Sunday, March 17, 2013

Butter, Margarine or I Can't Believe It's Not Butter?

When discussing fats with my fabulous nutrition students at Westchester Community College last week, the following question was debated:
What about I Can't Believe It's Not Butter (ICBINB)? There are lots of claims on the packaging: No Trans Fat, No Hydrogenated Oils, No Cholesterol......


So I told the students that we needed to look at the Nutrition Facts Panel and check it out
.
 It has less calories per Tablespoon 70 vs 100 in butter. They are both 100% Fat in total (no carbs or protein in either) but ICBINB is 1/3 lower in Saturated Fat (artery clogging). Zero Trans fat on the label (but we know what that means.... it could have <.5 GM even though it says ZERO.

So now we MUST check the ingredient list.  This pic is not the best but it should be noted that the ONLY ingredients in butter are cream and salt. Cream comes from an animal and therefore we know it has saturated fat (artery clogging). But the list of ingredients in ICBINB is very long and includes emulsifiers, artificial coloring and flavors and preservatives.

SO WHAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE?  

 I SAY: USE BUTTER IN MODERATION!! VEGETABLE OILS WHEN YOU CAN.              
GET RID OF THE ARTIFICIAL STUFF AND DEFINITELY DON'T USE MARGARINE WHICH IS FILLED WITH HYDROGENATED AND TRANS FAT.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

31 comments:

  1. Rose Carmen Nutrition 101- Tue 11-1:50March 21, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    First of all, I wanted to let you know that since taking your class, I now developed a habit of checking first the Nutrition Facts Panel and the ingredients list. I learned to watch out for red flag words such as hydrogenated, high fructose and bleached. I also learned to be skeptical of claims and words in food labels doesn't necessarily mean they're good as they seem to be like 'enriched' and '0 grams trans fat'. And I learned that any thing that is 20% above in the % daily value is high. So looking at the above % daily value I can say that it has a fair amount of fat but that is why we need to take in consideration the ingredients list which contains artificial coloring, flavors and preservatives. So I agree with you that we can still use butter (or enjoy other delicious food) but in moderation. If I didn't know what you taught me, I could've been easily swayed with the claims in labels and be enticed like most of the general public that didn't have the knowledge. So kudos to you Allison and please keep good information coming in!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rose, glad to know that you are reading the labels:)

      Delete
  2. I'm not that kind of person that eats butter every single day or very often. I barely eat butter, so I didn't use to look at the Nutrition Facts Panel and ingredients list. Also, I used to read claims in foods and when I buying it, now I read the most I cant in the ingredients list and Nutrition Facts Panel. Even that I don't eat butter, I consider that it is important to read the ingredients list and let my family know about what is good and what is not, so they can make better choices about butter and the amounts of it they eat. By looking at % daily value it has a enormous amount of fat. However, I think it is important to know the amount of calories we need to eat daily according to our gender, age and physical activity. Also, it is helpful to know the kind of food we eat regularly. If we are eating foods with a lot fat, then we have eat less butter and fatty foods. Thank you for the advice!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Brian Lambert (Nutrition 101 - Tuesday 11:00-1:50March 24, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    I am not one who consumes a lot of butter, or margarine, (unless its already added in) but I do agree in that one should avoid processed margarine and have butter in moderation. So many people fall into this product's trap with its name, claims, and advertising. Last semester I had a Biology Professor who would sometimes state that if a product has more than 5 ingredients, especially if we can't pronounce it or if it states that an ingredient is artificial, we should most likely not purchase it. This margarine product's ingredient list states that there are more than 5 ingredients, compared to butter that only contains cream and salt, and the product states that it contains things such as artificial flavoring and processed ingredients. I feel that so many people would be leaned off of this product if they were told how artificial this product is, especially stating that margarine's natural state is liquid and it just goes under so much processing to imitate butter, as well as comparing labels and ingredients of margarine to butter to see that butter is less processed and better for you than over-processed margarine. So the best option is margarine in its liquid state but most people would prefer something creamy on their food, such as bread, so butter would be a better choice in that scenario compared to processed-wannabe-butter (margarine.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Brian, I agree and not to mention that the processing in which margerine undergoes is hydrogenation which produces trans fat that is not healthy.

      Delete
  4. In my household we use i cant believe its not butter everyday. However, we don't use it as a complete substitute for butter. Honestly i understand that you have to wary of what you eat but it is not just what you eat you have to exercise and not engorge your self. i would like to be healthy all the time but they literally create things to taste better. in the case of butter, it isn't going to be replaced it has many cooking benefits just because of its simplicity, but margarine has been the alternate for man years so now people are accustomed to using it and that happens with a lot of things. they grab what they are used to because it is what they like and it is hard to switch when you don't know the benefits of the alternative. i feel if i was to choose i would choose moderation over switching to something you are not going to enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right, margerine was the alternative for so many years thinking that it was a "healthy" replacement for butter. Moderation is definitely a key to success in eating healthy.

      Delete
  5. I live in an extremely healthy house hold. Everything in my pantry is either 100% organic or 100% whole grain. We use I Can't Believe its not Butter, we find it to be on the healthier side among other fortified fatty butters. But here's the reality check: It has ingredients. Therefore, it has calories. Food manufacturers are allowed to say "ZERO" if it has less than 5 cal per serving. So if it has 4 cal per serving, they can say zero. But if you eat 5 servings, it's 20 calories. This may not seem like a lot, unless thinking it is ZERO, you drench everything you eat in it. I learned from my nutrition Professor Allison TannenBaum that the nutritional information on packaging is frequently incorrect! There are many factors to look at when it comes to looking into many of the nutrition facts posted on labels. Being in nutrition 101 i learned to be attentive to my daily intake of certain fatty butters on foods.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The nutritional packaging on labels is not always incorrect, but it is important to look at all the parts of a label to evaluate whether or not something would be healthy or not.

      Delete
  6. Kristine Allen nutrition 101 Tuesday 11:30 classMarch 25, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    I love that fact that I am so much more aware of the food that I purchase and am now label conscious. I feel better about buying products that don't have a million mile long ingredient list. I remember a commercial that Breyer's ice cream had put out many years ago with a little girl reading the ingredients on the breyer's ice cream (something like cream, sugar and strawberries) then reading some other brand with a list of unpronounceable ingredients. She did not understand what they were supposed to be and why they were in her ice cream. She just wanted ice cream. Anyway, I feel like that little girl, except with butter in this instance, and if I cannot pronounce it or know what it is, then why do I want it in my body. So I would rather stick with the butter and use it so sparingly and know exactly what it is then load my body with chemicals and fats that aren't good for me anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristine, that commercial is a really good example of how to remind ourselves of foods that are not processed. Looking at the ingredient list is definitely a way to evaluate your food.

      Delete
  7. Margarine has always been considered an unhealthy product. Any product that substitutes for another usually poses health concerns. All foods that are considered unhealthy should be consumed moderately according to your health standards. I would consider using butter only or no butter at all.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I myself for the past 2 years have been very cautious with the type of food I consume, and every time I go food shopping I have developed a habit of always look looking at the food label before picking out any specific types of food product. I also never been big on butter, I know since taking your class that anything high in Saturated fats is a leading cause for heart disease. Butter is also considered a high fat food. people that manufactures these types of food products, will try to convince people to buy this products because of all the adds and claims, only because it has all these claims doesn't mean it is automatically good for the body. Our recommended daily value is not suppose to be pass 20 and this product is good in that area. So I can agree to choose butter over margarine anything that is artificial is also bad for ones body. -AA Tuesday 11:00am

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have been using CountryCrock for years. I believed it was a healthier alternative to butter due to claims of no hydrogenated oil and 0 trans fat. Not to mention it was cost effective and lasted longer than a pack of butter. After being educated in your class about how to properly read and analyze food labels, I have switched to organic extra virgin olive oil. Using EVOO on pasta or even home made french fries, which has become my kids new favorite, is a great alternative that is rich in flavor and packed with lots of nutritional benefits. Although it is higher in calories, it contains healthy fats and like most things, it is used in moderation. It may be a more expensive alternative, but I am willing to pay the cost for good health.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Our class discussion about "i can't believe it's not butter" i had an epiphany. It might sound silly, but i never gave much thought to the fact that regardless of the caloric count when i consume butter or a butter-like product i am still consuming one hundred percent fat. I don't know why i did not think of this before but it was an eye opening realization. When i got home i walked over to my fridge and pulled out the three types of butter i had there. I could not believe how many ingredients were in some of the products. I felt a little foolish as a consumer because i never got passed the front label with their claims of lower saturated fat, less calories, etc... I decided to toss all of the "fake" butter out, kept my Stew Leonard's farm fresh butter that only had two ingredients (cream and salt). L. betancourt Nutrition101

    ReplyDelete
  11. Before Nutrition 101 i use to use Country Crock. i now look at nutrition labels and ingredients at all time. I realized Country Crock has trans fat. Margarine is totally artificial, consuming chemicals into our body is not good. Looking at the ingredients can be more helpful than looking at the labels because label may say no trans fat but ingredients may say hydrogenated oils which is trans fat. I told my mom about the class and told her all about butter vs. Margarine. She agreed and we toss the country crock out and put the Land Lakes in the fridge. Now I find butter more enjoyable and ofcourse healthier. Butter its not really better thats why its more recommended to buy light butter. Olive oil is a good alternative for butter since it cuts back on cholesterol. Regardless of what people want to use portion size matters too. Like everything else we choose to eat, moderation is the key.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Christopher Santos Nutrition 101 Tues 11:00-1:50April 1, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Since taking Nutrition i have been more aware of my eating habits and reading the labels and different foods. At home we only use ICBINB because it seems like the wiser choice compared to using a stick of butter. I always told my girlfriend to stop using salted butter, but after reading this, even though ICBINB is less in calories, maybe using butter moderately is a better choice than consuming all the preservatives and artifical ingredients in ICBINB.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Jovana Syku Nutrition 101 Tues 11April 1, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    I never really use butter, but it's funny to see that they advertise I Can't Believe it's Not Butter to be better than margarine or butter when in reality it may even be worse for a person. I personally like to use PAM when I'm cooking anything.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Kei White Nutrition 101May 14, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    First, I’ve never known anything about Palm Oil before taking Nutrition 101, and Palm Oil is an ingredient in ICBINB. We all know by now that Palm Oil is solid at room temperature and high in saturated fat. When comparing ICBINB to butter, I think butter is still a better choice even though it also has saturated fat. Butter contains only cream and salt, while ICBINB has many more ingredients along with preservatives. I have to admit that I love butter in my recipes, but I’ve learned to use it in moderation and use alternatives such as Grapeseed oil. Basically when comparing the two we should carefully distinguish which is more nutrient dense and/or which is less artificial, and has the least empty calories.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Have you heard of Mary Enig? She wrote "Eat Fat Lose Fat". Saturated fat and cholesterol in foods are not necessarily "artery clogging". Our body sends our own cholesterol to arteries in response to INFLAMMATION. Eating margarine or ICBINB will cause more inflammation than butter. That's why we should avoid them. If man made it, it's probably bad for you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Both sides of my family my grand parents lived into there 90's and eat meat and potatoes everyday didn't have processed foods as we do today. So I gave always felt that processed foods are not good for you and are the major reason we have cancer today. So I try to eat what I consider "real food" and stay away from processed. My grand parents lived long life's and died of natural causes, no cancers and like I said I ate real butter, red meats etc. I'm 63 and consider myself healthier than most and I'm not changing now. Don't get sick like others no colds or flues maybe it's good genes but you will never make be stop believing "processed" anything is bad for you. Read labels if you can pronounce it don't consume it!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep in mind the physical activity levels of your grandparents!

      Delete
  17. http://ireport.cnn.com/people/jjtakala

    ReplyDelete
  18. Beta carotene is not an artificial color, it is a natural pigment found in carrots.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Does our country understand "moderation"? Do we know that just 2 Tablespoons of butter supply the recommended daily amount of saturated fat to not exceed to lower cholesterol? I think we need to be careful and really evaluate the word "moderation".

    ReplyDelete
  20. I believe that 'palm oil' is of the most unhealthy foods on the planet!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I can't believe it's food.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Live life to the fullest...I don't want rice tasting all plain, & I hate salt, so I use ICBINB, its soooo yummy. Can't be too strict on what we eat, that's not living.

    ReplyDelete