Not only are good quality margarines packed with good unsaturated fats, but they’re also powered by Vitamin A and Vitamin D to give you even more goodness. Did you know that eating two slices of bread lightly covered with a good margarine adds up to 15% of your recommended daily intake? And by simply using healthy margarine instead of butter, you can cook more beneficial meals for your family every day. That is because a typical serving size of margarine (10 grams) contains only 1.5 grams of saturated fat, while the same portion of butter dishes up 5.4 grams saturated fat.
When it comes to fat, remember to distinguish between the good, bad and ugly. Everyone needs good fat, such as unsaturated fat, in their diet as a source of energy and to keep their skin and hair healthy. Good fats also help your body to produce essential hormones and absorb certain vitamins, like A, D, E and K for instance.
A heart-healthy diet should include unsaturated fats from a variety of sources and must always be eaten in moderation. Saturated fats and trans fat on the other hand, should always be kept to the minimum. One way of making sure you buy healthy margarine, is to look out for the Heart Mark logo on tubs.
If you’re after even less calories in margarine, try light or extra light spreads. Reduced fat soft margarines or spreads usually contain less calories than butter. For those conscious about margarine and cholesterol levels, you’d be happy to know that some margarines today – the clever cholesterol-lowering ones – actually decrease the cholesterol in your blood. These contain sufficient amounts of plant sterols. Remember to always make this part of a healthy and balanced diet and read the food label when choosing your margarine.
Healthy choices made easy
From fresh fruit and vegetables to lean meat and vegetable oils, choosing to live a healthier lifestyle is as easy as A, B, C:
A is for Always eat lots of vegetables and fresh fruit. These are packed full of natural goodness and are a great way to appease your appetite while keeping the calorie count low.
B is for Buy lean meat and try to include fish as a regular alternative. If you’re unwilling to cut down on your meat intake, you can still help your heart stay healthy by cutting the fatty bits from red meat and taking the skin off chicken. And when filling up on fish remember that oily salmon, sardines and tuna have far more of the hearty omega-3 fats. It’s a good idea to meat for fish, as least twice a week.
C is for Cook with margarine and healthy vegetable oils for all your kitchen concoctions, including baking. Good quality margarines and soft spreads contain far less saturated fats than butter, yet taste just as good!