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Earth Balance: A Natural Margarine

Who doesn't love the taste of melted butter on a freshly baked muffin? Although that creamy taste is unforgettable, we all know that butter isn't exactly healthy for us because it contains artery-clogging saturated fat and cholesterol.

Margarine is in no way a better option because most of them are made with hydrogenated oils that are high in trans fat. Why are trans fats so bad? They actually raise the bad cholesterol in our bodies and lower the good cholesterol.

I've got a better choice. Have you ever tried Earth Balance? It comes in a tub like other butter alternatives, but it contains no trans-fat whatsoever. It's not made with hydrogenated oils, but rather is a blend of natural vegetable oils including canola and olive.

Ok, so it's healthier for you, but does it taste good? Yes!! It really does. It has a light buttery flavor, that melts just like butter on warm bread. Plus Earth Balance is dairy-free, so it's a great alternative if you are lactose intolerant. You can use it in place of butter when spreading, cooking, or even baking.

Fit's Tips: Look for it in the dairy section next to the butter and margarine. Most health food stores carry it, and I've also been happy to see it on the shelves of mainstream grocery stores.

Join The Conversation
RichardT RichardT 5 years
What are the natural vegetable oils? Does it contain soy, soy lecithin, or any type of soy derivative?
richard68 richard68 6 years
These are the ingredients: expeller pressed natural oil blend (soybean palm fruit, canola and olive), filtered water, pure salt, natural flavor (derived from corn, no MSG, no alcohol, no gluten), soy protein, soy lecithin, lactic acid (non-dairy, derived from sugar beets), and beta-carotene color (from natural source). This is an awful lot of processing to arrive at a butter that is claimed to be unhealthy. This pseudo butter is now a processed food and this is more problematic than butter. Add to that a plastic bin and I see no justification for buying this substance whatsoever. And when you look at the nutritional facts both have the same fat content per 14 g serving: 17%. Don't forget that there are a lot of people who read a one-off publication like the China Study and decide overnight that all milk products are bad. This study is highly biased and discredited. There is no transcultural study to make this study have legs, on the one hand and furthermore, an association between serum levels of fatty acids and disease does not in itself establish causality. For instance the Maasai and Inuit both have diets high in animal fat and protein and yet extremely low rates of cancer. More fundamentally, Campbell omitted data showing a higher correlation between wheat flour intake and many diseases (notably coronary heart disease, cervical cancer, hypertension and stroke) than with animal protein intake. So what is the best way to eat healthily. This is my own scientific recommendation: 1. Eat dairy in moderation: we are so used to reading a book in North America and throwing out everything without looking at the facts that we overeat. Just eat less dairy, albeit all from organically raised animals. 2. Use ghee: this is clarified butter. Indians have been doing it for thousands of years and their rates of cancer are just fine. 3. Refrigerate olive oil.
cgmaetc cgmaetc 10 years
I've tried this brand and it's tasty, but I will stick to butter, thank you. I look at it like this: Butter is made from whole milk/heavy cream and salt. That's it. I've made it with my 3rd graders for science. 2 ingredients. No more, no less (check your label is you don't believe me). Margarines such as these contain processed oils, chemically extrapolated from natural things like canola nuts, veggies, olives and the like. Personally, I prefer real butter in moderation on my toast, over some grilled veggies, or with whole wheat pancakes. I use butter to bake as well. I reserve olive oils for cooking, sautee-ing and what have you. I don't think that just because margarine is low in cholesterol and saturated fats that it is necessarily good for you. The process is too technology-oriented for my taste. It's like Velveeta vs. real cheese. One is called 'cheese food' or 'cheese product' and the other is called 'cheese'. One has less fat and melts better, the other is full of fat but it's REAL CHEESE. -the ceeg
daiseechain daiseechain 10 years
has anyone tried baking with it? How does it fare?
LesleyP825 LesleyP825 10 years
This stuff is yummy! I buy it all the time. They sell it at Trader Joe's.
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