BUTTER vs SPREAD: WHICH IS BEST?
Is butter better, or is it time to ditch the spreads? Dietitian Melissa Meier dips into the latest research and shares smart swaps.
Is butter better, or is it time to ditch the spread? HFG slices into the latest research
From traditional butter to trending dairy-free spreads — and almost everything else in between — it can be tricky to know what’s the healthiest choice. Add to that the abundance of health claims, and you’ve got a supermarket basketful of confusion. But if you follow HFG’s guide to spreads and butters, you can have your toast — and eat it, too! Quality and quantity count Butter’s back in fashion, with some advocates proclaiming it’s healthier and more natural than margarine. But let’s take a closer look. Butter — made simply from churned cream and often a touch of salt — is about 50 per cent saturated fat. Despite sensational media reports to the contrary, saturated fat does indeed raise your cholesterol levels. It raises your LDL, or so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol, but it also raises your ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. So, what’s the overall effect of all that saturated fat in butter?
That’s where the rest of your diet comes in. Sure, a smear of butter on your morning toast is fine if you’re eating an otherwise healthy diet. It only becomes a problem if you go overboard with butter, or if your diet is already high in other sources of saturated fat like processed snacks and fried foods. To help keep your heart healthy, you should also check the sodium content and opt for an unsalted butter variety.