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Is olive oil healthier than butter or margarine?

Recent studies suggest margarine is worse than animal fats in its artery clogging potential. Doctors have known for some time that saturated fats, the ones that stay solid at room temperature, are not as good for you as unsaturated fats such as vegetable oils.

People enjoy spreading solid fats on their toast and bread rather than using liquid oils as the Mediterranean cultures have done with olive oil for centuries. To produce vegetable oils that stay solid at room temperature, the oils must be hydrogenated, a process whereby hydrogen gas is bubbled through the oil, “saturating” it with hydrogen. Both saturated animal fats (butter) and plant oils (margarine) have been shown to be unhealthy for the heart.

A tablespoon of ordinary butter contains twelve grams of fat, of which 8 grams (66%) are saturated fat. In addition, a serving of butter contains 33 mgs of cholesterol, while olive oil has none! Saturated fat and cholesterol have been linked to increased levels of low density lipoproteins (LDLs) the bad cholesterol. Thus, compared to butter, a serving of olive oil contains much less saturated fat (only 2 grams) and no cholesterol. The comparison with margarine is more difficult because the fat breakdown in margarine varies by manufacturer and ingredient. Margarine typically contains approximately 10 grams of fat per tablespoon.

The solution? Well, your best bet is to dip or drizzle some Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil® on your food instead of spreading margarine.