High levels of LDL cholesterol, which can build up in the arteries, can form plaque, causing the passageways to become narrow and hard. This can restrict the flow of blood that carries oxygen to the heart. If blood flow is blocked altogether, a heart attack may occur.
Is butter healthy, or should it be avoided?
Margarine is butter’s “healthy” substitute. It is made of vegetable oils whereas butter is derived from animal fat. However, exercise caution as some types of margarine have trans fats. The general rule is that the more solid it is, the more trans fats it has. This can raise LDL cholesterol, lower HDL cholesterol, among other effects. Fats containing partially or fully hydrogenated oils should be foregone, as these contain trans fats.
Cardiology experts say that butter is a rich source of saturated fat and should not be consumed excessively. Neither is better than the other. Health experts recommend opting for liquid oils such as extra virgin olive oil, or limiting oneself to one (1) teaspoon of real unsalted butter, its least processed form.