Sales of Low Fat Margarine Plummeting in Sweden

The biggest paper in Sweden reports that during the last four years sales of low fat margerine in Sweden has plummeted by more than 50 percent. Meanwhile sales of full fat dairy is going up like crazy.

Good times.

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20 Comments

  1. Low-fat margarine? I've never even heard of this stuff. I assume they substitute starches somehow to replace the fat as they do in low-fat mayo. Blech.
  2. Good to hear that Swedes are getting the message that plastic butter is not healthy. I attribute a lot of my current health problems to eating plastic butter during my childhood. Of course, that wasn't the *only* problem. I also ate a lot of bread and sugar.

    If I had not found the low-carb lifestyle back in 1999, I'm reasonably sure that I would be dead now. Or maybe worse; disabled and useless.

  3. “The notion that butter causes weight gain is a sad misconception. The short and medium chain fatty acids in butter are not stored in the adipose tissue, but are used for quick energy. Fat tissue in humans is composed mainly of longer chain fatty acids.15 These come from olive oil and polyunsaturated oils as well as from refined carbohydrates. Because butter is rich in nutrients, it confers a feeling of satisfaction when consumed. Can it be that consumption of margarine and other butter substitutes results in cravings and bingeing because these highly fabricated products don’t give the body what it needs?“
  4. Doc,

    Has anyone been tracking the obesity, diabetes, and other health stats of the Swedish population over the last few years? Just as you compared obesity rates to butter consumption in your presentation at the Ancestral Health symposium, it would be really interesting to see overall health stats vs. the drop in sales of 'plastic' butter.

  5. Cate,
    It seems like the rise in obesity in Sweden has been slowing down for a while. Still waiting for the definitive turn downwards. The latest numbers are from 2010.

    The numbers from 2011 should arrive soon and I'm looking forward to seeing them.

  6. @Michelle Saunders: I find that butter, MCT oil, or coconut oil do not have an immediate effect on satiety for me. It takes 2 or 3 hours for me to notice any difference. I have long suspected that there is something seriously broken in my metabolism.

    Also, I've found that if I eat 6 or 7 oz of beef, I'm still hungry. But 2 hours later, I feel like I just ate. If I eat 16 oz of steak, I'm immediately full. But hungry again in 2 hours.

    Any rate, I think I'll go have some Kerry Gold now. Just to taste it melting in my mouth (YUM!).

  7. Alexandra
    I would be thrilled if sales of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" in the US plummeted to zero. But I still live in the land of "heart healthy" corn flakes and fat free ice cream.

    The new paradigm isn't quite here yet - I've been using The Eatery app, and it's amazing how many people rate my meals "fattening" when they consist largely of meat, eggs and fish (salmon and mackerel sashimi got a rating of only 74% "healthy," while chicken wings - not breaded or anything - got 34%!). According to the ratings, my healthiest "meal" this week was kale chips.

  8. Harro
    Euromonitor is also welcoming fat back, stating the increase in full-fat diary production, as well as giving an overview of the changes in the Finnish baked goods and ready meals markets, which was started with low-carb bread Karppinen.

    http://blog.euromonitor.com/2012/02/welcome-back-fat-the-booming-low-...

  9. Margaretrc
    Good news! Only wish it would happen some time soon here, even though that would mean less butter for me. Not holding my breath. We were the first to put out the "fat is bad, especially sat fat" message and no doubt will be the last to withdraw it. :(
  10. @ Howard "I find that butter, MCT oil, or coconut oil do not have an immediate effect on satiety for me."
    Length and site of the small intestine exposed to fat influences hunger and food intake
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21736790Ileal fat infusion had the most pronounced effect on food intake and satiety. Increasing the areas of intestinal fat exposure only affected hunger when fat was delivered simultaneously, not sequentially, to the exposed areas. Seems to me to ensure all areas of the digestive tract are exposed to fat to apply the brakes to appetite we need fat before (starters) during (main course) and after (desert course) and maybe also with the coffee. I think we can all work out how to achieve that with just a bit more butter, cheese and cream
  11. This is great news. Congratulationss Sweden.

    P.S... "Low-fat" margarine? (@Howard: "plastic butter" lol)

  12. chuck
    Have there been any health marker or outcome studies that illustrate the possible effectiveness of low carb in Sweden?
  13. chuck,
    We have a couple of smaller Swedish intervention trials showing good results in diabetics.

    When it comes to health statistics: I have not heard anything out of the ordinary yet. Nothing bad seems to be happening so far. ;)

  14. Jaime
    I'm going to borrow that "plastic butter" term, if you don't mind.
  15. The "plastic butter" came from a discussion of what to call margarine that would adequately and graphically express its toxicity and general unfitness for human consumption. In that discussion, I came up with "synthetic lubricant." Somebody else came up with "plastic butter" which I like better. Maybe we should have some suggestions along that line here. Maybe somebody here could come up with something even better. Something usable at a family dinner to indicate that you don't eat that stuff because it's gross, disgusting, and poisonous -- and will stick in the minds of the folks who haven't thought about that before.
  16. Milton
    Margarine and other substitutes for butter remind me of an old cartoon, where an apparently lazy employee goes through a great amount of work in order to avoid simple, menial tasks. For example, he goes to extraordinary effort to build a "mopping machine" from tools and appliances in the house, when it would have been much easier to simply mop the floor.

    Because to me, margarine is a concoction that doesn't taste anywhere near as good as butter, doesn't smell as good as butter, and isn't as healthy as butter. Someone has gone through a lot of effort to get us to buy and use something when we would have been much better off just using butter in the first place.

    Same thing for the people who invented egg substitutes.

  17. Alexandra
    "For example, he goes to extraordinary effort to build a "mopping machine" from tools and appliances in the house, when it would have been much easier to simply mop the floor."

    We call those people "inventors." ;-)

    (That's not to say that every invention is a good one, though!)

  18. Alexandra
    From the newspaper article:

    "We need a more nuanced debate about what is healthy food. Above all, it is important to reduce the consumption of butter and cream, says Annette Jansson."

    *irony meter asploded*

    So "more nuanced" means "more propaganda?"

  19. Those Swedish certainly know what they are doing.
  20. Plastic butter, paper milk, dry chicken breast and fish, faux food in general: forty plus years of nonsense many of my generation are paying for with myriad health problems. Thank goodness for real food!
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