People often ask what is the best thing to put on to their toast in the morning for breakfast. There is a constant debate on whether butter is better as it is more natural or margarine is better due to its lower saturated fat content. At the end of the day it is up to you to decide what suits you best. A small spread of butter a day will not increase your cholesterol levels or affect your weight in a big way.
Increased consumption of saturated fats raises the amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Consumption of monounsaturated fats raises HDL cholesterol which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Hence, spreads which are low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fats are the healthiest.
Types of spreads:
Butter vs. Margarine
Butter contains about 51g of saturated fat per 100g. Margarine on the other hand contains 15g per 100g of saturated fat. Churning cream will make butter, whilst margarine is made from a combination of oils through a process known as hydrogenation.
Olive oil spread
Olive oil spread contains approximately 17g of saturated fat per 100g and a high amount of monounsaturated fat (more than 35g).
Mother nature has given us an amazing fruit which is high in monounsaturated fat (good for cholesterol), antioxidants such as Vitamin C which is protective against heart disease as well as fibre(4g/100g) which is important for gut health and reduces the risk of diseases such as diabetes and high cholesterol. One can have mashed avocado on toast or make it into guacamole by adding lime juice, tomato, onion, garlic and chilli.
Flora Proactive spread
It has minimal saturated fat and added plant sterol which may help to lower cholesterol in conjunction with an overall healthy diet that includes sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables.
Reduced fat cheese
Although it contains a decent amount of saturated fat, it provides a good quantity of protein and calcium. Above all, it can be a good option to include couple of days a week.
Originated from the middle eastern cuisine, hummus is very popular due to its amazing flavour and nutritional properties. Hummus is made from chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. It is low in saturated fat (bad fat) and high in monounsaturated fat (good fat). In addition, it is high in dietary fibre and low in calories (30 calories in 1 tablespoon).
Varying your diet with these different types of spreads can help break the boredom. It can also reduce the stress you might feel about over consuming saturated fat.
This article was written by our Dietitian and Nutritionist Juhi Bhambhaney. If you have questions about diet and nutrition contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see a dietitian and nutritionist. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today!