Aka “fake butter,” margarine is made from hydrogenated or refined plant oils, water, sometimes milk, sometimes soy, salt, preservatives, beta carotene for color and more. While it contains no cholesterol (as it’s made from vegetable oils) and many brands are vegan, margarine can still contain trans fats so it’s not necessarily better for your heart. If you eat dairy, butter may be preferable (occasionally) or there are healthier vegan alternatives. Or you could stick to spreading something else on your toast.
4. Whipped Topping
Photo via Jamie/Flickr
Cool Whip and other imitation whipped cream toppings contain some of the same ingredients as margarine: water, (heart disease-causing) hydrogenated vegetable oil and beta carotene. Other ingredients are high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup, skim milk, light cream, mysterious “natural and artificial flavor,” xanthan and guar gums. You can make a vegan alternative from coconut milk and sugar.
Photos from Thinkstock unless otherwise noted
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