July 4, 2008

You Ask, I Answer: Vegetable Oil Spreads

My dad has heart disease, and his nutritionist said he should not use Earth Balance because it contains palm fruit (i.e., palm oil).

She instead recommends those spray bottles of fake butter.

Seems to me like that's recommending a bunch of fake chemicals instead of a naturally derived product with modest amounts of saturated fat (and no trans fat).

-- Anonymous

Via the blog

Hmmm.... that's rather peculiar advice.

The key with heart disease is limiting saturated fat, not eliminating it. Additionally, focus should be placed on consumption of healthier fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.)

Besides, all oils contain some saturated fat -- it is virtually impossible to go an entire day without having some of it in our diets.

A tablespoon of olive oil, for instance, contains 2 grams of saturated fat (10% of a day's limit.) However, it also packs in 10 grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

A tablespoon of butter, meanwhile, provides 7.5 grams of saturated fat.

Earth Balance spreads have some saturated fat (naturally occurring in the plant oils from which it is made) but also 3.5 grams of monounsaturated fat and an additional 3.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat (440 milligrams are Omega-3 fatty acids).

Artificial butter sprays, meanwhile, are fat-free.

When it comes to heart disease, consumption of monounsaturated fat (olive oil, cashes, avocado, sesame seeds, peanuts, almonds, etc.) is much more beneficial than fat avoidance.

I say go for the Earth Balance (while still minding calories, of course.)

No comments: