Last week, I wrote an article that pretty much declared war on vegetable oil.
I recommend you read that article as it will change your health for the better, but in a nutshell, vegetable oil is terrible for your health despite being labelled as “heart healthy”.
Now don’t get me wrong…
My hatred for vegetable oil wouldn’t be half as bad if it was widely accepted it was terrible for you.
That way, people are knowingly destroying their health (like with smoking and excess alcohol), which is morally OK. Because at the end of the day, it’s everyone’s choice what they put in their bodies.
But it’s the fact this toxic liquid is deemed to be “heart healthy” which is what sickens me.
People out there are trying to make healthier decisions, but are destroying their health in the process thanks to bad science.
This week? I’m coming after vegetable oil’s partner in crime – Margarine.
So, in this article, we’re going to explore exactly why Margarine is bad for you, and what healthier, tastier alternatives you can use instead.
4 Reasons Why Margarine is Bad For You
1. Margarine is high in PUFAs
The so-called “heart healthy” PUFAs (Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids).
Let me preface this point with a little bit of history on why PUFAs are labelled “heart healthy” despite being anything but.
The war on saturated fat started when Ancel Keys published the results from his “Six-Countries Study.”
The data from the study showed that there was a weak correlation between fat intake and heart disease.
But Keys did something very naughty…
He only published the data for the 6 countries with the highest Margarine use.
In other words, by showing the strong correlation between Margarine use and heart disease, he said that this was saturated fat’s fault since it raises Cholesterol levels.
(The science on heart disease and Cholesterol is sketchy to say the least…)
As a result of this, we’ve all been told to lower our Cholesterol intake to avoid heart disease.
Since studies have shown that PUFAs can lower Cholesterol, they’re now deemed healthy.
Now time for the ugly truth…
Due to the chemical structure of PUFAs, they’re much more likely to be oxidized (through heat and light) than monounsaturated or saturated fats.
When fats are oxidized, they become loaded with free radicals. This is bad news as free radicals have been shown to cause inflammation, which is linked to many chronic diseases.
Some of you may be thinking But if I protect Margarine from light and don’t use it to cook foods with, will I bypass this oxidation process?
To extract these PUFAs from the seeds, a lot of heat and pressure is used so the damage is already done.
2. Margarine is high in Trans fats
Trans fats are unnatural man-made fatty acids that are created when vegetable oil is solidified in a process called Hydrogenation.
These fats are destructive to health and have been linked to heart disease, inflammation, infertility and diabetes.
Now, the fact that they’re extremely unhealthy is only one part of the problem.
The real trouble comes from the fact that these mutant fats can reproduce inside you.
Picture a zombie movie being filmed in your bloodstream…
Thanks to free radicals, these dangerous trans fats convert normal fatty acids into fellow zombies at a rate of billions per second!
3. Margarine contains synthetic Vitamins
In their natural state, the seeds which are used to make vegetable oil contain a wide array of antioxidants to protect them from heat damage.
But due to the intense processing of vegetable oils which are used to make Margarine, the final product is nutritionally devoid.
(Since the intense heat and pressure from processing destroys the antioxidants in the seeds.)
As a result of this, many Margarine manufacturers have started to add synthetic vitamins to their products, such as Vitamin A.
But recent studies have shown that some synthetic Vitamins, including Vitamin A, can be harmful and lead to an earlier death.
4. Margarine is highly processed
Right, let’s run through the process of how a seemingly innocent tub of Margarine ends up on the shelves.
1: Seeds from the plants used to make vegetable oil (i.e. corn, cottonseed, canola, rapeseed, sunflower) are gathered.
2: Thanks to intense heat and pressure, the oils are extracted from the seeds.
(As discussed, this heat destroys any nutritional value in the oils and oxidizes them so they’re full of free radicals).
3: The remaining fraction of oils are removed with hexane and solvents.
4: The oils are mixed with a nickel catalyst.
5: The oils with the catalyst are exposed to hydrogen gas in a high-pressure, high-temperature reactor.
6: Soap-like emulsifiers are added.
7: The oil is steam cleaned to remove the rancid smell.
8: The nasty Gray color is removed by bleaching.
9: Synthetics vitamins and natural color are added.
10: The mixture is packaged in tubs.
11: Margarine is advertised as a health product.
Common sense tells me that if something needs steam cleaned and dyed to make it actually edible, it’s probably not good for you.
Best Alternatives to Margarine
If I’ve done my job properly, you’ll never touch Margarine again. Ever.
So, let’s look at the best alternatives to use instead.
Unlike Margarine, Butter is rich in fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A and Vitamin K.
Natural Vitamin A is important for healthy vision amongst many other things, whilst Vitamin K has been shown to improve cardiovascular health.
Since it’s derived from Cow’s milk, the nutritional value of Butter is dependent on the health of the Cow.
So ideally, you should be buying Grass-Fed Butter.
If you’re strapped for cash however, regular ol’ Butter is still infinitely better than Margarine so don’t panic!
Now let’s discuss the elephant in the room…
Yes, Butter is relatively high in saturated fat but as I mentioned earlier in the article, the study which demonised saturated fat was using Margarine instead!
Also, saturated fat is much more stable to heat, so you can cook with it without it turning rancid.
Schmaltz is clarified chicken or goose fat that’s generally used for frying, although some cultures use it to spread on bread.
An easy way to make Schmaltz is to cook some chicken thighs and then let the fat released from cooking solidify.
(Compared to other parts of the chicken, the thighs are relatively high in fat.)
Like Butter, it can handle high temperatures making it a great option to fry with.
Although I’ve never tried it (my love for Butter is too much…), Schmaltz adds loads of flavour when used in cooking. For this reason, it’s a favorite among the best chefs in the world.
After reading this article, you should never see Margarine as that innocent, “heart healthy” spread that it’s made out to be ever again.
It tastes like crap, looks like crap (before it’s dyed), smells like crap (before it’s steam cleaned) and therefore… is crap.
And with other much tastier and healthier alternatives, what other reason do you need to stop using it?
P.S. If you liked this article, then please do me a favor and share it on your Social Media accounts? The more people who are aware of the truth on Margarine, the better.