by Marion Nestle
Apr 18 2007


Most margarines are basically the same: mixtures of soybean oil and food additives. They are high in fats and calories.

I don’t eat margarine. Why would you want to put soybean oil on your bread? I’d much rather put olive oil or butter. A little goes a long way.

  • This reminds me of a favorite quote from Ann Louise Gittelman’s Beyond Pritikin:

    If you are looking for an all-purpose substitute for margarine, why not try butter?

    Butterfat is incredibly nutritious, providing short-chain fatty acids and bio-available vitamin A.

  • I agree with Migraineur about butter and go further:-
    I recommend only three types of fats to my clients: extra virgin olive oil, organic or, preferably raw butter, and organic coconut oil. Most people understand the first two but cringe at the thought of eating coconut oil. Here’s why I recommend coconut oil to everyone.

    The Stability of Coconut Oil

    Unsaturated oils in cooked foods become rancid in just a few hours, even in the refrigerator, one reason for the “stale” taste of leftovers. However, according to Peat, eating fresh unsaturated fats is even worse, because once inside the body, they will oxidize (turn rancid) very rapidly due to being heated and mixed with oxygen.
    Not so with coconut oil.
    Even after one year at room temperature, coconut oil shows no evidence of rancidity even though it contains 9% linoleic (omega – 6) polyunsaturated acid. Peat theorizes that coconut oil may have antioxidant properties, since the oil doesn’t turn rancid and since it reduces our need for vitamin E, whereas unsaturated oils deplete vitamin E.

    Thyroid-Stimulating, Anti-Aging Effects of Coconut Oil

    Many researchers have reported that coconut oil lowers cholesterol (Blackburn et al 1988, Ahrens and colleagues, 1957). In 1981, Prior et al. showed that islanders with a diet high in coconut oil showed no harmful health effects. When these groups migrated to New Zealand and lowered their daily coconut oil intake, their total cholesterol and especially their LDL cholesterol – the so-called evil one – increased. The cholesterol-lowering properties of coconut oil are a direct result of its ability to stimulate thyroid function. In the presence of adequate thyroid hormone, cholesterol (specifically LDL-cholesterol) is converted by enzymatic processes to the vitally necessary anti-aging steroids, pregnenolone, progesterone and DHEA. These substances are required to help prevent heart disease, senility, obesity, cancer and other diseases associated with aging and chronic degenerative diseases.

    More detailed information on the site below.

    love olya

  • Ross


    Are you seriously saying that you consider unsaturated fatty acids to be harmful? If that is the case, how would you explain the better health of people living in the Meditterranean? Their health is contributed to a diet much higher in monounsaturated fats and fruits and vegetables. Personally, I think the jury is still out on the coconut oil. Saturated fat must be moderated. I know of a Dietitian here in Chicago who has noticed adverse health effects from Vegans who consume a lot of coconut oil that improve once they choose other fats instead.

    You may also improve credibility by choosing a site less biased in its intent for your source.

    Ross Kennedy
    Dietetic Intern