No Thanks, I’ll Have Butter

| March 24, 2009 | 7 Comments

Butter gets a bad rap, but in my book I’ll pick butter over margarine any day.Smart Balance Buttery Spread

I used to buy into the ‘margarine is better than butter’ hype, but no more.  Trans fat free and low in cholesterol spreads such as Promise and I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter, Country Crock and a host of others have a long list of ingredients.  Have you ever checked it out?

Here’s the list for Smart Balance Buttery Spread:

Ingredients

NATURAL OIL BLEND (PALM FRUIT, SOYBEAN, CANOLA, AND OLIVE OILS), WATER, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF SALT, WHEY (FROM MILK), VEGETABLE MONOGLYCERIDES AND SORBITAN ESTER OF FATTY ACIDS (EMULSIFIERS), SOYBEAN LECITHIN, POTASSIUM SORBATE, LACTIC ACID (TO PROTECT FRESHNESS), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, VITAMIN B6, VITAMIN B12, VITAMIN D, VITAMIN E (DL-?-TOCOPHEROL ACETATE), BETA-CAROTENE COLOR

You can find this listing on the Smart Balance website.

Butter:


Now, I’ll go to my refrigerator and pull out a stick of butter and read the ingredients as follows:

Cream, Salt, Milk

I don’t know about you, but I’ll take the stuff I can pronounce over what I can’t any day.

Not only does butter taste better and makes things it interacts with taste better, but the ingredients are common every day ingredients.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a spare jar of VEGETABLE MONOGLYCERIDES AND SORBITAN ESTER OF FATTY ACIDS sitting around on my pantry shelf.

The Healthy Goal

I know, I know, butter is full of saturated fats and its ‘bad’ for us.  Well, since the goal is to make healthy choices one choice at a time, if given the option between margarine and butter, I choose butter (olive oil would be better, but that option is not on the table at this time).

So, if eating butter means that I have to make one extra lap around the block or vacuum with a little more vigor, so be it.  I’d rather have cream, salt and milk in Buttermy system than the host of ingredients that are listed on the margarine label.

Additional Reading

While doing a little research on butter, I came across this document entitled Ingredients for Margarines and Spreads.  Not quite sure what it all means, but I know after skimming through the document, I’m even more adamant about choosing butter over margarine.

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Cooking, Food, Green Drinks, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Trans Fats

About the Author ()

Felicia has learned the hard way that health, whether good or bad, is a result of daily choices and habits. On this blog Felicia shares what she's learned and the healthier choices she now makes as a result of her new knowledge. She hopes to encourage others to experiment to find alternative solutions to nagging problems (she's also is a bit of a tree hugger and likes to share ways to lighten the toxic burden on the environment). Necessary disclaimer: I am not a medical professional therefore I am not and cannot giving medical advice. I'm just sharing my story.

Comments (7)

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  1. Courtney says:

    Give me some MARGARINE!

    Unless you eat a very healthy diet that consists little to no transfat you are fine! aka like EVERYONE SHOULD BE, balance your diet! If you dont and you pile on the margarine and other transfatty foods, then of course you will have high cholesterol.

    America particularly is just plain FAT. We already eat garbage that has transfat in it:

    1. fast food: Bad news here: Fries, chicken, and other foods are deep-fried in partially hydrogenated oil. Even if the chains use liquid oil, fries are sometimes partially fried in trans fat before they’re shipped to the restaurant. Pancakes and grilled sandwiches also have some trans fat, from margarine slathered on the grill. (Fries (a medium order) contain 14.5 grams.)

    2. Packaged foods. Cake mixes, Bisquick, and other mixes all have several grams of trans fat per serving.

    3. Chips and Crackers. Shortening provides crispy texture. Even “reduced fat” brands can still have trans fat. Anything fried (like potato chips and corn chips) or buttery crackers have trans fat. (A small bag of potato chips has 3.2 grams of trans fat.)

    4. Soups. Ramen noodles and soup cups contain very high levels of trans fat.

    5. Frozen Food. Those yummy frozen pies, pot pies, waffles, pizzas, even breaded fish sticks contain trans fat. Even if the label says it’s low-fat, it still has trans fat. (Mrs. Smith’s Apple Pie has 4 grams trans fat in every delicious slice.)

    6. Baked Goods. Even worse news — more trans fats are used in commercially baked products than any other foods. Doughnuts contain shortening in the dough and are cooked in trans fat.

    7. Breakfast food. Breakfast cereal and energy bars are quick-fix, highly processed products that contain trans fats, even those that claim to be “healthy.” *(Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran Cereal has 1.5 grams per 3/4 cup serving.)

    8. Cookies and Candy. Look at the labels; some have higher fat content than others. A chocolate bar with nuts — or a cookie — is likely to have more trans fat than gummy bears.

    Then again it is your choice, after first of all the FDA’s choice of allowing margarine onto the food market. If it were that bad for you with the ingredients, having “ingredients that of paint,” well then it would not exist, not be in your refridgerators and not at all in your bellies.

    • Felicia says:

      You comment has me a bit confused. I’m not sure if you’re telling me to eat balanced or just ranting about the poor state of the American diet.

      Take a little time to read a few more posts on this blog. You’ll get a better flavor for what this blog is all about.

  2. Crystal says:

    Olive oil spread is a great alternative to butter and margarine. I just add some ground, dried herbs (usually rosemary and basil) to the olive oil and refrigerate, stirring once or twice (if I remember) while it solidifies. Once solidified, it’s a nice spread but reverts to liquid quickly if left out for any length of time. It’s tasty, very easy to make and healthy.
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..40th Anniversary of Earth Day – April 22, 2010 =-.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Well, there are things not listed in the ingredients with dairy products that you are not getting to see… for instance, the LEGAL AMOUNT of PUS and BACTERIA (arggh – google around for more on that; when I did, I felt sick to my stomach) that are allowed to be in diary products consumed by people. I ate dairy products for years and was not allergic to it, to my understanding – but, in going vegan a few years ago and stopping dairy (I was already vegetarian) my skin cleared up and what I had thought to be some sort of early onset arthritis went away completely. I had stopped eating dairy because I did not like the way animals are treated, but my health has benefited and I feel better than I have in years. I am not saying everyone will… it is up to everyone to find out for themselves what is their healthiest diet… but all I am saying is with any animal products, it is what is NOT on the label that worries me. I am just so glad that the internet is now allowing people to see how their food is produced – the downed, ailing cows and sick chickens. They just exposed the dairy “farm” (i.e. “Factory”) where Land o’ Lakes gets milk for their butter! It was so disgusting and horrific – that was where I got my butter for years before going vegan.
    (p.s. I use earth balance and sometimes the vegan form of smart balance.)
    Thanks for considering some of these points I have made and best wishes to all who are taking back their health! ( :

    • Felicia says:

      Oh man, I’m sick to my stomach. Legal amounts of pus? You’ve got to be kidding me.

      Although I’ve done a lot to clean up my diet, I’m not quite ready to go vegan as yet. But you’re right. The internet makes it a lot easier to research stuff (sometimes I wish I hadn’t).

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