The Butter vs. Margarine Debate

This post is in collaboration with Flora Spread
The butter vs. margarine debate

Disclosure: All the research included in this post was carried out by me, Eva Lewis of The Multitasking Mummy. I was not provided any information or research from Flora nor was I asked to do a post of this nature by Flora, it was my suggestion to conduct the research as I was curious. My sources include my own research and stats from Nutrition Australia and the National Heart Foundation. All opinions are my own. We all make our own choices for our family which I respect, this is simply some small research on my part. You can read a full version of my disclosure policy here.

I have been a butter fan my whole life. We grew up having butter on our sandwiches, on our crackers, on toast, on fresh bread (with honey is my fave), everywhere you could have it.

Mr. G isn’t a butter fan, he never has been. Not long ago when I was buttering my sandwich he asked me “so, why do you use butter anyway”?  I explained that using butter made things less dry, like if I were to have a vegemite sandwich it would moisten the bread. I also explained that I simply enjoy the taste, like raisin toast with melted butter with a bit of saltiness is so damn yummy.

It wasn’t until I was asked to write a post for Flora that I actually stopped to do a bit of research into what is actually better in terms of healthy eating, butter or margarine? I wasn’t surprised.

For starters, the fact that you can churn a big vat of cream and come out with a big lump of butter is enough to make me cringe and think about it being slapped on my bum and thighs. thanks. The thought of vegetable oils from canola and sunflowers makes me feel much better.

I put my researcher goggles on and compared the ingredients of Flora Spread to a well known Australian butter brand.

Flora Spread Nutrition Information

Margarine vs. Butter
Saturated Fat  = 17gmax/100g, Trans Fats = 0.59gmax/100g

Australian Butter Nutrition Information

There’s a bit of a stigma around the trans fats level in margarine, but apparently Australia has the lowest levels of trans fats in their margarine, in the world. Nutrition Australia recommend buying margarine that has less than 1% trans fats, Flora Spread is well under that limit as you can see on the nutritional information.

The other deciding factor is the saturated fats. Butter has a huge amount of saturated fats as you can see in the above comparison, saturated fats are the ones that can increase bad cholesterol. Margarine like Flora Spread on the other hand has polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are known to increase good cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

But it’s not just the adults we need to worry about, in 2012 a study found that 95 percent of Australian children over two exceeded their recommended intake of saturated fat and that a lot of it came from dairy products.

I think I’ve taught myself a good lesson today, it’s made me ask myself what’s more important, mine and my family’s health or the taste? I think the answer is obvious, it’s healthy eating all the way!

P.S. If you love cooking with butter just remember that most recipes will work fine with margarine too. Check out some great recipes using Flora Spread here.

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman - a lifestyle and parenting blog.She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a Mum to her 4-year-old son, 2 month old daughter, two chickens, one dog and a fish called Bob and a wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little cottage on the outskirts of Brisbane.

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  1. July 25, 2014 / 6:16 am

    Is it bad that I really can’t tell the difference between the two? Guess I’ll be sticking with margarine! Don’t need any lumps added to my tush!

  2. July 28, 2014 / 4:57 pm

    I was brought up on margarine, so I’m fine with it and it substitutes for absolutely everything that needs butter. Having said that, I do love to get the taste of butter every now and then at special events! A while back I bought a tub of butter just to see what the family thought. I got asked by 3 different people, including my hsnband and son, ‘where’s the margarine’?? I gave up and threw it out:-)