While butter was once considered evil, it is now known that butter is best! Pure butter contains the important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, which are lacking in many Australian diets. These vitamins are essential for calcium absorption for strong bones and teeth. Butter is also a good source of essential iodine, needed for brain and thyroid health and contains specific fats for optimal immune function and metabolism.

On the other hand, the highly processed margarine contains unnatural fats. High temperature processing turns liquid vegetable oils into solids which causes trans fats and free radicals to form. These compounds may contribute to hormonal imbalances, infertility, heart disease and other inflammatory disease states. The preservatives, colourings and emulsifiers added to margarine are also not ideal. Make sure you check the ingredients of your butter and ensure that there are no vegetable oils added.

As a whole-food, butter will always be preferable to any factory-generated spread such as margarine. Like most things, butter is best in moderation and can also be replaced with alternatives including avocado, ricotta, coconut oil and hummus. Look for organic 100% butter to ensure that you are buying the healthiest form.

About the author

Belinda Kirkpatrick is an expert Nutritionist and Naturopath in Sydney. She specialises in natural fertility, family and women's health care. She is the author of Healthy Hormones (a practical guide to balancing your hormones) and is the founder of the SEED Concept and also Seed App for iPhone.

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