You are definitely not alone. Many people are confused about selecting a tablespread. However, a
study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association puts this debate to rest.
Researchers found that compared to butter, diets that contained margarine lowered LDL, or “bad” cholesterol,
in adults by an average of about 11 percent without affecting levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol.
Children also benefited from eating soft margarine in place of butter, with a similar reduction in LDL cholesterol
of about 9 percent.
(For more information about the study, click here.)
For individuals who have heard some news reports about trans fats in margarine and other foods, it is also
important to mention most of the trans fat in the diet comes from fried and baked goods. It is unfortunate
that many consumers associate trans fat with margarine - when in fact margarine contributes only a miniscule
amount of trans fat to the diet. For those individuals who want to monitor their trans fat intake, they should
know that many varieties of buttery spreads (soft margarine spreads) are trans-fat-free, such as I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray or soft Shedd's Spread Country Crock with Yogurt. Softer margarines
such as those found in tubs have very little or no trans fatty acids. In addition, many stick margarines have been
reformulated to contain less total fat and less trans fat than their traditional counterparts - and some sticks
available today contain no trans fat at all.
The bottom line: Soft margarine spreads are a more heart healthy choice and leading health authorities continue to recommend
its use in place of butter.
The American Dietetic Association recommends that refrigerators be kept at 34 to 40
degrees Fahrenheit. Freezers should be kept at zero degrees Fahrenheit or less. This will
ensure that food is kept at a safe temperature (these temperatures help to prevent the
growth of microorganisms, which can cause food to spoil). It also may be worthwhile to buy
a thermometer, usually found in kitchen stores or your local supermarket, to check for
This is an excellent question. With everyone leading busy lives, it can be difficult to
keep your refrigerator full of healthy items. However, there are some things you can do to
help keep your refrigerator "heart-healthy".
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, if you are in a time crunch. The
"perimeter" is where you find the "staples" for heart-healthy
refrigerators – such as fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meats, and milk, not to
mention frozen versions of these foods.
- Keep frozen items on hand for busy nights. Many companies now make easy-to-heat/prepare
"frozen meals" that can make a busy lifestyle more healthful.
- Keep a running list of items that you need. This way when you go to the grocery store
you know exactly what to buy and where to find it.
- Try shopping at the same place so you can become accustomed to their floor plan. If you
know where things are, you will be in and out of the store more quickly. And never shop
when you are hungry, you will be more tempted to buy higher fat, calorie-laden foods.
- Buy pre-cut fruits and vegetables and store those at the front of the refrigerator.
Although pre-cut items are more costly, it definitely beats the alternative –
allowing fruits and vegetables to spoil because you are too busy to cut and peel them
yourself! Pre-cut items make great finger foods and snacks for kids as well.
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primarily as an educational resource. It is not intended to provide medical advice on
personal health matters or to guide treatment which is only appropriately done by a
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