Many of us, when it comes to the butter or marg debate, have just gone with our taste preference. Some of us have thrown our hands in the air and quit it altogether for the debate just got too confusing. Butter comes from dairy, so there we have saturated animal fats. Margarine is processed and hydrogenated which results in those nasty trans fats. So what really is the better of the two?
The Good Oils
While butter is made from saturated fats. A good quality margarine contains oils such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. These help the body to manage cholesterol build up which has the potential to cause cardiovascular disease. Definitely worth changing over if you have a history (or family history) of CVD.
Plant Based Health
Some margarine’s are made from high quality plant based oils which contain plant sterols. Plant sterols are found in edible plants such as seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables and reduce the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol.
Trans fats are a result of hydrogenated oils, which means they do not occur naturally. In our bodies they raise blood cholesterol levels (LDL – the bad kind), and thereby increase health risks associated with fatty build up, mainly cardiovascular diseases. When reading nutrition labels this is important to watch out for. Make sure there is less than 1%.
Saturated fats are those ones that turn solid at around room temperature, such as our butters. The reason these are so bad for you is because of their nature to do so. Animal fats are the guilty party when it comes to animal proteins getting a bad rap. It isn’t the protein, its the fats. It is best to avoid saturated fats if you can. There will always be some in meals containing meats, but minimising the fatty excess is the way to go, and that includes not throwing extra butter on the servings.
For me, I rarely eat either butter or margarine these days. There are delicious alternatives if you think you can make the change. Avocado spreads just as well, a light drizzle of a seed or vegetable oil is also an alternative.
How Much Fat
Fat should account for about 20 – 35% of your diet (varies for individuals) and of this no more than 10% should be saturated. Fats are important though and play significant roles in cellular health, skin health, energy and brain function. Definitely worth getting the good stuff.
What to Remember
So you are standing in the supermarket looking at the nutrition labels, what should you be looking for exactly?
- Low saturated fat
- Less than 1% trans fat
- High in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats
- Contain plant sterols
Know your health, know your limits. A balanced diet and exercise can change your life. #2020forhealth
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AngelaYou are too smart to be the only thing standing in your way!