unfounded misinformation around it has been accepted for too long.
g. Wulzen Factor / “Anti-stiffness” effect
This is a hormone-like substance in RAW butter that helps fight arthritis and joint stiffness. Together with vitamin K2, it helps put Calcium where it should be (bones, teeth…) rather than in your arteries, joints and other tissues.
4. HEALTH BENEFITS FROM NATURAL BUTTER
As a consequence of being such a rich source of essential nutrients like vitamins and healthy fatty acids, Butter, and more especially RAW butter from grass-fed cows, is a potent health food that can help your body fight:
- Heart Disease: eating butter reduces risk by half of heart disease compared to margarine
- Thyroid Health
- Children growth and development
Trust Nature. It is that easy. Honestly, knowing now how Margarine is produced and processed, doesn’t it make more sense to eat good natural butter, as we used to do for so many years before? Of course, choose wisely. The best: Organic, RAW butter from grass-fed cows. Second choice: pasteurized butter from grass-fed cows. Pasteurization kills many good enzymes and vitamins, but it is still MUCH BETTER than any margarine or buttery spread that you can find in your supermarket.
Today, because of the way it is processed and because of the unhealthy animals it comes from, dairy can be very aggressive to our body. But Raw milk from grass-fed cows, or raw butter from grass-fed cows, or milk kefir can be a good option and could potentially improve your sensitivity to dairy. Quality is key. I would suggest first you stay out of dairy for at least 1-2 months, and then you start adding those nutritious foods slowly to your meal plan. Your body will tell you if this is ok for you – or not.
At the end, if you avoid all processed foods made in laboratories, you can’t go wrong. Real Natural whole foods exist for a reason.
In Health and Happiness,