Butter Or Margarine: Which is Better for baking?

[amazon_link asins=’B00XAJBC2S,B01DCU0L6M,B01MSE45OP,B00PCDAQ7W,B00B048ZJI,B00B04J55Q,B00T7ESP8Y,B00DT8K91A’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c1c5d7c3-18f2-11e7-9def-4f3b8b724c3a’][amazon_link asins=’B000CC1FM8,B01A13AUAU,B00RPSOEF2,B0050ILPI8,B00G12Z36W,B00DC5ZKQE,B00B04G0JU,B001LNPHNA,B0006Q9568′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8d800910-18f2-11e7-8a2b-0529cb3148f7′]


‘You have to pick the lesser of two evils,’ a dietitian says. ‘In butter, it’s the saturated fat content, and in margarine, it’s trans fat.’

……………..CLICK & SEE
The composition of the fats in butter and margarine is very different. Butter has much more cholesterol-raising saturated fat.

If there’s one indulgence that’s practically unavoidable this time of year, it may well be the tray of holiday cookies. Adorned with sprinkles, spread with jam and frosting or dusted with powdered sugar, such cookies are a far cry from a healthful snack. Still, many cooks may nonetheless stand in their kitchens and wonder: Is it better to make them with margarine or butter?

Butter and margarine have a similar overall fat content — and therefore a lot of calories, says Katherine Zeratsky, a registered dietitian with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. But the composition of the fats in butter and margarine differs significantly.

“You have to pick the lesser of two evils,” Zeratsky says. “In butter, it’s the saturated fat content, and in margarine, it’s trans fat.”

A tablespoon of butter contains more than three times the amount of cholesterol-raising saturated fat than the same amount of margarine — 7 grams in butter compared with 2 grams in margarine.

In addition, butter and margarine contain mono- and polyunsaturated fats, but margarine contains them in far greater amounts: close to 9 grams per tablespoon compared with butter’s 3.5 grams. These fats don’t raise LDL cholesterol — and some can help lower it, says Penny Kris-Etherton, professor of nutrition at Penn State University in University Park, Penn.

Margarine’s drawback is its trans-fat content. Margarines are made from blends of vegetable oils, such as corn, soybean, safflower or canola. Hydrogenation, a chemical process, replaces double chemical bonds in those oils with single chemical bonds, making the liquid oils solid at room temperature. When that replacement process is incomplete, the result is a partially hydrogenated oil, also known as a trans fat. Trans fats are what make margarine solid instead of liquid — but they’ve also been shown to be even worse for heart health than saturated fats. Not only do trans fats raise LDL cholesterol levels, they also lower HDL, or good, cholesterol.

For the last two years, manufacturers have been forced to list trans fats on food labels; as a result, many have reformulated their margarines (and other products) to lower or eliminate their trans fat content.

But the letter of the law is such that a food can claim to have no trans fat as long as it contains less than 0.5 gram of trans fat per serving. “Even when the label says trans fat-free, it doesn’t really mean that,” says Barry Swanson, a food science professor at Washington State University in Pullman.

Food scientists, meanwhile, are still experimenting with alternatives to trans fats, which have been put into foods since the label law, says Richard Hartel, professor of food engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Many manufacturers are replacing trans fats with a blend of vegetable fats; one common substitute is palm oil, which was condemned decades ago for its large fraction — 50% — of saturated fat. Today, manufacturers often alter that fraction, but the final fraction of saturated fats in margarine containing palm oil may not be discernible from the label, Swanson says.

Butter, on the other hand, is and always has been churned milk, a fact that makes it preferable to certain consumers, Zeratsky says. But that very fact means that butter, as an animal product, is loaded not only with saturated fat but also contains cholesterol — something margarine doesn’t contain.

Of course, when it comes to baking cookies, there are other factors on which to base the butter or margarine decision: aesthetics and flavor.

Butter contains an abundance of small-chain fatty acids, which readily break down during the baking process into a variety of molecules with a range of flavors — lending baked goods a rich, buttery flavor, Swanson says. The flavor imparted by the long-chain molecules in vegetable oils, on the other hand, is far less complex.

Butter and margarine both tend to make thin, flat cookies. Though tub margarine often has more of a healthful profile than stick margarine — it has more polyunsaturated fat and is less likely to contain trans fat — cookies made with tub margarine will be very thin and oily due to tub margarine’s high liquid content, says Eric Decker, chairman of the department of food science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Of course, sticklers for a cookie with light texture and volume know that the secret is neither butter nor margarine — it’s often shortening or lard, fat content be damned.

Hartel, author of “Food Bites: The Science of the Foods We Eat,” says he uses a combination of butter and shortening when baking cookies. “Ultimately, that’s a personal choice. The key is not to eat too many cookies.”

Sources: Los Angles Times

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
News on Health & Science

Natural Trans Fats May be Good for You

[amazon_link asins=’B00CJZ4FD2′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b49a58c8-7fe2-11e7-a4a8-e550404b56e9′][amazon_link asins=’B00FRFRZF6′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a8f2a526-7fe2-11e7-afc3-13eea81724a9′][amazon_link asins=’B00032G1S0′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’99fbecd9-7fe2-11e7-9c98-797056bef479′]

[amazon_link asins=’B074CLFV8J’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’682f0d89-7fe2-11e7-b0ad-25c6b04e01ca’][amazon_link asins=’B00PLD76Q2′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4e4328bb-7fe2-11e7-acae-cbddc68ce85a’][amazon_link asins=’B00CSRMYDE’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4115becc-7fe2-11e7-8762-97fb826778fc’][amazon_link asins=’B01JHPBDQI’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’1802757a-7fe2-11e7-80ea-c7177d412e5c’][amazon_link asins=’B00CHUGFNW’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’debff304-7fe1-11e7-83a8-db0f27b79c93′][amazon_link asins=’B01E7N2U1C,B01N9O0L7O,B01NCP38KI,B01NBR1OCX,B01NASE75O,B01NCS21PW,B01NCS8CAL,B016DJ5RC2′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b6261e25-7fe1-11e7-8b7c-739a61768d5c’]

Found in milk and yogurt, vaccenic acid — a naturally occurring trans fat — lowered cholesterol in rats, a Canadian study finds.

Trans fats: We’ve been told that they’re worse for our hearts than saturated animal fats. Now, as consumers increasingly turn to food that’s trans-fat-free and manufacturers pull them from more and more processed foods, comes a twist. Some trans fats, ones that exist naturally, may be good for you.

In a 4-month study at the University of Alberta presented in March at a scientific meeting, obese rats fed a diet enriched with vaccenic acid — a naturally occurring trans fat found in milk and yogurt — had significant reductions in total cholesterol, LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides.

The researchers reported that a key benefit of vaccenic acid is its ability to reduce the production of chylomicrons — small particles of fat, protein and cholesterol formed in the gut that transport fats to various tissues of the body.

Like humans, obese rats produce too many chylomicrons, which raises lipids in the bloodstream. After 16 weeks of consuming vaccenic acid-enriched chow, however, the levels of chylomicrons dropped by more than half.

It’s not clear what this finding means for humans. First, the study was done in rats — the researchers say they’re planning some human clinical trials with vaccenic acid supplementation. Second, because the study diets were supplemented with vaccenic acid, the amounts the rats ate relative to their body weight was more than we would naturally eat in our usual diet.

The study is in line with other reports that natural trans fats have different effects on the body than the industrially created ones.

Most of the trans fats we eat — by far — come from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, produced from liquid oils by industrial processing to create a firmer fat. Others occur naturally in milk products, formed in the rumen (or first stomach) of ruminant animals such as cows, goats, sheep and yaks when they’re fed a grass-rich diet.

Several studies of large populations have looked at the link between trans fatty acid intake and risk of developing atherosclerosis, and all have shown that the risk goes up only with the intake of “industrial” trans fatty acids, not the natural ones. Several clinical trials — in which people were fed special diets for weeks or months — have shown that manufactured trans fats raise LDL cholesterol levels to the same degree as saturated fats, and also lead to lower levels of the good, or HDL, cholesterol. It’s been estimated that it takes only about 12 grams of manmade trans fats to see this effect.

Trans-fat-free foods are big business, and today the majority of margarines, cookies, snack cakes and chips are devoid of the stuff. The change was fueled by the fact that, two years ago, it became law that food labels disclose industrial trans fat content.

Even if all the partially hydrogenated vegetable oil disappeared from our foods, we’d still consume about 1% to 5% of our calories from naturally occurring trans fatty acids, mostly vaccenic acid.

At this point, it’s not known how much vaccenic acid we’d need to consume to reap benefits. But in the meantime, anyone wanting to increase their natural-trans-fat intake might want to develop a taste for exotic cheese.

A study published in February in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry reported that yak cheese, from animals grazing in alpine grassland, contains more than four times the vaccenic acid of conventional cheddar cheese from grain-fed dairy cows. (The study didn’t investigate the levels in cheese from grass-fed cattle.) It also contains three times more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. The authors conclude that a daily serving of 3 ounces of yak cheese might promote health.

Yak cheese isn’t easy to find — but the bottom line seems to be that the fatty acid composition of milk, cheese and yogurt from grass-fed animals may be more healthful than we knew — and perhaps, when the clinical trials are done, vaccenic acid-rich milkfat may join the ranks of other healthful fats along with those found in fish oil and nuts.

Cheese as a new, heart-positive snack? Just make sure you put it on a whole-grain, trans-fat-free cracker.

Susan Bowerman is a registered dietitian and assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.

Sources: Lon Angeles Times

Zemanta Pixie
Healthy Tips

A Few Tips for Healthy Aging

[amazon_link asins=’0307277542,0971000735,1469627396,B005P0NY2Q,0323321380,B00LB8GIY2,1611803853,0323401678,B000X96YJE’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’94627ddf-7414-11e7-88aa-ed085945b585′]

Today, due to numerous medical and scientific advances, people are living longer than ever before. But you don’t just automatically live longer  you have to be good to your body, mind, and soul. The following tips may be a good start for getting you on your way to living a long and healthy life.

Eat a balanced diet
:- One that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fiber and low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. A well-balanced diet can provide your body with the essential nutrients needed to achieve and maintain optimum health.
Be physically active :– Try to incorporate 30 minutes of activity into your day, every day. The options are endless; start walking on the beach in the mornings, join a yoga class, try jogging with a friend, sign up for a basketball league, or go for a bike ride in the afternoons. Make sure you choose activities that you enjoy, that way you’ll be more likely to make them a habit.

If possible Try to do some yoga rxercise under the supervision of an expart.

Meditation and deep breathing exercise considered very effective for aged people.
Get regular preventive check ups: – See your doctor regularly; remember your doctor is your partner in healthcare. The two of you are working toward the same goal—your optimum health. By having regular check ups, you may be able to catch small problems before they become big problems. And, it is just as important to visit you dentist regularly as well.

You will get more information on men’s health screenings, if you click here.
You will get more information on women’s health screenings,if you click here.
Don’t smoke :- Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable death. This year alone, more than 400,000 people will die from smoking-related causes. It is never too late to quit. Your body will begin to feel the benefits almost immediately. Did you know that after one day of quitting, your risk of having a heart attack decreases?
Be Safe:– Use common sense and be street smart. Don’t put yourself in situations that are questionable. Just a few ways you can put safety first include:
Always wear your seatbelt and bike helmet.

Use smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
Don’t go for a run, walk, or jog at night by yourself. Most attacks happen to people who are alone. Just by bringing a friend, you reduce your risk.
Use medicines wisely: follow directions and ask your doctor or pharmacist about side effects and drug interactions.
Keep your home well lit and free of things that could make you fall.
Avoid environmental extremes :- Protect your skin when you are outdoors—don’t get too much sun. Dress appropriately for the weather and avoid getting too hot or too cold.

If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation :- For a man under 65, moderation means no more than two drinks a day; for a man over 65 or a woman of any age, moderation means no more than one drink a day.

One drink is:
One 12-ounce bottle of beer
One 5-ounce glass of wine
1.5 ounces of spirits

Keep your personal and financial records in order
: – start planning now for your long-term housing and financial needs. For information on banking, saving, buying, getting credit, and investing, check out at—an excellent resource that can answer many of your questions.
Stay in touch with family and friends :- get to know your neighbors. Take the time to be involved with your community. By creating a strong social network, you will not only have friends to celebrate with when good things happen, but also a support system in difficult times.
Always Keep a positive attitude :- studies have shown that people who have a positive attitude tend to live longer, and lead healthier and happier lives. Don’t take it all so personal; rarely does it really have anything to do with you. Try to find the humor in life. And remember to laugh; several studies have shown that laughter makes you feel better. But really, who needed a study to prove that. Just laugh, and you will know it is true.

Help taken

News on Health & Science

The diet myth in diabetes

[amazon_link asins=’B01NBK2WXW,B00A2A7LBE,B004P4S22A,B01KVMJK5C,B007ZI26E8,B000MITDDK,B00FOZT0B6,B06XHK5SFX,B00L9Z1B58′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ac1808b2-1ecb-11e7-85f4-63ca8c2e9d76′][amazon_link asins=’B003K2NH4Q,B00DUNEJHO,B00BC2CZEO,B00Y14CKRW,B00EET9RIY,B004XTDQ5A,B007S0RXGE,B004JOGC2S,B01DFS7M1I’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’2929a9e1-1ecb-11e7-a170-fd2dee6fe2bc’]


The diet myth in diabetes and heart diseases has been exploded.

Studies by city doctors have revealed that rice and food cooked in mustard oil, in right proportion, do not harm diabetics and heart patients.

A diabetic can have carbohydrate and fat, but in the right quantity,   stated endocrinology head of SSKM Hospital Subhankar Chowdhury.   The belief that mustard and groundnut oil should be replaced with sunflower seed, sunflower and other oils with low saturated fat is also erroneous.

According to doctors, mustard and groundnut oil do not contain saturated fat, which is harmful for diabetics and those with heart diseases. Unsaturated fat is of two types   poly and mono. The two main ingredients of polyunsaturated fat are n3 and n6. A balanced quantity of each is required in a diet.The ideal n6-n3 ratio is 10:1. In sunflower seed, sunflower and other oils containing unsaturated fat, the ratio is 70:1.

This ratio causes abnormal blood lipid levels and blood clot,   explained Chowdhury.
Oil containing monounsaturated fat is also good for diabetics and heart patients, he added. “Mustard oil has a good proportion of monounsaturated fat and n3 type in polyunsaturated fat. Ideally there should be a mixture of both.

Diabetics should not avoid carbohydrates altogether, said doctors.   Carbohydrate is usually substituted with protein. But too much protein can damage the kidney in the long run. For a diabetic, the risk is higher as the organs are affected by the disease,    said a doctor.

A balanced and sensible diet with complex carbohydrates and high fibre content like whole grain, fruits and salads, vegetables and other items low in fat and cholesterol is the key to managing diabetes,  opined a city-based endocrinologist.

Nutritionists feel food with low glycemic index (those that are absorbed slowly and, therefore, maintain the blood sugar level) are good for diabetics.
Oatmeal, whole wheat flour, whole pulses, fenugreek seeds, flax seeds and leafy vegetables have low glycemic index,  said Vijaya Agarwal, consultant nutritionist at AMRI Hospitals.

Frequent meals are advisable for maintaining a proper blood sugar level, signed off Agarwal.

Source:The Telegraph (Calcutta,India)

Enhanced by Zemanta
Featured Herbs & Plants

Mustard Oil and Mustard Seeds are Good for Health

oils (Photo credit: jacob earl)

[amazon_link asins=’B018FUN24W,3125789621′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e80639cf-14f3-11e7-b0d6-db4fc6b18c17′]

[amazon_link asins=’B003X43EE4,B000JMAXMY,B006T0OIOO,B01BDXXKYU,B00J5SCO48,B001VNKWO4,B00BCEXXI4,B00A43ZFXK,B00JQOE0X4′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’271fca45-14f4-11e7-800a-d50b3211f7fe’]

Mustard oil can reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases, say experts.Coronary heart diseases (CHD) are a leading cause of death. The use of mustard oil can reduce the risk of CHD,” said S.C. Manchanda, former professor, department of cardiothoracic diseases at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).


Mustard oil is one of the healthiest edible oils as it has the lowest amount of saturated fatty acids and a high amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are good for health.

Manchanda, who was speaking at a conference here, said: “Mustard oil is rich in non-saturated fat or unsaturated fats. This oil has shown to reduce cholesterol.”

Over 200 scientists, oil technologists, mustard processors, farmers, policy makers and trade professionals from across India took part in the conference.

“Renowned cardiologists have now started comparing the nutritional benefits of the mustard oil with olive oil and have conclusive proof about mustard oil’s superiority,” he said.

Mustard oil is healthier than olive oil because it has no trans-fats, has low saturated fats, high mono-unsaturated fats, high polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 and stability at high temperatures, which makes it ideal for Indian cooking and even deep frying,” the cardiologist said.

Trans-fatty acids, commonly termed trans-fats, are a type of unsaturated fat.

M.S. Ganesh, an oncologist, drew attention to the benefits of mustard oil in fighting cancer. Mustard oil has an ideal ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for human health.

“The linolenic acid, which is present in abundance in mustard, is converted in the human body into Omega-3 fatty acid. It helps in preventing common cancers like colon and stomach,” Ganesh said.

Therefore, use of mustard oil as nutritional supplement should be initiated as a preventive measure at an early stage for battling common cancers, he added.

The benefits of mustard oil is tremendous.Mustard seeds emerged from food ranking system as a very good source of selenium a nutrient which has been shown to help reduce the severity of asthma, decrease some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and help prevent cancer. They also qualified as a good source of magnesium. Like selenium, magnesium has been shown to help reduce the severity of asthma, to lower high blood pressure, to restore normal sleep patterns in women having difficulty with the symptoms of menopause, to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks, and to prevent heart attack in patients suffering from atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.
Mustard seeds also qualified as a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as a good source of iron, calcium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, protein, niacin and dietary fiber.
While mustard seeds were used for their culinary properties in ancient Greece, it seems that it was the ancient Romans who invented a paste from the ground seeds, which was probably the ancestor of our modern day mustard condiment. The physicians of both civilizations, including the father of medicine Hippocrates, used mustard seed medicinally.

Like most foods with ancient roots, mustard has been heralded as a curative. It stimulates appetite and digestion, and clears the sinuses in much the same way as chiles, which are said to be as effective as commercial decongestants. Mustard increases blood circulation, hence its use as mustard plaster, a dressing used to bring increased blood flow to inflamed areas of the body. Mustard flour sprinkled in your socks is said to save your toes from frostbite, a claim which is also made about cayenne pepper and other spices containing volatile oils.

One of mustard’s greatest health benefits is that it provides tremendous flavor for few calories and little fat. A gram of mustard flour contains just 4.3 calories and simple mustard preparations can be eaten with impunity by nearly everyone. Mustard itself contains no cholesterol, only trace amounts of vegetable fat, and is between 25-32% protein, depending on the variety of plant. Leaf mustard contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and Vitamin B.

Some Home Remedies :

1. For Hair Growth: Mustard oil, boiled with henna leaves, is useful for healthy growth of hair. About 250 ml of mustard oil should be boiled in a tin basin. About sixty grams of henna leaves should be gradually put in this oil till they are burnt in the oil. The oil should then be filtered using a cloth and stored. Regular massage of the head with the oil will produce abundant hair .

2.For ankle sprain, muscular or arthritic pain or oedema in the legs: Rub mustard oil on sore arthritic joints. Make a hot infusion of 2 teaspoon of mustard seed and apply onto the affected zone.
3. For Arthrities /Gouts
* Boil mustard oil (10ml) with one moderate pack of Garlic bulb, apply on the affected parts 3/4/ times a day.
* Massage with camphor oil few times a day on the affected parts.
* Apply warm mustard oil on the affected parts at the time of bed rest and cover them with Dhatura leaves overnight. Keep doing it for 15 days. Repeat again as per need.