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Nutrition Facts of Margarine: Nutrients, Benefits and Recipes

The Nutrition Facts of Margarine

You might have heard that margarine is unhealthy and trans fats have been given a bad reputation. The truth is, many people just don’t know what the benefits or drawbacks of consuming margarine or if it is even healthy to eat at all.

Margarine is very popular and it is widely used as a substitute for butter because some people are allergic to dairy products. Margarine is used for cooking, baking and frying but it does not have the same flavor, texture or color as butter.

Nutrition Facts of Margarine

1tbsp (14.3g) of margarine contains:

  • Calories: 102kcal
  • Total Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.2g
  • Trans Fat: 1.1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 0.3mg
  • Potassium: 2.6mg
  • Carbohydrate: 0.1g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 0g

Margarine Nutritional Benefits

Margarine contains nutrients such as fatty acids, vitamins A, D, and E that are beneficial to our health.

Fats: Fatty acids in margarine serves as a good source of energy for the body.

Vitamin A: Contributes to the maintenance of normal skin, vision and function of the immune system.

Vitamin D: Helps in the maintenance of normal bones, teeth, muscles and the function of the immune system.

Vitamin E: Protects essential fatty acids from oxidative damage.

Margarine Production

The partial hydrogenation process allows for the creation of fats that are solid at room temperature, a quality that is seen as desirable for the growth of commercial food products such as margarine. However, during the process of partial hydrogenation, trans fatty acids are formed.

Plant and vegetable based oils are mostly used to process margarine because they usually contain less saturated fatty acids than animal-based oils and fats. Blends of plant-based oils and fats provide both essential omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA.

How is margarine formed?.

The process only requires the use of animal oils or vegetable oils. Hydrogen gas is pumped through the oils to solidify forming a grey lumpy paste. Additives and colors are added to give flavor and texture to the paste which then eventually produces margarine as the final product.

Can I Substitute Butter With Margarine?

Yes, you can replace butter with margarine. For heart health, choose a margarine with no more than 2grams of saturated fat and zero trans fat. Replacing all saturated fat in your diet with MUFAs and PUFAs can lower bad cholesterol. If you can’t give up butter and don’t have heart disease, make sure you aren’t getting more than 10 to 15grams of saturated fat per day.

Afterthought: While some products may retain naturally occurring trans fat, there is currently no set limit for consumption of naturally occurring trans fat. Current recommendations are to consume as little total trans fat as possible without diminishing the nutritional adequacy of the diet

Are There Any Side Effects?

Synthesized trans fat in margarine has been shown to significantly increase LDL cholesterol and lowered HDL cholesterol.

According to the American Heart Association, studies show that eating too much trans fat increases the risk of heart diseases.

How to Store Margarine

Important things to remember when storing margarine are:

  • Keep it in the fridge at 40°F (4°C)
  • Margarine lasts 90-120days sealed, it should be stored in the fridge and consumed within 2months of opening
  • Margarine can be frozen 6-8months
  • Margarine goes bad when it starts growing molds and have a sour smell and taste

Food You Can Prepare With Margarine

Over the decades, margarine recipes have steadily improved to reduce saturated fatty acids and increase PUFA and MUFA content. Margarine recipes you can prepare at home include:

  • Veg Puff
  • Khari Biscuit
  • Puff Pastry Biscuits
  • Shrewsbury Biscuits
  • Swiss Roll
  • Cream of Celery Soup
  • Grilled Reuben Sandwich
  • Roasted Lemon Herb Chicken
  • Firecracker Chicken

Takeaway

Margarine produced from vegetable oils contains low saturated fatty acids with zero trans fat and should be eaten in less amounts to avoid any health complications.

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