We have been adding butter to recipes for generations. It has not only become an ingredient to many recipes, but it also makes a great addition to topping bread. The truth is, butter is made from milk that contains saturated fat from animal products.

Saturated fats may keep their form nicely sitting in your refrigerator, but they are the main food culprits when it comes to high cholesterol and inflammation of the arteries, which lead to heart disease.

Margarine on the other hand is an artificial fat created from vegetable oils. Hard margarines contain higher amounts of saturated and trans fats, so choose soft non-hydrogenated margarines that have low saturated and trans fats. Always read the nutrition label to see how much fat it contains.

So what other alternatives to butter and margarine are there to reduce unhealthy fats that cause havoc on our bodies?

  • Olive, canola, and flaxseed oils are all healthy alternatives for cooking and do not contain saturated or trans fats.
  • Replace the butter added to baked potatoes with salsa. It is a great away to spice things up and is full of vegetables that are good for you.
  • Instead of adding butter or margarine to vegetables, sprinkle lemon juice, nutmeg, or olive oil over food for added flavour without the added unhealthy fats.
  • Mix up olive oil with vinegar for a bread dipping alternative.
  • Use walnut oil to add flavour to cinnamon toast.
  • Some soft margarine comes in an alternative option that shows trans-fat-free on the label.

Marlene Veloso