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.
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 www.beekman1802.com.
Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at email@example.com.