October 5, 2009
Butter..... Parkay !!!
Remember that commercial.
Here is a link to its youtube video !
I am often asked whether to eat butter or margarine.
Growing up it was cool to eat margarine instead of butter. Better eating through better science, or so we thought!!
Here is how butter is made.
Milk a cow.
Skim off the cream.
Churn the cream until it’s thick and chunky and tastes awesome.
Here is one of the processes for making margarine:
Farmers grow seeds.
The seeds are harvested.
The seeds are crushed to extract some of the oil.
The rest of the oil is extracted by mixing the seeds with hexane, a chemical solvent.
The hexane is (supposedly) all removed.
The oil is pumped full of hydrogen gas and nickel powder.
The remaining oil is subjected to heat and high-pressure CO2 gas.
The oil is mixed with sodium hydroxide and passed through a centrifuge.
The oil is mixed with water and passed through another centrifuge.
At this point, the margarine is a gray, speckled, oily mass that doesn’t smell so good.
The oil is mixed with hydrated aluminum silicate that binds to and filters out the unwanted pigments.
The mix is heated again and the oil is extracted.
The oil is passed through a steam distillation chamber to remove unwanted odors.
Yellow food coloring and artificial flavors are added.
Mmm Mmm good!!!
So what would you rather eat?
Most margarines are chemically altered vegetable oils and contain dangerous and unhealthy trans-fats otherwise known as trans-fatty-acids. While vegetable oils have received good press coverage, most contain an abundance of omega-6 fatty acids, which may counter the healthy effects of omega-3 fatty acids.
So what are we supposed to eat?
Cardiologists say butter is bad, because it contains saturated fat which they argue is responsible for an increased rate of heart disease.
But is this fact or fiction?
Let us look back at history for a moment.
In America, the rate of heart disease soared during a period when saturated fats consumption fell sharply while cholesterol intake remained roughly unchanged.Before 1900, heart disease was rare in America, affecting about 8 percent of the population.
By 1950, heart disease caused 30 percent of all deaths in America. Today, it causes about 45 percent of all deaths.During this period, consumption of butter, which is high in saturated fats, fell from over 18 lbs per person per year at the turn of the century, to about 10 lbs per person per year by 1950.
Today it is even lower, yet the rate of heart disease continues to escalate.In the same period, Margarine consumption rose from about 2 lbs per person at the turn of the century to about 8 lbs per person.
Do we follow the advice of clever advertisers and marketers?
Or do we follow the logic of our ancestors who relied on a very low processed foods diet?
Listen to your ancestors !!!
They ate saturated fats.
They did not eat processed food.
Pass on the Parkay and vegetable oils.
To Good Health!!!
Steven Horvitz, D.O.
Board Certified Family Practice
Founder of The Institute For Medical Wellness
128 Borton Landing Road, Suite Two
Moorestown, NJ 08057