Margarine is the answer to those who want to avoid dairy and still indulge in the delicacy of butter. However, those who follow a plant-based diet may wonder whether margarine is an ideal addition to their foods.
So, is margarine plant based? Yes, margarine is plant based. Margarine is generally made using vegetable oils instead of animal foods and is a potential butter alternative for those who follow a dairy-free diet. However, some types of margarine contain ingredients derived from animals, making the products inappropriate for plant-based diets.
Below, let us try to find out what margarine is made up of so that you can understand whether you can eat it on a plant-based diet.
Why Margarine Is Plant Based?
A majority of margarine is made out of vegetable oils, making them plant-based and free from dairy. High-quality products manufactured by reputed brands contain only plant-based ingredients and no components sourced from animals.
However, some margarine products contain animal fats in the form of lactose and whey, making them far from being suitable for plant-based diets. It is advisable that you check the label for ingredients before buying the products.
What Are The Main Ingredients in Margarine?
Margarine is typically a butter substitute made by combining water with vegetable oils like palm, canola, olive, soybean or others. They can sometimes contain natural flavorings, salt and other ingredients. However, high-quality brands don’t use chemical-based flavors and colors.
Most margarine contains no animal-based ingredients, making it an excellent plant-based butter alternative. However, some manufacturers use dairy and animal components like lactose, whey, buttermilk and others. It is, therefore, necessary to use margarine from reputed brands that list no such animal-based ingredients.
Margarine is a highly versatile ingredient used to replace butter in several recipes including cookies and pastries. As it is made out of vegetable oils, it is a rich source of healthy fats that help reduce cholesterol. This fat also contains vitamins A, D, E and K.
Here is the nutritional breakdown in a serving size of 1 ounce of margarine.
Most margarine products contain about 80 percent of fat which is a combination of saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fat content can range from 7 to 85 percent depending on the type of vegetable oil used. Palm kernel and coconut oils have higher amounts of saturated fat as compared to sunflower or canola oil.
One ounce of margarine provides you about 35 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin K, 20 percent of the recommended dose of vitamin A and 1 percent of calcium. Margarine is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids known to reduce inflammation and cholesterol levels.
So, can you eat margarine on a plant-based diet? Absolutely, yes! Margarine is an excellent replacement for butter and can be used as a spread or for cooking. It is, however, important to choose a high-quality product from reputed brands to make sure it contains no animal-based ingredients or artificial flavorings, preservatives and additives. Moreover, you should consume it in moderation to make sure your fat intake is in check.