There's now another reason to avoid margarine. It can make you stupid.
According to researchers at the University of Auckland, children who ate margarine every day had significantly lower IQ scores by the age of three-and-a-half than those who did not.1 And children who were underweight at birth had scores that were even lower by the time they were seven.
The tragedy here is that margarine was sold to us as a "healthier" alternative to butter. In fact, it may be the unhealthiest "food" ever created.
You sure wouldn't know this by reading the labels. They have statements like "100% Natural" and "Mother Nature's Own" and "Heart Healthy" and the like all over them. But they are really nothing but chemical concoctions made in a laboratory.
The vegetable oils used in most margarine are hydrogenated to make them solid. This turns the oil into highly unhealthy trans-fatty acids.
These man-made fatty acids have been shown to raise "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and lower "good" cholesterol (HDL). They have also been linked to inflammation, one of the major causes of heart disease.2
I came across another gem of a study the other day. It's titled, "Margarine Intake and Subsequent Coronary Heart Disease in Men."
This study is backed up by the world-famous Framingham Heart Study. They tracked people for 20 years and recorded the number of heart attacks suffered. The results were eye-opening.
As margarine consumption increased, heart attacks went up. As butter consumption increased, heart attacks declined.3
And that's not all ...
During the second decade, the group eating the most margarine had 77% more heart attacks than the group eating none!
Avoiding margarine may not only make you smarter, it could prevent you from having a heart attack or stroke.
Butter is a much healthier choice. But don't settle for just any type of butter. I recommend organic butter from grass-fed cows.
It contains short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which are easily converted to energy. This means that the fat in butter is less likely to be stored as fat in your body. Plus, it's packed with vitamins and essential nutrients your body needs.
And here's a little tidbit you probably wouldn't know: Butter contains more vitamin A than carrots. It also contains vitamin E and selenium. These three nutrients help protect your heart from free radical damage.4
1. Theodore, RF., Thompson, JMD., et al. "Dietary patterns and intelligence in early and middle childhood," Intelligence. 2009; 37(5):506-513.
2. C. Oomen, M. Ocke, et al, "Association between trans-fatty acid intake and 10-year risk of coronary heart disease in the Zutphen Elderly Study: The Lancet, Volume 357, Issue 9258, Pages 746-751.
3. Matthew W. Gillman, L. Adrienne Cupples, et al. "Margarine Intake and Subsequent Coronary Heart Disease in Men" Epidemiology, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Mar., 1997), pp. 144-149.
4. Price, Weston, DDS. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, 1945, Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Inc., La Mesa, California.