Butter vs. Margarine: New Research Reveals Which is Healthier

Friday, 15 Feb 2013 03:18 PM

By Sylvia Booth Hubbard

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Margarine isn't better for your heart than butter — it's worse, according to a new analysis of a 40-year-old study. For 50 years, health experts and organizations, including the American Heart Association, have urged people to replace butter and other saturated fats in their diets with vegetable oils to reduce the risk of heart disease. Millions of Americans responded by replacing butter with margarine made from omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable oils found in corn and safflower oil.
 
Decades later, however, heart disease is still the leading cause of death in both American men and women, and a recent analysis of data collected from 1966 to 1973 indicates that replacing butter and other saturated fats with vegetable oils may have increased the risk of heart disease instead of reducing it.
 
The analysis, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, studied data on 458 men who had cardiovascular disease. Those who had dietary advice and replaced saturated fats in their diets with polyunsaturated vegetable oils had a 16 percent rate of dying from heart disease compared to a 10 percent death rate for those men who weren't told to change their diets.
 
"These findings argue against the 'saturated fat bad, omega 6 polyunsaturated fat good' dogma," said the U.K.'s University of Southampton professor Philip Calder in an editorial accompanying the analysis which was published in the British Medical Journal. He added that the long-standing American Heart Association’s recommendations "may be misguided."
 
SPECIAL: These 4 Things Happen Right Before a Heart Attack — Read More.

That's old news to David Brownstein, M.D., one of America's foremost holistic doctors. For years, Dr. Brownstein, author of Dr. David Brownstein's Natural Way to Health, has been warning Americans about the dangers of margarine. "This study was not surprising," he tells Newsmax Health.
 
What has been the result of switching to polyunsaturated and hydrogenated omega-6 oils? "We have more cancer and chronic illness, and we still have high levels of heart disease," Dr. Brownstein says.
 
An article published in the AHA's journal Circulation says that 1 in 3 Americans has been diagnosed with some type of heart disease, which includes high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and stroke, and projects that by 2030, 40 percent of American adults will suffer from cardiovascular disease.
 
"Hydrogenated omega-6's are terrible substances that should be avoided, and that's what margarine is made of," Dr. Brownstein says. "Most of the oils found in grocery stores contain copious amounts of trans-fatty acids. These oils are full of toxic fats. Polyunsaturated vegetable spreads are not healthy substances and do not hold up well in high heat. They all turn to trans fats."
 
Trans-fatty acids — also called trans fats — raise bad (LDL) cholesterol and lower good (HDL) cholesterol levels, thus increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Many doctors consider them to be the worst possible type of fat.
 
Butter and other saturated fats are much healthier for the body than polyunsaturated vegetable oils, says Dr. Brownstein, especially when cooked at high temperatures.

"Exposing oils to high heat can disrupt the chemical structure of the oil and cause the oil to become rancid and full of trans-fatty acids," he said. "Saturated fats do not become rancid when heated at higher temperatures, and trans-fatty acids do not occur in saturated fats.
 
"I believe that one of the main reasons we have not made much of a dent in chronic illness is due to the misinformation about which oils are healthy and which are not.
 
"Saturated fats are healthy fats required by all the cells of the body to maintain their structure," says Dr. Brownstein. "Butter is a much better choice than vegetable oils."

SPECIAL: These 4 Things Happen Right Before a Heart Attack — Read More.

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