Butter vs. Margarine: How to Choose

Is margarine healthier than butter? Here are 12 options and how they rank in terms of heart health.
what-is-margarine

Credit: Getty Images

prev 8 of 18 next

What is margarine?

Developed in the 1800s in France when butter was scarce and expensive, margarine has had its ups and downs, including several U.S. bans and taxes driven by the dairy industry.

It's been called a healthier, plant-based alternative to butter, but it also faced a backlash for being artificial and having trans fats, which help keep oil-based ingredients solid at room temperature.

Margarine is any vegetable-oil-based, butter-flavored spread that contains 80% oil; anything with a lower oil and fat content is called a "soft margarine spread."

Next: Worst margarine: Sticks with trans fat

» View All

Get the latest health, fitness, anti-aging, and nutrition news, plus special offers, insights and updates from Health.com!