The Norman Transcript


January 25, 2013

Margarine or butter?

NORMAN — Q: Margarine versus butter — which is better for me?

A: Let us start by comparing the two. Butter naturally contains more cholesterol and saturated fat — cholesterol because it is an animal fat. Saturated fat and cholesterol in excess will raise LDL and HDL cholesterol. While raising HDL cholesterol levels is actually favorable, it would be best to choose a food that does not elevate LDL levels in the process. Increased LDL cholesterol is a risk for heart disease.

On the other hand, margarine is made from vegetable oils, so it contains no cholesterol but instead polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which are heart healthy fats. Margarines, however are not completely innocent as they may contain trans fat, which is created through the process of hydrogenation of these oils in order to make a shelf-stable product.

Trans fats increase LDL cholesterol levels in addition to saturated fat. Do check the nutrition label of margarines for the lowest trans fat amount and make sure hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated oils are not on the ingredients list.

Some people feel that butter is a more natural choice than margarine and that eating something more natural will give them piece of mind.

In the big picture, portion control and moderation are emphasized with either type of fat. Using butter should not be a daily occurrence, in other words. This may be a good opportunity to try various oils, such as canola oil, olive oil, sesame seed oil, flaxseed oil, peanut oil and others. These oils and those that originate from other nuts and seeds provide those heart-healthy fats, poly and monounsaturated fat. It is recommended to use these fats more often. These oils can offer an enriching and unique flavor to dishes as well.

When it comes to heart health, a good rule of thumb to remember when choosing dietary fats, opt for a fat that is liquid at room temperature rather than solid.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Norman resident honored as volunteer of the week

    Each week, we recognize a volunteer who is making a difference in the lives of veterans and surviving spouses in the area. This week’s volunteer has been making the trip each week to Goldsby for the last five years. I’m proud to say that ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Air travel tips for seniors with special needs

    Dear Savvy Senior, I would like to fly my elderly parents across the country next month for my daughter’s wedding but have some concerns about the flight. My mom has trouble walking long distances and my dad has COPD and needs an oxygen ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Couple with autistic children lead Thorn Bush Autism group

    For Leah and Christian Eisenbeis raising two children with Autism is not only a challenge but it’s been a blessing, too....

    April 20, 2014

  • Free pressure canner checks offered

    With warmer weather trying to get a grip on April’s temperatures, it’s time to get the dial on your pressure canner checked. This is a free service provided by the Cleveland County Extension Office, 601 E. Robinson St. in Norman....

    April 20, 2014

  • Norman artist pledges to continue painting until colors fade

    About five or six months ago, I came across an article in The Norman Transcript about local artist Almira Hill Grammer, who had a display of her work at the State Capitol....

    April 20, 2014

  • ‘Blood moon’ rising

    I guess we all have one thing in common right now. We survived a “blood moon.” What a whirlwind of a week. It seemed that, like Hillary Clinton, the universe was just tossing shoes at me left and right. Maybe it was a sign I need to slow ...

    April 20, 2014

  • What to know about use of BVO

    Q: I’ve heard about Brominated vegetable oil recently. Could you provide some more information? A: Brominated vegetable oil, also called BVO, is a food additive that is often used to keep citrus flavor emulsified in sodas and sports ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Blessing opens demo garden

    A blustery, gray day didn’t mute enthusiasm for the first Saturday of the spring season April 12 at the Cleveland County Master Gardeners demo gardens and the Norman Farm Market....

    April 20, 2014

  • OHCE members receive awards

    Cleveland County’s Oklahoma Home and Community Education members Carol Doner and Megan Doner were award winners at a recent OHCE District meeting in Mustang....

    April 20, 2014

  • Book signing set

    Author Jerry Webster, of Edmond, will sign copies of his book, “What Brings a Soldier to His Knees,” from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Hastings Books, 2300 W. Main St....

    April 20, 2014