Tasty Butter Substitutes

Many people are trying to use less butter-but navigating the maze of butter substitutes is tough. Weighing fat versus saturated fat versus trans fat-it's a slippery slope.

Consumer Reports just taste-tested more than a dozen butter alternatives and found several tasty, healthier options.

If you think it's butter, but it's not, it's likely a butter substitute. These can be a good alternative, with less fat and fewer calories-but shop carefully.

Erin Gudeux of Consumer Reports says, "You want to avoid butter substitutes that have trans fat, which is more damaging to the heart and body than saturated fat."

Consumer Reports evaluated 15 butter substitutes for taste, texture, and nutrition.

Blue Bonnet is one of the cheapest, but the spread made with 53% vegetable oil was also the lowest rated.

Instead, try top-rated Land O Lakes Spreadable Butter with Canola Oil, which Consumer Reports rates excellent.

Sensory panelists described it as tasting just like whipped butter, and it has less saturated fat.

Gudeux says, "It's also missing that movie-popcorn, fake-butter flavor that you can find in other butter alternatives."

While you do have the benefit of less saturated fat because of the canola oil, each tablespoon has 100 calories and 11 grams of fat, the same as butter.

Want a butter alternative with fewer calories and fat, along with less saturated fat?

Two rated very good-I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light Spread and Brummel & Brown 35 % Vegetable Oil Spread made with nonfat yogurt.

Each has only 45 calories and five grams of fat per serving.

It's important to note, all three of the butter substitutes that did well in Consumer Reports' tests do not contain trans fat.

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