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Butter & Spreads

Butter and speads can be used on top of bread. Butter is, of course, an excellent fat for cooking.

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Butter & Spreads Buying Guide

What you put on your bread might be a matter of preferred taste, or a simple nutrition choice. With the range of butters and spreads on the market, both taste and health requirements are catered for.

Butter is widely promoted as the natural spread, because it uses basic ingredients and doesn't go through the same manufacturing process as margarine. However, butter has about 50 percent saturated fat in its total fat content of 80%, as well as high sodium levels. Unsalted butters obviously have less salt, but the fat content is still very high.

For those who crave the butter taste but want a healthier option, look for butter blends. These are a combination of butter, buttermilk or milk solids, softened with vegetable oil. They have less saturated fat and, as a bonus, are far easier to spread.

For spreads that are way down on the saturated fat scale, vegetable oil-based spreads are what to choose. Canola, sunflower and olive oils are popular bases for these types of spreads. Those needing to do something about their cholesterol should shop around for spreads containing plant sterols, which are reputed to actively lower cholesterol. These products cost more than regular spreads, and you have to eat around 25 grams daily to get true benefit – that's about five teaspoons. Meanwhile, others might need to watch their salt intake, so when it comes to sodium, look for a spread with 400mg or less of sodium per 100g.