Between butter, margarine, and shortening, which fat is the best option?
Calories: 884 (100 grams)
When we delve into the realm of shortening products such as Crisco, it’s intriguing how their composition affects our culinary experiences. These products are made by hydrogenating an oil, altering its physical state, and enabling it to maintain a semi-solid structure at room temperature. This is a key feature that influences its performance in the kitchen, especially in baking. It’s a secret weapon in achieving that elusive flaky texture in your pies and pastries and creating the tender crumb in your cakes, the very characteristic that makes them so delightfully indulgent.
However, it’s essential to understand that the benefits of using shortening are limited to the baking arena alone. In the grand scheme of things, especially when considering health implications, the good news around shortening abruptly halts. The hydrogenation process used to make shortening often leads to the formation of trans fats, a type of fat linked to a host of health problems.
The consumption of these trans fats is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, while shortening may be a baker’s ally for creating perfect pastries, its use must be balanced with mindful attention to our overall dietary intake and health goals. Always remember, that moderation is key when it comes to incorporating such ingredients into our diet.
Like shortening, margarine can also contain trans fats, but there are transfat-free options available. Although often low in fat, this means it can lack flavour if you are baking with it.
BEST Butter Calories: 717 (100 grams)
Made from cream (animal fat), butter contains more saturated fat than margarine. It’s the most flavorful and versatile when it comes to using it for cooking or baking.
Butter is 80 percent fat. The remaining 20 percent is water and milk solids.