Sunday, December 2, 2007

butter vs. margarine

Every day presents us with many, many little choices. I like to think that most of my choices are between good, better, and best, but sometimes they're between bad, worse, and worst. Yesterday, at the grocery store, I spent nearly 5 minutes of precious time debating which type of fat to buy for the chocolate cookies Heather made for us. None of the margarine selections were trans-fat free, and so I chose real butter, despite the fact that 1 tablespoon contains nearly 50% RDI of saturated fat, not to mention plenty of cholesterol as well (note: trans-fat free margarine IS undoubtedly the healthiest choice, but isn't usually available in stick form).

I was raised on real butter, and also plenty of cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, 2% milk, and other high-fat dairy products. I've since learned of the complex biochemical pathways of human metabolism that have singled out saturated fats and trans fats as the one dietary component that contributes more to the processes of atherosclerosis than any other thing. Yet, my logic comes full circle in re-realizing that it's not as important which type of fat you consume, but rather how much you consume, and whether you balance it with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and, of course, regular exercise.

So anyway, I grabbed the butter, and then headed back to the fresh produce section in search of some spinach, or asparagus, or maybe even avocados. Despite the ridiculously high prices on some things, I remind myself that our health insurance is costing a lot more than this, but the money invested into good food choices is probably doing more for our health than the thousands we spend on health insurance each year.

1 comment:

jamestownboys said...

I have gotten over the price of fresh fruit and veggies. It is THAT important to me, that I just try not to look at the prices.
I've had the butter margarine debate too. I've concluded I'd rather go natural (butter) then chemicals (margarine).