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NutritionismThe Science and Politics of Dietary Advice$
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Gyorgy Scrinis

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231156578

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231156578.001.0001

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Margarine, Butter, and the Trans-Fats Fiasco

Margarine, Butter, and the Trans-Fats Fiasco

Chapter:
(p.133) Chapter Six Margarine, Butter, and the Trans-Fats Fiasco
Source:
Nutritionism
Author(s):

Gyorgy Scrinis

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231156578.003.0006

This chapter analyzes the history of margarine and its rivalry with butter, and the continuous reengineering of margarine across the three eras of nutritionism in response to changing knowledge about nutrition. In the 20th century, nutrition experts suggested the replacement of butter with margarine due to its relative ratios of polyunsaturated and saturated fats. In 1990s, two Dutch nutrition scientists highlighted the harmful effects of trans-fats present in margarine, claiming that these components have an even more harmful effect on blood cholesterol levels than saturated fats. Nutrition experts have responded to this new evidence by categorizing trans-fats as a bad fat, while chemists and margarine manufacturers have sought new chemical processing techniques to produce virtually trans-fat-free margarine.

Keywords:   nutritionism, trans-fats, margarine, butter, saturated fats

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