Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Butter or Margarine?

For over 100 years it has been debated which spread is better, butter or margarine? The process of hydrogenation to produce margarine has allowed the product to be cheaper. But, this process comes with trans fats which can harm our health. Butter and margarine have the same amount of calories, but the difference is the amount of saturated fat they contain. Butter contains about 50% saturated fat and margarine about 20%. Recent studies have found that the type of saturated fat found in butter raises your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, but also equally raises your HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

The American Heart Association recommends butter over margarine. Just remember to use whichever spread you prefer but in moderation. Recommended serving of light margarine= 1 Tbs, and serving of butter-oil blend= 1 tsp. Also, try to substitute with oils such as olive or canola oil whenever possible. When selecting margarine, try to choose the one with the least amount of saturated fat and no trans fats. When selecting butter, consider purchasing whipped butter or a soft butter blended with olive or canola oil to reduce the saturated fat. 

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