What’s a good substitute for butter?
For starters, I’m not opposed to butter. It’s a product that comes from nature, and it’s ok to use in moderation. The important thing to keep in mind is that butter has a high saturated fat content,
so try to use small amounts and alternate it with oils that are lower in saturated fat, like vegetable oils.
Margarine was originally marketed as a “healthier” alternative to butter because it’s made with vegetable oil rather than cream. Margarine is in fact lower in saturated fat, but it is often partially-hydrogenated, meaning it contains trans fats. (Trans fats increase the risk of heart disease and have a negative effect on cholesterol levels.) However, margarines or spreads without trans fats do exist and taste great—my favorite is Earth Balance Buttery Spread because it tastes great on whole-wheat toast and has a similar texture to butter.
- For cooking, use vegetable oils, including organic canola, sunflower or coconut oils are high heat and olive oil at medium heat.
- For baking, try pureed dried plums, Greek yogurt, applesauce, mashed black or white beans. The flavor may change a bit (although in some cases you would never know!), but the same type of moistness can be achieved with less fat and added nutrients.
- As a spread, try mashed or sliced avocado, hummus or almond butter for a solid boost of good nutrition and flavor.
How do you cut down on butter in your diet? Share your great tips with us in the comment section.
– Stacey Antine, M.S. R.D., author, Appetite for Life and founder, HealthBarn USA
What puzzles you about keeping your family healthy? Tell us what’s on your mind by emailing [email protected]. Stacey will answer those questions here weekly.