'Bad' Foods That Are Really Good
5 much maligned foods are making a nutritional comeback.
Margarine vs. Butter: Which is Better? continued...
"The healthier choice is one of the soft margarines,
without a doubt," says Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, professor of nutrition
at Tufts University.
"Butter is extremely high in saturated fatty acids, and
saturated fatty acids are the most potent in terms of increasing
["bad"] LDL cholesterol levels," Lichtenstein tells WebMD. "A
lot of margarines are now trans fat free, and you can tell by the consistency,
the softer the better."
Trans fats are created when manufacturers turn liquid fats such
as oils into solid ones, like traditional margarine. Research has shown that
trans fats raise LDL "bad" cholesterol levels, and this can contribute
to the buildup of fatty plaque in arteries.
Lichtenstein says it's important to look at the sum total of
both saturated and trans fats when selecting a spread for your toast, rather
than focusing on one or the other.
But if you're a butter lover, Carter says you don't have to
completely forsake butter due to nutritional concerns.
"I trained as a chef in France many years ago and believe
that a little cooking oil and butter is one of the best flavors, so I can get
by with a tablespoon of butter when I'm cooking to get the flavor," says
Carter. "But you are not going to find sticks of butter on my
Salad Dressing: Pass the Oil, Please
Rather then wincing at the thought of putting a nonfat mystery
dressing on your salad, experts say it may be better to go back to the basics
with good old vinegar-and-oil-based dressings.
Most "light" commercial salad dressings contain a lot
of extra ingredients such as sugar and salt. A healthier choice is to make your
own vinaigrette with olive oil (a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated
Carter says by splurging on flavorful, mild vinegars such as
balsamic or sherry vinegar, or adding fresh herbs, you can cut down drastically
on the amount of oil needed to make a tasty salad dressing.
Going Nuts Over Peanut Butter
Regardless of how you like it, chunky or smooth, all natural or
straight from the plastic jar, researchers say peanut butter is a cheap and
healthy source of protein.