When considering spreads for bread, I’m a longtime proponent of extra virgin olive oil.  Its heart-healthy fats are a better choice than margarine, which was developed as a cheap substitute for butter.

It’s evolved from unappealing animal-based ingredients into a vegetable-oil based spread containing added chemicals to spark its flavor and make it easy to spread.  To make margarine spreadable, manufacturers hydrogenate the vegetable oils, thereby creating unhealthy compounds that may contribute to heart disease and stroke.

Additionally, the heat and chemicals used to hydrogenate the oils produce trans-fatty acids that can contribute to heart disease, increase cancer risks, promote inflammation and accelerate tissue degeneration.

Butter is definitely the better choice in that it is closer to a whole food than is margarine.  Some recent studies suggest that natural saturated fats, such as found in butter, may not significantly contribute to cardiovascular disease, though I favor further studies on the matter.

In any case, if you must opt for a spread that isn’t extra virgin olive oil, I suggest natural, organic butter in limited quantities.

My Take on Dr Weil’s advice?  I haven’t knowingly had margarine in decades.  I’m definitely a butter lover.  And I like good olive oil, too.

For some things, only butter or olive oil will do.  But for most things, I melt ½ organic butter in ½ extra virgin olive oil in the microwave & set it in the fridge, stirring every half hour or so to combine the two.

Even right from the fridge, it’s easy to spread on toast or bread and to use on cooked vegetables (baked potatoes included) or to sauté foods on the stove.

To find answers to your wellness questions, go to http://www.drweil.com/




  1. Agreed Doc !
    You can now go into almost any grocery store these days and purchase blended butter that has olive or canola oil in it. Good stuff !

  2. Thanks for the info. Does the label mention hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils?

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