The controversy over butter, margarine and health is never ending. Ideally, both of them are NOT good for you especially in terms of heart health. FYI-Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in America.Butter is made from animal fat and contains cholesterol.Butter gets bad rep because of the saturated fat aka BAD fat that we should avoid. Just like the name, it saturates our arteries with fats..On the other hand, margarine is made from vegetable oil,it does not contain cholesterol but may/may not contain saturated fat (brands may vary).
Often time margarine is chosen over butter for health benefits but remember all margarines are NOT created equal, some may even be worst than butter. The rule of thumb is "the more solid the margarine, the more trans fat it contains". And like saturated fats, trans fat are BAD for your health. If you are concerned about your heart health, please consider the following when selecting a spread:
1. Read the nutrition label for saturated fats, trans fat. Our manufacturers are very smart, sometimes the label say trans-fat free. But make sure to read the ingredient list for words such as partially hydrogenated (canola, palm oil etc)because it also means trans fat.
2. Choose a tub margarine instead of stick such as "I can't believe its not butter", "Smart Balance Light". If you can't compromise the taste of butter, choose one that says light or whipped butter.
3. Spreads such as Benecol-has plant sterol ester to help lower cholesterol, Brummel and Brown-made with yogurt are great alternatives to butter.
4. Anytime choose products with zero trans fat and less than 0.5 grams/serving of saturated fats.
Many new products hit market each day with attractive health claims which may not be 100% accurate and as a consumer it is hard to choose what is best for your health. If possible, do not hesitate to spend a dollar or two more for a product that is worth you health...
“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.” -Buddha