Letter: Get back to the dairy

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THERE is no such thing as a margarine that's healthier than butter, just as there is no such thing as a "fruit drink" that's healthier than real fruit juice ("New margarine cuts cholesterol but price may cause coronary", 22 November). It doesn't matter that something may have been added to one manufactured product that supposedly makes it better (a little less dangerous) than another manufactured product. The only truly healthy foods are those which are fresh, unaltered and unadulterated. Butter is such a food, margarine is not.

The fats in butter are among the healthiest available to us. They are the kind of fats we evolved on, the kind we are designed to benefit from. There is no reason whatsoever to avoid them; they cannot harm us in any way.

The fats in margarine, on the other hand, are fabricated from highly refined oils which have been denatured, which have no nutritional value, which contain concentrations of abnormal and therefore very dangerous fatty acids, and which were probably extracted from seeds not normally consumed by humans.

Benecol may be a better choice in relation to coronary disease than "regular" margarine, but, like the other margarines, it may increase one's risk for cancer. Butter is still the best choice - as it always has been and, I'm sure, always will be.

DR THOMAS ANDERSON

Summerland, British Columbia, Canada

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