Margarine Sales Are Plummeting

More people are becoming aware of just how unhealthy margarine is, and that means sales are falling.

Butter is natural and has always been the healthier option. The popularity of lower carbohydrate, higher fat diets has created greater demand for this delicious food. Unilever is one of the world’s biggest food companies and is currently the world’s biggest margarine producer. Declining sales are a concern for the company. An interesting article recently appeared in The Wall Street Journal called “Will margarine become toast at Unilever?”.

Unilever was founded in 1929. It owns the margarine brands Country Crock, Promise and Imperial. In recent years, butter has experienced a revival and that’s bad news for those in the margarine business. Have you noticed how margarine is increasingly referred to by other names such as vegan spread or dairy free spread, to make it sound healthier?

In the past, margarine was high in trans fats, which are a health disaster and significantly raise the risk of heart disease. Nearly all margarine is free of trans fats now, but that still doesn’t make it a healthy food. Margarine is made from highly processed and refined vegetable oils that are rich in omega 6 fatty acids. These fats are very delicate and highly unstable. While being turned into margarine they become damaged and oxidized. These damaged fats have very destructive effects in your body. They act as free radicals and cause oxidative damage to the fats in your body, such as found in the membrane of all the cells of your body, and particularly your brain and breasts.

The fats in butter are far more stable and less prone to oxidation, even when heated. The saturated fat in butter doesn’t raise the risk of heart disease when consumed in the context of a healthy lower carbohydrate diet. People with dairy sensitivities may have a problem with lactose or casein in milk, but fortunately they are found in very small quantities in butter, so that most people tolerate it well. Plus butter tastes amazing and brings out the flavor of any food it is paired with. The natural fats in butter have a very satiating effect, so adding some butter to your diet may reduce hunger and cravings for sugar.

For more information about dietary fats and health see our book Cholesterol: The Real Truth.