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Margarine & H e a l t hClick here to return to the main NEM web site


The fat found in margarine is an essential part of the human diet. These fats provide
energy as well as vitamins like A, D, E and K. It is important to have a balanced diet
that contains enough fat for our bodies requirements.

Currently fat provides approximately 40% of the energy in the United Kingdom diet.

Medical experts recommend that people should reduce their fat intake, especially
saturated fat.

In the United Kingdom over 15% of dietary energy is from saturated fat. The
recommended level is no more that 10%.

There are two common types of fats – saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fatty acids
are found in butter and animal fats and are occasionally referred to as ‘bad’ fats. 'Bad'
fats are fats that raise the level of cholesterol in the blood, which can increases the
risk of heart disease.

Unsaturated fatty acids are found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. There are two
forms of unsaturated fats - cis and trans. The cis form is a very common fat generally
found in all foods that contain fats and oils. The other form of unsaturated fat - trans,
is found in food such as lamb, beef, milk, yogurt, cheese and butter.

The manufacture of margarine involved the production of trans fats to help aid the
firmness in the margarine. It was thought that these trans fats had no effect on our
health. Recently scientific research has indicated that trans fats may increase bad
cholesterol. Research indicates that trans fats could be as bad as saturated fats, raising
blood cholesterol levels. Some margarines however have removed trans fatty acids to help
make the product as health as possible.

By reducing your saturated fat intake to 10% and eating more vegetables, fruits and
starchy foods you can make sure your diet is well balanced for today's health needs.

Tips for a healthier balance of fats

· Beware of invisible fats, which can be found in foods such as biscuits, crisps,
pastry and cakes. These foods are high in saturated fats. More of this type of fat
can lead to increased blood cholesterol levels.

· Remove visible fat from meat and other fatty foods. These foods contain saturated
fat, which is solid at room temperature.

· Choose a margarine spread which is high in essential polyunsaturates and low in
saturated fat instead of butter.


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Tel / Fax  01823 680119
Mobile     07768 981196

©September 2000