For more than five decades, health policy around the world had been based on a study that suggested that butter may be harmful to your health and margarine was a better substitute. However a recent study published in the British Medical Journal reveals that margarine is not better than butter and instead increases the risk of death.
Researchers from the US and Australia conducted a joint analysis of the study performed in Australia between 1966 and 1973.
They recruited around 458 men between 30 and 59 years of age who had suffered a heart attack or an episode of coronary angina and divided them into two groups, with the first group given specific dietary instruction such as increased polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and reduced saturated fatty acid intake.
The researchers found no link between a lower risk of heart disease and increased intake of the most common polyunsaturated fatty acid, omega-6 linoleic acid. "Advice to substitute polyunsaturated fats for saturated fats is a key component of worldwide dietary guidelines for coronary heart disease risk reduction. However, clinical benefits of the most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acid, omega-6 linoleic acid, have not been established", the researchers wrote in their report.