A 2015 study found that margarine increased the risk of death by 34% while butter was deemed unlikely to harm health, despite numerous experts clamoring for a reduced consumption of animal fats.

The study found that butter did not raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes, or diabetes, but in a decade-long period, the “healthier” plant-based oil-laden alternative — margarine — had risen the risk by over a third.

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We have covered the dangerous of ultra-processed food and vegetable oils in the past. However, this older study confirms many of our concerns related to the consumption of dangerous modern replacements of food sources consumed by humans since time immemorial.

Margarine Increases Health Risks, Butter Unlikely

How to successfully manufacture a low fat margarine spread with only 10% fat

“For years everyone has been advised to cut out fats,” said study lead author Dr. Russell de Souza, an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, at McMaster University in Canada.

“Trans fats have no health benefits and pose a significant risk for heart disease, but the case for saturated fat is less clear.

“That said, we aren’t advocating an increase of the allowance for saturated fats in dietary guidelines, as we don’t see evidence that higher limits would be specifically beneficial to health.”

The National Post wrote: “Saturated fats come mainly from animal products such as butter, cows’ milk, meat, and egg yolks, and some plant products such as chocolate and palm oils. Trans-unsaturated fats – or trans fats – are mainly produced industrially from plant oils for use in margarine, snack foods and packaged goods.”

The mainstream establishment has had its eye on saturated fats since the 50s, stemming from a fraudulent claim.

How Vegetable Oil Rose to Popularity

The story of how saturated fat – the natural animal products man has sustained himself upon since time immemorial – and cholesterol came to be seen in a negative light is an interesting one; we won’t, however, relate it in detail here, but will instead point you to chapter seven of Catherine Shanahan’s Deep Nutrition for a detailed account. To put it briefly, the process had little to do with good science and everything to do with the personal arrogance and vengefulness of an uncredentialed imposter called Ancel Keys, who had designed the famous K-ration during World War II.

Pulling Ancel Keys Out from Under the Bus | Oldways

‘Physiologist’ Ancel Keys

In recent years, the ‘evidence’ behind Keys’ hypothesis that saturated fat consumption is directly correlated with heart disease has been demolished, and his jerrymandering and bad faith have been revealed. What is clear now is that, rather than saturated fats being the cause of the health conditions Keys claimed they were, it is the products he advocated instead, including margarine, that are almost certainly the real culprits. Interestingly enough, even Keys came to renounce his earlier ‘research’; although this has never been part of the public story.


In the table below we have listed, according to the new conception of fats outlined in Deep Nutrition, good and bad fats. What unites the bad fats is that they are all high in PUFAs and and/or trans-fats. All of these bad fats are derived, in some way, from a vegetable base; although spreadable butter includes animal fat, it also includes partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. You’ll notice that most of the good fats are solid at room temperature, while most of the bad fats aren’t. 

Good fatsBad fats
Olive oilCanola oil
Peanut oilSoy oil
ButterCottonseed oil
Macadamia nut oilCorn oil
Coconut oilGrapeseed oil
LardSafflower oil
Palm oilSpreadable butters

Know Your Fats: Where do vegetable oils line up?

In our recent article on foods to boost your testosterone, we’ve already discussed how saturated fat and cholesterol intake, in particular the consumption of eggs, is actually pro-anabolic, causing increases in testosterone and protein synthesis in the body. Low saturated fat intake is clearly associated with reduced testosterone, and consuming only egg whites is less anabolic than consuming whole eggs, including the cholesterol-rich yolk. [R] [R] Maintaining a proper hormonal balance is clearly associated with eating the right fats, and one very important way to begin reclaiming your masculinity is to do just that.

Without getting into serious details about lipid science, what makes trans-fats and PUFAS so bad is their inherent chemical instability, which causes them to wreak havok on the body’s tissues when they are consumed, through the production of free radicals. Free radicals are high-energy electrons that play a role in every known form of disease. They do this by altering the structure of more or less every molecule they come into contact with, a process known as oxidative damage. And while free radicals are actually used by the body as part of its own defence system, a diet containing the bad fats listed above can cause uncontrollable cascades of oxidative damage.