For the most part, most people have veared away from butter in recent decades and have switched to margarine. As a Dietitian, I often get the question how come margarine and not butter?
This is my explanation: Margarine is made from vegetable oils, so it contains no cholesterol. These types of fats help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol when substituted for saturated fat. Butter, on the other hand, is made from animal fat, so it contains cholesterol and high levels of saturated fat. Trans fat, like saturated fat, increases blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. In addition, trans fat lowers high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol levels
In addition margarine is also higher in “good” fats — polyunsaturated and monounsaturated — than butter is. It also important to note that, not all margarines are created equal. Some margarines contain trans fat. In general, the more solid the margarine, the more trans fat it contains.
As from my previous post Tackling the Nutrition Facts Table look for a spread with the lowest calories that tastes good to you, doesn’t have trans fats and has the least amount of saturated fat. When comparing spreads, be sure to read the label and check the grams of saturated fat and trans fat. Also, look for products with a low percent Daily Value for cholesterol.
Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.