Butter or Margarine? Is There a Healthy Butter Substitute? (Page 6)

Stanol- or Sterol-Containing Spreads

Stanol- or Sterol-Containing Spreads

These spreads have patented formulas so it’s hard to tell exactly what’s in them beyond a blend of oils plus stanols or sterols, plant-based compounds that have been shown to help reduce blood cholesterol. (These compounds are similar in structure to cholesterol and so they compete with it for absorption in the body.) Generally the “regular” versions of these spreads have about 70-80 calories, 8 grams of fat and about 2.5 grams of saturated fat. “Light” versions have a little less. As with all spreads, remember to scan the ingredient list for “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.

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