What’s your stance on the butter/margarine debate? And where do olive spreads fit in?

WHEN IT COMES TO CHOOSING fats and spreads, at HFG we believe the priority is to look at the calorie, fat and saturated fat content. This is because an excess of these components is linked to many of the UK’s major health issues: heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity, for example.

Butter is the highest in all of these, containing 74kcal, 8.2g fat and 5.2g saturates in 10g (2tsp). That’s why we don’t use it in our recipes.

Spreadable versions of butter have similar calorie and fat values, but tend to be lower in saturates, as the butter is mixed with vegetable fats such as rapeseed oil. This makes them a slightly better choice.

Margarine manufacturers have removed hydrogenated vegetable fats – the type that form unhealthy trans fats. Now known as ‘spreads’, they tend to be made from a mix of oils (such as olive), water and emulsifiers, and they usually contain salt and preservatives. They’re also fortified with vitamins A and D. Spreads come in a range of calorie, fat and saturated fat values, but all are lower than butter.

We recommend you opt for light spreads and use them sparingly.