User's Manual: Your Heart

Butter vs. Margarine: How to Choose

Is margarine healthier than butter? Here are 12 options and how they rank in terms of heart health.
plant-base-butter
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Toss-up: Plant sterols

Products like Benecol, Promise Activ, and Smart Balance HeartRight contain plant sterols and omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to reduce LDL levels when eaten as part of a healthy diet.

There's nothing wrong with these products, says Baker. But they tend to be expensive, she says, and relative to other diet and lifestyle changes a person can make, eating enough of these products to make a difference in your cholesterol seems like a stretch. Look at the big picture for greater impact on heart health: Eat fewer saturated and trans fats, consume more plant-based foods, and get enough exercise.

Next: Healthier options

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