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Margarine vs. Butter Comparison Chart

Q. “Is it better to eat butter than margarine because of the trans fat?”

A. No. Although some margarines contain more trans fat than butter, the total of trans and saturated fat (the LDL-C raising fats) is always less than the total for butter. The total for butter is much higher because of all the saturated fat that it contains. The chart [left] shows you the comparisons of the content of these types of fats in butter and in some margarines. It is usually better to eat the softer or liquid margarines that contain lower amounts of saturated and trans fats. Also, nonstick cooking spray may be substituted for other fats when greasing the pan. Since that time [chart data is from 1995], the margarine industry has reformulated many margarine products to reduce the total fat, saturated fat and trans fat content.?

Product Total Fat Saturated Fat Trans Fat Saturated and Trans Fats
Butter 10.8 7.2 0.3 7.5
Margarine, stick (82% fat) 11.4 2.3 2.4 4.7
Margarine, stick (68% fat) 9.5 1.6 1.8 3.4
Margarine, tub (80% fat) 11.2 1.9 1.1 3.0
Margarine, tub (40% fat) 5.6 1.1 0.6 1.7
* Butter values from FDA Table of Trans Values, dated 1/30/95.
Other values from USDA Composition Data, 1995.


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