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Are butter alternatives healthy?

Cindy Gay
Nutrition & Dietetics

Soft spread margarine made with canola and olive blends are healthy. Always choose these instead of stick margarine. Spreads made with unsaturated fats are recommended. Benecol is a soft spread margarine made with plant stanols that can help lower the bad (LDL) cholesterol.

Chad Kramer
Chad Kramer on behalf of dotFIT
Fitness

Margarine is made from vegetable oil, is low in saturated fat and is cholesterol-free. Due to it needing to go through a hydrogenation process so it can be solid at room temperature, it is high in transfat (thought to raise levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of good cholesterol (HDL)). There are butter alternatives on the market including soy margarine, almond butter and other non-animal-based butter alternatives that might be a better choice for people with high cholesterol or related health issues. Keep in mind that the overconsumption of anything, even something deemed as being “healthy,” is itself unhealthy. It depends on the amount of each you consume. For most, butter substitutes are safe as long as they are used in moderation. If health concerns are an issue, we recommend that the individual visit with their doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.