4 Sneaky Health-Food Ingredients To Watch Out For (Page 2)

Trans Fats in Margarine and Buttery Spreads

Trans Fats in Margarine and Buttery Spreads

Choosing a butter substitute can help you cut calories, but it’s not necessarily a heart-healthier choice. When it comes to margarine and buttery spreads, you’ll find all sorts of oil-based spreads in this category. “Margarine” is a product that has 80 percent fat, like butter, but because it’s made from vegetable oils, it delivers more “good” fats than butter. Many (but not all) other “soft spreads” or “tub” buttery products have less total fat as well as less saturated fat and/or fewer calories. But not all products are created equal: some contain trans fat, which, like saturated fat, raises your "bad" LDL cholesterol, but possibly even more than saturated fat does, according to research. Trans fat also lowers your "good" HDL cholesterol. Be sure to scan the ingredient list for the words "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated." If the ingredient list includes one of these, then the product is not really trans-fat-free. (The FDA allows manufacturers to round down on the label: when a food has less than 0.5 gram trans fat per serving it can be rounded down to 0 and labeled as trans-fat free.)

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