Butter, margarine, and cooking oils
Cholesterol - butter; Hyperlipidemia - butter; CAD - butter; Coronary artery disease - butter; Heart disease - butter; Prevention - butter; Cardiovascular disease - butter; Peripheral artery disease - butter; Stroke - butter; Atherosclerosis - butter
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Some types of fat are healthier for your heart than others. Butter and other animal fats and solid margarine may not be the best choices. Alternatives to consider are liquid vegetable oil, such as olive oil.
What to Use When Cooking
When you cook, solid margarine or butter is not the best choice. Butter is high in saturated fat, which can raise your cholesterol. It can also increase your chance of heart disease. Some margarines have some saturated fat plus trans-fatty acids, which can also be bad for you. Both of these fats have health risks.
Some guidelines for healthier cooking:
- Use olive or canola oil instead of butter or margarine.
- Choose soft margarine (tub or liquid) over harder stick forms.
- Choose margarines with liquid vegetable oil, such as olive oil, as the first ingredient.
What Not to Use When Cooking
You should not use:
- Margarine, shortening, and cooking oils that have more than 2 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon (read the nutrition information labels).
- Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats (read the ingredients labels). These are high in saturated fats and trans-fatty acids.
- Shortening or other fats made from animal sources, such as lard.
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Review Date: 8/16/2022
Reviewed By: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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