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Whether to spread butter or margarine over your toast is a question many of us are asking. Most butters (salted, unsalted or sweet cream) will have a NuVal score of a 2. Most of the fat in butter is saturated fat, resulting in a low NuVal score. Spreads and margarines tend to score higher because they are made with oils, and oils have a better fat profile than butter. The oils used in margarines contain unsaturated fats and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, resulting in a higher NuVal score. Many margarines are lower in saturated fat than butter and are trans-fat and cholesterol free. Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats can help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol. To guarantee your margarine is trans-fat free, check the ingredients list for partially hydrogenated oils. If you don’t see this oil in the ingredients list, then the product is free of trans-fat.

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