A healthy diet provides the right amounts of energy and nutrients for your body, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, some meat and dairy and a moderate amount of good vegetable oils. Fat makes food taste good! Everyone needs a moderate amount of good vegetable oils or fats. Fats give energy for the body, provide essential nutrients, satiate our hunger and make food taste delicious! But not all fats are equal. As well as the quantity – too much fat would cause you to gain weight – it is important to look at the quality of fat in your diet and to concentrate on consuming ‘good’ fats.
The good and the bad fats
Good fats have a positive effect on our health. Some good fats are called ‘essential’ fats, because the body requires them but cannot make them. You have to obtain them from the foods you eat. Omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids are examples of these essential fats. Essential fats help maintain normal blood cholesterol levels and are needed for the normal growth and development in childhood.
Bad fats have a negative effect on our health.Trans fats and a too high consumption of saturated fats have been shown to increase blood cholesterol, which may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Trans fats are formed in the digestive system of cows (and other ruminant animals that chew their food twice). In the food industry, a similar process is used to convert vegetable oils into solid fats for enhanced functionality and shelf life. Saturated and trans fats are typically hidden in full fat dairy products, fatty meats, cakes, biscuits and snacks. A heart-healthy diet should include healthy fats, while saturated and trans fat intakes should be kept as low as possible.
Margarine is packed with good vegetable oils
The vegetable oils used to make margarine include soybean, rapeseed and sunflower oil. These vegetable oils are high in good fats. Sunflower oil delivers the most omega 6 fatty acids, while rapeseed oil contains high levels of omega 3 fatty acids. By mixing the different oils together, the fat composition of margarine is being optimized. Tropical oils, such as palm and coconut oil, are relatively high in saturated fat. Small amounts are used to assure a creamy texture, enhanced shelf life and solid margarine at room temperature.
Lower fat options to meet every taste and preference
To be classified margarine, vegetable fat content must be 80% or more, similar to butter. Over the years, margarine makers have reduced the fat & calorie content. These lower fat options officially go by the name “spreads”. Same goes for this website: we refer to margarine because that is the name most people use; however, in most cases, we’re actually referring to spreads.
Margarine provides you with the vitamins A and D you need
In many margarines you will also find vitamins A, D and frequently vitamin E (so always check the label!). Two slices of bread lightly spread with margarine provides up to 10-15% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A and D. Vitamin A has several functions in the body. The most well known is its role in vision. Vitamin D is vital to strong bones and teeth.
Founded in 1958 and based in Brussels, the International Margarine Association of the Countries of Europe (IMACE) represents margarine manufacturers, producing both for retail and business to business (B2B) sectors throughout Europe. IMACE is also the voice of margarine manufacturers to key stakeholders/authorities of the European Union and other international organisations. IMACE and its Member Associations and Companies are members of IFMA, the International Federation of Margarine Associations. IMACE is member of FoodDrinkEurope, the European Food and Drink Industry Federation.