Nurse Deanna Carlson discover what women need to know about butter and margarine.
Visit Deanna Carlson, R.N., BSN, on the web at St. Joseph Hospital Women’s Heart Center in Orange, CA
Women's Heart Center
Many women do not realize that heart disease is the single greatest threat
to their health. Every year, more than 500,000 American women lose their
lives to heart disease — that's nearly twice as many women from all forms of cancer combined. In response to these facts, St. Joseph Hospital opened the Women's Heart Center in December 2002, the first facility in Orange County dedicated solely to the prevention, early detection and treatment of heart disease in women.
Butter vs. Margarine
Is margarine healthier than butter? Neither is ideal, because butter is
loaded with saturated fat, and almost all margarines have some saturated fat and trans fatty acids. However, if you must use one or the other, margarine may be better than butter.
Here are some guidelines:
* Use canola or olive oil instead of butter or margarine.
* Choose soft margarine (tub or liquid) over harder stick forms.
* Choose margarines with liquid vegetable oil as the first ingredient.
* Even better, choose "light" margarines that list water as the first
ingredient, because these are even lower in saturated fat.
* If you have high cholesterol, talk to your doctor about using
margarines made from plant sterols or stanols. These substances, made from
soybean and pine tree oils, can help lower your LDL cholesterol by as much
as 20%. The American Heart Association recommends further study for
children, pregnant women, and those without high cholesterol.
* Margarines, shortening, and cooking oils that have more than 2 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon.
* "Hydrogenated" and "partially-hydrogenated" fats, because these are high in saturated fats and trans-fatty acids. Read ingredients on food labels.
* Coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils, because they are very high in
* Shortening or other fats made from animal sources.