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 www.beekman1802.com.

Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at drbrent@care2.com.


Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Dale O.

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.

Kelly Rogers5 years ago

Thanx, for that article

ii q.
g d c5 years ago


Virgen V.
Virgen velazquez5 years ago

Butter is it!

Patty B.
Patty B5 years ago

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 .

Sandi C.
Sandi C5 years ago


Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton5 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Anastasia J.
Anastasia J5 years ago

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

Dotti Lydon
Dotti L5 years ago

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