Health

Should you choose butter or margarine? Dr Michael Mosley shares surprising verdict

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If you ever wonder to yourself whether butter or margarine is the healthiest option, Dr Mosley has settled the debate. Once placed on a pedestal for being a “healthy version” of butter, scientific evidence now suggests otherwise. “Margarine itself is processed and made from vegetable oil,” explained Dr Mosley. “As vegetable oil is liquid at room temperature, a process called hydrogenation takes place, which resultantly creates trans-fat.”

Trans fats “should be avoided where possible”, urged Dr Mosley.

“There is a plethora of scientific evidence linking increased intake of trans fats with inflammation, heart disease, stroke and poor cholesterol”.

While margarine does have less saturated fat than butter, Dr Mosley pointed out that “saturated fat is not necessarily a bad thing”.

In the past, margarine was linked to raised cholesterol and heart disease, but new research has turned this on its head.

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Dr Mosley cleared up some other healthy food myths, making it clear that you may not be making the best dietary choices after all.

If you’ve ever opted for vegetable crisps over a regular packet of salt and vinegar, for example, you could doing yourself a disservice.

“There may be real vegetables on their ingredients list,” Dr Mosley pointed out, but those thin slices of veggies are “far too small to provide any real nutritional value”.

In addition, vegetable crips are fried in sunflower oil to get that crunchy texture.

Dr Mosley set the record straight: “Vegetable crisps, in reality, are no healthier than a standard packet of potato crisps.”

If you’re looking to satisfy your craving for a crunch, Dr Mosley advises you eat:

  • Raw vegetables dipped in homemade guacamole or hummus
  • Nuts and seeds sprinkled over Greek yoghurt
  • Sauerkraut and kimchi into your salads or alongside eggs.

If you’re a vegan, don’t assume that what you eat is always the healthiest option.

“Just because the label says ‘vegan’, [it] doesn’t mean [it’s] instantly healthy.”

The best way to ensure you’re eating as healthy as possible is to follow the Mediterranean diet.

However, if you do opt for pre-packaged foods now and again, “always read the ingredients carefully”.

“If you wouldn’t find the ingredients in your cupboard, or you’re not entirely sure what they are, it’s best to leave the item firmly on the shelf!” Dr Mosley stated.


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