If you have ever tried to ask Google about the difference between butter and margarine and which is healthier you have probably seen more hits than you know what to do with. So what is the truth? Is butter better than margarine? The answer is complicated. For those of you following the SCD diet or changing their diet because of GI upset, margarine, is not allowed!
It is not that butter is any better for you, but margarine is often made with the addition of several preservatives and additives that can exacerbate an already stressed GI tract. For those who are changing their diets for overall GI health the final decision comes down to taste and cholesterol.
What does the Science Say?
In 2001, Tonstad et al. investigated whether serum cholesterol response to replacing butter with trans fat-free margarine had any effect of blood cholesterol. They observed that in 77 subjected (53 men and 19 women, aged 35-75) margarine intake lowered total and LDL-C levels by 11.1% and 11.3% respectively. This study concluded that for those with high cholesterol levels, margarine designed to be trans fat free is more efficacious than butter at reducing cholesterol levels.
Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2001 Oct;11(5):320-6.