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Buttering you up.

Remember when the only substitute for butter was white oleomargarine that had to be mixed at home with yellow coloring to make it look like the real thing? Now the supermarket offers a bevy of butter substitutes, each claiming superiority to the others. In addition to stick and soft margarine, butter-margarine blends, lower-calorie margarine, and vegetable oil spreads, we now have powders made from starches that taste like butter. Although most are cholesterol-free, all but the sprinkle-ons contain fat and are thus high in calories. Most are also high in sodium.

A little butter does no harm in a daily diet of less than 300 mg of cholesterol, with no more than 30 percent of calories from fat. If you are using more than a few pats a day, however, you should begin using the substitutes. Although virtually calorie- and cholesterol-free, the sprinkle-ons are not spreadable, but they do nicely on hot and moist foods. There are also diet margarines with half the fat and calories of regular margarine. In any spread, there should be at least twice as much fats with polyunsaturated as saturated fatty acids. Because saturated fats make margarine more solid, tub or liquid margarine is preferable to the sticks. Safflower oil is lowest in saturated fatty acids, followed by sunflower, corn and soybean oil.
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Title Annotation:butter substitutes
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Mar 1, 1990
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