The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

April 6, 2013

Butter or margarine?

Dr. Jack on Health and Fitness

RICHMOND — Butter or margarine? Which is better for my heart?

Answer - neither. I joke with my students that both of these spreads fall in the same food group as Vaseline – they are all just grease. But it is true that if you’re going to consume one or the other, margarine is made from vegetable oils, so it contains no cholesterol. Margarine also has more of the “good” fats, namely monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, than butter. These good fats help lower low-density lipoproteins (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol. Butter, on the other hand, is made from animal fat and therefore contains cholesterol and saturated fat.

It is important to remember when you’re shopping for margarine that not all margarines are created equal. Some may even be worse than butter. Margarines solid at room temperature, typically packaged in one pound sticks, have trans fats, whereas soft margarines in tubs have little or no trans fats. Trans fats lower high-density lipoproteins (HDL), the good cholesterol in your body. Some soft margarines are even supplemented with plant stanols and sterols, which can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels.

When choosing a spread, read the nutrition labels and compare the amounts of saturated and trans fats. Look for products with the lowest combined amount. If you can’t give up butter completely, there are other alternatives than margarine. Look for whipped or light butter or products that are a blend of butter and olive or canola oil. These products have less saturated fat and calories per serving than regular butter. Butter sprays are still another alternative. They contain no fat or calories (or nutritional value) whatsoever. Chances are, the reason you’re using any spread is for taste, not for its nutritional value, so the important thing is to use it sparingly.

1
Text Only
Lifestyles & Community
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

What county fair attraction do you like most?

Amusement rides
Beauty pageants
Flora Hall craft exhibits
Horse shows
Livestock, poultry shows
Truck, tractor pulls
Mud, dirt races
Gospel sing
I like them all
     View Results