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Would you like butter or margarine with your vegetable oil?

Would you like butter or margarine with your vegetable oil? 960 672 Janie

Recently Baker’s Delight did a survey to find out whether Australians preferred margarine or butter with their hot cross buns. They found out that 84% of us prefer butter which is fantastic – it is great to see so many people realising that natural healthy fats like butter not only taste better but are healthier for us. And they are certainly not linked to heart disease risk (1)!

Some of the comments on the Baker’s Delight Facebook Page include:

“Put a tub of margarine outside in the sun for a few weeks and even the ants, flies and other insects wont go near it. Its pure rubbish.”

“Do people still eat chemical laden margarine ?!! Ewwww”

“butter…as close to nature as possible for me….”

“Margarine is plastic. Butter all the way.”

“butter of course. Margarine is nothing but melted plastic.”

“BUTTER. Margarine is one molecule away from plastic. Even ants won’t touch it.”

“Only butter, wouldn’t touch margarine – full of chemicals!”

oil in jars and sunflowers, isolated on whiteThis is great to see so many people making comments like this – and hopefully might get the margarine eaters to question what they are consuming – BUT… here is the irony of the situation. Here are the ingredients of the Baker’s Delight Traditional Hot Cross Bun:

Wheat Flour, Fruit (30%): [Sultanas, Currants, Vegetable Oils (Sunflower, Canola)], Water, Sugar, Yeast, Vegetable Oil (Canola), Spices, Iodised Salt, Flavour, Wheat Starch, Mineral Salt (450, 500), Vegetable Gum (412), Soy Flour, Emulsifier (471), Glucose/ Fructose Syrup, Gelling Agent (440, 407, 415),Colour (171), Preservative (202), Vitamins (Thiamin, Folic Acid)

A 67g bun contains 3g of Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) from vegetable oil! A 5g smear of margarine contains 1.2g of PUFA. You get more than twice the Omega-6 in the bun than you do from the margarine!

Research suggests that the optimum intake of natural Omega-6 fats is 0.5% of our total calories and it should not constitute more than 2-3% of our total calories, and our ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids should be no more than 4:1, and ideally closer to 1:1 (2). What we are now seeing is these vegetable oils comprising more than 10% of the energy in our diets, and we are eating ratios as high as 16:1 (3).

So 2 Baker’s Delight Hot Cross Buns – even when served with butter – provides 54 calories of PUFA from synthetic vegetable oils and in a 1800 calorie diet that is already 3%, without even thinking about the other PUFAs consumed during the day. Served with 2 servings of margarine brings the percentage of Omega-6 PUFA calorie intake to over 4%.

So what’s wrong with vegetable oils? Firstly, they are in fact not actually made from vegetables – they are extracted from a variety of plant seeds in a laboratory using solvents, deodorisers and bleach. (Click here to view a short video on how canola oil is made that just might turn you off these oils forever) They are unnatural, synthetic fats never before seen by the human body and are now being linked to many chronic diseases (4). They affect the imune system (5), increase inflammation (6), lead to DNA damage (7), and – despite their recommendation as a heart healthy food – they increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (8). And it’s not just partially hydrogenated, solid margarines that contain trans fats – unhydrogenated vegetable oils have been shown to have as much as 4.2% trans fat in them (9). Trans fats are highly toxic and are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity (10, 11, 12). Trans fats are so bad that the USA has recently taken the first step to ban them in foods.

Seriously these oils should not be anywhere near the inside of our bodies!

Back to our hot cross buns… let’s not forget that each hot cross bun also contains 40g of sugar (the glycaemic response of wheat is higher than sugar so from the perspective of our hormones and metabolism: wheat = sugar) (13) and questionable ingredients like carrageenan (a highly carcinogenic compound), and guar gum (which can lead to digestive issues) (14). Is this something we really want to be consuming? Even with butter?

So it is great that Australians are getting the message about the unhealthy nature of margarine, but we need to go a step further. We need to understand that the very nature of the processed food industry is to provide cheap, low quality ingredients that are harmful to us and that are linked to the massive rise in chronic disease and obesity that we are now seeing everywhere. We need to realise that 95% of the “foods” in our supermarkets are not in fact food.

paleo hcbWe need to get smart and read labels and ask questions and say NO to foods that are harming us – even if they taste good. This is the only way to say NO to chronic disease. Then perhaps when enough of us say NO the food companies will start to produce and sell FOOD.

So if you want a hot cross bun – make your own! There are some great recipes out there like this one from The Merrymaker Sisters, and yes… absolutely, unquestionably serve them with butter.