HEALTH Q&A: Fat in margarines

Q I’ve noticed that many margarines contain palm or palm kernel oil. Aren’t these fats harmful to the heart?

A Yes. However, partially hydrogenated oils and tropical oils give margarine its firmness and spreadability. While tropical oil such as palm oil increases the saturated fat content of the product, only a very small amount is needed to provide the right texture. The amount per serving varies among brands. It is important to read the nutrition facts label and consider the total saturated fat plus trans fat in a food item. Choose foods low in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

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