Just like the bottle vs breastfeeding debate, and the consideration of whether to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, the butter/margarine war has been going on for years, with many opinions and forever changing scientific discoveries and still no clearly defined outcome or truce.
Two Scary Facts About Saturated Fats
One fact that has come straight from the Heart Foundation’s notes is one that can’t be ignored or argued with – replacing butter with margarine is an easy way to lower our intake of saturated fat. By swapping butter for margarine, you are removing almost 3 kg of saturated fat from your diet each year.
The saturated fat in butter comes from its main ingredient, animal fat, which contains a high amount of cholesterol which is a big no-no for the heart. Margarine, however, is made out of vegetable oils, making it cholesterol-free and high in unsaturated fats – better for cardiovascular health and the waist line. Cholesterol, in later life especially, can be a huge contributing factor to disease and severe illness.
The Heart Foundation explains that according to The Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey 2007, children are currently consuming twice the recommended maximum levels of saturated fat with their dietary habits established in childhood often believed to be set for life.
Trans fats were often deemed the bad guy for both margarine and butter but in Australia, that is now actually a myth. The Heart Foundation has continued to challenge Australian manufacturers to significantly lower or remove this particular fat from their recipes. Thanks to this massive effort, the levels of trans fats in almost all margarines in Australia are now among the lowest in the world.
So, for the sake of our own health and the health of our loved ones, let’s explore what makes up your margarine as well as some of the health benefits of this much-loved, yet sometimes controversial spreadable delight.
The Ingredient List and Nutritional Table
Margarine is predominately made from oils (canola, olive or sunflower) which are mixed with a solid vegetable fat base to make it semi-firm but spreadable, along with water and some added vitamin A and D.
When you compare the Nutrition List from a tub of butter to that of Tablelands’ Smart Spread, there is a stark contrast in saturated fat and kilojoules when you look at serving size:
What to Look for when Choosing a Margarine
The health benefits of margarine, and especially that of Tablelands’ Smart Spread, are endless, especially when you compare them to the likes of butter.
Supporting the Ticker: Pro-Heart
We all want to live longer to see our kids graduate college, to see our kids have kids. Behaviors are learned in childhood and unless you crack the whip early on, bad habits die hard and eventually, you might too.
With 65% less saturated fat than butter and completely free of cholesterol, canola-based Tablelands’ Smart Original Spread helps your heart without compromising on taste.
All margarine is softer and more spreadable than butter and nothing ruins a sandwich quite like holey bread served with rims of butter. With Tablelands’ Smart Spread, the softness and ‘spreadability’ allows you to lather your slices sparingly, ultimately reducing your intake and stopping your filling from falling through the holes.
Not every product receives the honour of carrying the Heart Tick stamp of approval, recognised by the Heart Foundation as meeting strict nutrient standards. Tablelands’s Canola Reduced Salt Spread and Dairy Free Spread both receive this tick of approval, marking them with a healthier choice for families.
Aussie-made and owned
With environmental factors killing our crops and hurting our farmers, choosing Australian produce and products keeps our workers employed and ensures growth within our economy. Supporting local businesses ensures our brothers, fathers, mothers and sisters still have jobs.
No Artificial Colours or Flavours
Additives, such as colours and flavours, can cause unfavourable reactions in some kids. Children with eczema are frequently advised to steer clear of any form of additive as it can increase flare ups. Parents of children with ADHD find some additives affect their child’s moods and behaviour.
Making the Switch to Margarine
Sometimes it’s not just about what you put in it, but what you don’t put in it. The entire Tablelands’ range is free from gluten, eggs, yeast, and nuts and the Smart range contains no added milk products.
The truth is, if you are in good health and you’re active and eat a healthy diet, the consumption of butter is perfectly fine in moderation. However, in the longer term, and when you consider the importance of creating healthy food habits in your children, margarine, and in particular Tablelands’ Smart range, is the way to go.
All this talk about margarine is making me want a sandwich!
Heart Foundation – http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/
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