Can you use margarine instead of butter for frying?

  • By: Emma
  • Date: May 19, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

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Can you use margarine instead of butter for frying?

Can you use margarine instead of butter for frying?  Some people might think that using butter in cooking is not good. Butter has high saturated fat and cholesterol levels, leading to health problems like heart disease and obesity. So, people worry about whether to use margarine as an alternative to butter or not.

Yes, you can use margarine instead of butter for frying. Margarine contains less than one percent saturated fat and no cholesterol, making it a healthier option when used in moderation. Frying with margarine will result in the same crispiness as when using butter, so your fried food will turn out just as delicious!

But these are not the only factors you need to know when choosing margarine. This blog post has everything you need to know about margarine usage in frying.

So let’s begin!

Why you should start using margarine instead of butter for frying?

Saturated fats

Butter is very popular in frying. However, using butter for frying can be hazardous to your health. For example, butter contains high saturated fat and cholesterol, leading to numerous health issues like heart disease and obesity.

On the other hand, margarine does not contain high saturated fats. It doesn’t cause increases in cholesterol. Instead, it is made up of unsaturated fat, which can help reduce cholesterol levels in your body. Also, because it does not contain much cholesterol, you are at a lower risk of heart diseases caused by high cholesterol in the blood.

Nutritional value

It would be best if you were more concerned about the nutritional value of the food. Frying with butter can alter or reduce the nutritional value of some foods, like fish fillets and potatoes.  

For example, after frying with butter, fish fillet loses 61% of its vitamin D. Vitamin D is very important for your growth and bone health. Also, when you fry potatoes with butter, the amount of beta-carotene in the potato decreases by 47%. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant necessary for protecting cells from damage.

Whereas in the case of margarine, there is no significant destruction in the nutritional value of fish fillet. It has only an eight percent reduction in vitamin D, which is insignificant. Also, when potatoes are fried with margarine, their beta-carotene levels only decrease by five percent. This small loss of nutrients will not affect your health at all.

Risk of diseases

On a scale of 0 to 10, the risk of heart diseases when you eat butter-fried foods is 8, and the risk of obesity is five. However, after cooking with margarine, these numbers change to 3 for diseases and 2 for obesity.

As you can see, the risk of getting sick when frying with margarine is much lower than that when using butter. This data shows us how good portions of margarine are in reducing health problems like heart diseases and obesity, which are common issues in the industrial world.

Making process

The making/production process of margarine differs from that of butter. Butter is extracted from cow’s milk, which is a dairy product. However, margarine is produced from plants, making it a plant-based product. This is the major reason that margarine contains zero cholesterol and shallow levels of saturated fats.

How to use margarine in frying?

Now that you know you can use margarine in frying, you must also know how to use it properly. Here are some tips to properly fry with margarine:

1. Use unsalted margarine

Unsalted margarine gives you the ability to control the amount of salt in your food. This way, the amount of salt added to your food won’t exceed your limit and will give you a better idea of how much salt is already in your food.

2. Let it stand at a room temperature

Margarine looks like soft butter, so for it to spread easily in your pan, you need to let it stand at room temperature. If the margarine is too cold when frying, it will be harder to spread and clump together. Also, if it’s not melted enough before adding to the pan, the chance of burning the margarine will be higher.

3. Wait until your pan is hot

Every time you fry with margarine, you need to wait until the pan is hot before adding it. You can distinguish that your pan is ready when there are shiny bubbles in the oil.

4. Use low-medium heat

When you fry with margarine, always use low-medium heat so that everything will be cooked well and evenly. If you put too much margarine in your pan and fry it on too high of a heat, it will be burnt before your fish fillet is cooked.

5. Never reuse

After frying with margarine, make sure you don’t reuse it for another round of frying because the taste of fried foods will be altered. But still, if you are to reuse it, filter and pour it in an airtight container and let it stand until solidified.

Are all margarine brands sell good quality margarine?

Different brands of margarine have different qualities. Not every brand sells plant-based margarine that is low in cholesterol and sodium. Also, brands that sell margarine with unsaturated fats contain more omega-3 fatty acids than those without unsaturated fats.

What is the shelf life of margarine?

Margarine has a maximum shelf life of five months. You cannot store it for too long, or the nutritional value will slowly decrease, and you may get ill when you eat such old margarine.

Another reason is the presence of additives in most kinds of margarine. If stored properly, however, which is in an airtight container and put in a cool and dry place, margarine can last a bit longer.

Final thoughts

To sum up, you should use margarine instead of butter for frying because it has fewer diseases risks and contains less saturated fats. Make sure you follow these tips on properly frying with margarine, and you will not regret picking up this healthier alternative.

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