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Butter vs. Margarine

Butter vs. Margarine

Q: I am trying to lose weight but worry about the chemicals in light margarines. Is it better to eat real butter, or these fake substitutes?

A: I will always advocate for people to use natural foods over chemically processed ones.

If you are trying to lose weight (and not lower your lipid profile), real butter can absolutely be included in an overall diet plan that helps you lose or maintain a goal weight.

Weight loss is about calories in and calories out. If you want to lose, you need to burn more than you consume. Start by making an honest calculation of how many calories you take in each day (keep a food diary) and an estimate of how much you burn. If you don’t know your starting point, you will never get where you want to go.

Learn more:
Know your fats
Get rid of margarine for a healthier diet

Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting

Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at

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Dr. Brent

As an undergraduate, Dr. Brent Ridge majored in public health and environmental science, studying the way the state of the natural environment impacts our health choices. As a physician, he specializes in the field of aging. Send your health questions to Dr. Brent at


+ add your own
8:38AM PST on Feb 24, 2013

Thank you

9:40PM PST on Feb 22, 2013

Unsalted organic butter is marvellous and very tasty. One can also mix butter with olive oil to make it go further but I won't use margarine ever. Avoiding butter from factory farms helps a lot since organic farms are far healthier.

7:56PM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

Thanx, for that article

3:57PM PDT on Jun 8, 2012


7:14AM PDT on Mar 29, 2012

Butter is it!

8:04AM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

Butter is better . organic the best .
Sometimes for toast I will use a bit of arganic peanut butter..".kinda..sorta "melts like butter to an extent .

8:46AM PDT on Mar 24, 2012


8:43AM PDT on Mar 24, 2012

Thanks for the info.

8:05AM PDT on Mar 24, 2012

Butter. Always and forever my first love... It might not be good for you, but it's gotta be better than margarines.

7:57AM PDT on Mar 24, 2012

I have always read that margarine is just one molecule away from plastic. Kind of tastes that way too.

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