Butter V's Margarine

Reporter: Lynda Kinkade

I don't think a lot of people realise Saturated Fats are the problem they are.

The tide is "churning" for our favourite daily spreads.

You're effectively giving yourself a double dose of saturated fat.

We've been told to eat lean meats, skinless chicken and forgo full fat dairy products.

However, it's in Butter where saturated fats are creeping into our diets at alarming high levels.

Something like butter it might only be a little spread on your bread, but it can be high in Saturated Fat content and add up to a load of Saturated fat over time.

According to the heart foundations own research, just by eating butter with toast and sandwiches you're consuming an extra 2.8 kilograms of saturated fat every year. Said Dietician Emma Stirling

We know with saturated fat that it's the type that raises the blood cholesterol levels, the bad cholesterol levels in your blood can clog your arteries and lead to increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.

Look, I'm not suggesting we ban butter there is certainly role for butter in baking and chefs love butter, but when you're looking at your daily choices for your kids lunches there are much better alternatives.

So what are they?

We did some exclusive lab tests commissioned by Avo Fresh.

We've reverse engineered six of the most common kitchen condiments.

Measuring out the average spread serving of FIVE GRAMS to test for saturated fat content .

Food Scientist, GARY KENNEDY, from Correct Food Systems explains the process.

I know you wanted the tests explained, I've cut it down to fifty seconds, no voice we have an hour of pictures to cover it. Please let me know what you think.

We've got to make sure they're all weighed exactly compare similar samples across the range of products we tested.

We're putting the sample into a solvent and the solvent is extracting the fat out that we want to test.

What we're doing in the mixing stage is to swirl it around and we're ensuring that the sample makes maximum contact with the solvent so we're getting all of the fat out of the food product and all of the fat is dissolving in the solvent.

Get rid of the rest of the food and just allowing the Solvent with the extracted fat in it to come through

and we're leaving all the rubbish behind that isn't a part of our test.

We can then put it into the Gascromatagraph and it's the Gascromatagraph that measures the amount of each fat component, each saturated fat.

So we don't actually have one saturated fat, we've got a lot of different saturated fats that add up to a total saturated fat and that machine tells us how much of each of the saturated fats is present in each of the spreads.

So what were the results?

The Home Heavyweights Butter and Margarine went head to head for worst spread.

Dead last, Butter which contained 54% Saturated Fat.

With a comfortable margin.

Second from the bottom was Margarine.

With 20% Saturated Fat content

Years ago we obviously grew up just eating butter but we know now there are some healthy alternatives, Margarine has changed greatly in its fat profile and has those healthier poly and mono saturated fats.

As with Cream Cheese

Which was also equal second worst, point-ninth of a gram.

Mayonnaise can be a mixed bag.

But the brand we tested contained only half a gram of saturated fats.

EMMA tells us why.

Mayonnaise was interesting, this product is made with healthier vegetable oil so it's again not such a bad choice

So what were the healthiest options?

The Avocado Spread from a tube, came in with only point-two of a gram of saturated fats.

Something like Avo fresh it's just scooped avocado product with a bit of lemon juice and a bit of seasoning, it's got a very similar nutritional value to fresh avocado.

I love to make my own hommos myself, can of chick peas bit of oil, lemon juice, and seasoning. But I know convenience products like these really can help...

So should we ban butter completely in someone's diet?

I'm definitely not advocating we ban butter there is a role for butter in baking and it's got a beautiful flavour but you really need to look closely at what you're packing your kids lunches for those daily choices because we think it's only a little bit of butter for your bread, but it's that small daily choice that can add up to huge difference in your saturated fat intake.