I can’t help myself, I have to tear into this article that was published in Body & Soul on the weekend. It is truly pathetic and so poorly written. The margarine companies must be getting worried about their profits to drag this kind of trash out.
“While we don’t need spreads on our breads, margarine is the healthiest option as it is a blend of sunflower, canola and olive oils. If you must use a spread, choose a low-fat, low-salt margarine,” says dietitian Milena Katz. “Unlike in the UK and the US, our margarine is actually quite good, as it is low in trans fats and salt, so it doesn’t have too many negative effects on our health.” Saturated fats are bad for the heart, so buy a premium margarine as the cheap options have more trans fats. “More expensive margarine has added plant sterols which help to lower cholesterol levels,” Katz says.
For the love of my sanity.. really?? I agree we don’t need spreads on bread (as we don’t need bread at all) but a blend of sunflower oil, canola oil (genetically modified) and olive oil is NOT a good choice. Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil is a healthy oil when used in salads or in cooking on a VERY low heat as it has a low smoke point and again organic, cold pressed sunflower oil is fine in salads and for making homemade condiments like mayonnaise, but canola oil is never healthy and NONE of these oils are healthy when they are processed into margarine.
Some of the processes used to turn these oils into a solid rather than their natural liquid state at room temperature are interesterification, hydrogenation or partial hydrogenation. They involve heating to extremely high temperatures and using bleach and a common catalyst such as nickel to turn a polyunsaturated fat into a saturated fat; if partial hydrogenation is used we are also left with trans fats. Then of course additives, preservatives and colours must all be added to make the substance look, taste and smell like butter. The processing of margarine gives the end product of a substance that is rancid or toxic to our bodies, this creates free radicals and inflammation in the body which is actually linked with cardiovascular disease as well as a huge number of other health issues.
Apparently our margarine is ‘better’ and doesn’t have ‘too many negative health effects’.. are you serious? This makes me flip right out. The trans fats found in products such as margarine have dire consequences for health. They have been linked with increased risks of cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease as well as multiple sclerosis, learning difficulties in children and macular degeneration just to name a few.
While this article assures everyone that the levels of trans fats in Australian margarine are very low we now know that even if there is only 2% increase in trans fats in the diet then the chances of heart disease increase by a whopping 23%. This shows that there are absolutely no safe levels of man-made trans fats in the diet. Again I repeat, margarine is toxic and creates free radicals and inflammation in our bodies leading to a HOST of awful conditions and INCREASES our risk of cardiovascular disease.
Then we come across the usual rubbish about saturated fats being ‘bad for the heart’ and we should buy a premium margarine which has less trans fats and contains plant sterols which ‘lower our cholesterol levels’. It really alarms me that these people hold onto such a dead, out dated and dangerous hypothesis about saturated fats, cholesterol and heart disease. It has been shown again and again by prominent researchers, scientists and epidemiological and clinical studies that there is absolutely no link between saturated fats in the diet and cardiovascular disease. In fact the opposite is true. Here is just ONE such study http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.short
In fact Dr William Castelli, the director of the Framingham Heart Study which is often cited as proof that saturated fats cause cardiovascular disease actually said
“In Framingham, Mass., the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol … we found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, [and] ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.”
A low fat diet not only does not protect against cardiovascular disease it is actually dangerous and exceptionally unhealthy. Saturated fats actually make up 50% of our cell membranes and are vital for the stiffness and integrity of the cells. Our bones also require saturated fats in order to effectively absorb calcium and other minerals. These amazing fats also enhance the immune system, contain antifungal and antimicrobial properties and are protective against harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract. Even more amazing is that they are the preferred foods for the heart. The fat around the heart muscle is saturated fat and in times of stress the heart will draw on these reserves of saturated fat.
And back to this abomination of a ‘health’ article..
For those who use butter because they think it’s natural, it’s time to re-evaluate the sandwich strategy. “Butter is still processed,” Katz says. “There are no extra nutrients in butter, either, compared to margarine. In fact, margarine has added vitamin D, which, as a nation, we’re deficient in.” Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to cancers, brittle bone diseases and general ill health.
SDSDFSAKAFKWEFREISCDKHDSFGKFWLQKWHADLKSFHSDFDEIFUHoh sorry I just had to bash my keyboard in a blind rage a few times before returning to tearing this rubbish apart. BUTTER IS STILL PROCESSED! Well yes, if you buy the pasteurised kind it is, by the way still a far better choice than margarine any day of the year. However you can buy raw, organic butter from pasture fed cows, yes this is still processed. It’s called churning the cream to separate the buttermilk from the butter and then adding some natural sea salt if you so desire. In fact it is so processed I do it in my own kitchen. I buy raw, organic cream from the markets and it takes me less than 3 minutes to churn it in my Thermomix, sometimes I add fresh garlic, chopped parsley or natural sea salt before spreading it on everything I eat. Apparently butter has no extra nutrients.. well it has no added, fortified, unavailable to our bodies, synthetic rubbish in it, that’s for sure. I wonder why we are vitamin D deficient as a nation?? Would it be because Vitamin D is freaking FAT SOLUBLE?? Not man made fat soluble as our bodies can’t recognise those fats but yes, we require natural, healthy fats in order to be able to utilise Vitamin D, and guess what, natural butter is extremely HIGH in fat soluble vitamins D, E, A & K.. for more on the health benefits of butter read http://bodyecology.com/articles/benefits_of_real_butter.php#.UYreqkrLvSg
You know what else has been linked to cancer, brittle bone disease and general ill health?? A boring low fat diet.. throw the margarine in the bin and get back to eating natural, healthy fats INCLUDING saturated ones such as unrefined coconut oil, butter and animal fats from healthy, grass fed, chemical, antiobiotic and cruelty free sources, avoid any food like product that claims to be low or no fat, it will be loaded with chemicals to try and make it taste good!
Sign and share the petition, stop the lies in the name of profit http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/heart-foundation-stop-endorsing-margarine-and-review-the-tick-of-approval-program