All you want to know about yellow fats
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  • Is margarine/fat spread a natural product?
    Yes, Margarine is made from vegetable oils which makes it plant based and better for the planet and you.
  • Does margarine/fat spread melt at normal human body temperature ?
    Yes. All margarines/fat spreads melt at human body temperature. Nevertheless, melting point is not linked to the digestibility of fats. For example, protein does not melt at room temperature and yet we are able to metabolize them in our bodies.
  • Do margarine/fat spreads have trans fats ?
    No. All our spreads (Astra/ Flora) are virtually trans-fat free as we do not do any partial hydrogenation in the manufacturing process.
  • Is it true that fat spreads increase the risk of cancers?
    That is not correct.
    There are very few established relationships between dietary factors and cancer risks. Good nutrition is what really matters for preventing chronic diseases. A healthy balanced diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables is the best way to decrease the risk of cancer and heart diseases.
  • Is it true that fat spreads lower the quality of breast milk?
    No. Margarine/Fat spreads do not lower the quality of breast milk and there is no scientific background to this information.
  • Is it true that margarine/fat spreads decrease insulin response and may be harmful for patients at risk of diabetes?
    Margarine/ Fat spreads do not decrease insulin response. Dietary recommendations for individuals with diabetes are to follow a healthy eating plan that is low in saturated fat because of their increased risk of developing heart health problems. Individuals should seek advice from their doctor or dietitian regularly to help ensure good blood sugar and insulin control.
  • Is it true that margarine/fat spreads is one molecule away from plastic?
    No. Margarine/Fat spreads is made with many of the same ingredients as butter, plant fats, oils and dairy products. Plastics have a completely different molecular structure. Also fat spreads and margarines have SLSI approved standard which all Sri Lankan products are adhering to.
  • Does margarine/fat spreads increase total LDL (bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol (the good one)?
    No. Studies show that saturated and trans-fat, which are part of butter, can help raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and is a risk factor for heart diseases. But the risk is minimal with Astra given that we are virtually trans fat free.
  • Was margarine/ fat spreads developed to fatten animals?
    No. Margarine was developed over a hundred years ago on a farm in France as a ‘butter alternative’ by a French food research chemist – Mege Mouries to counter ever increasing food shortages in the country. It was developed for people and not for animals.
  • Is it true that butter is better at increasing the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods?
    Fat in both margarine/fat spreads and butter (or any fat source) helps the body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A,D,E,K). Astra fat spreads also provides vitamins A and D which are important for good health. Another advantages of Astra Margarine over butter is that it is lower in calories, total fat and saturated fat.
  • Why do we need to eat fat?

    Fat is also an important part of our diet with the following functions:
    - Gives energy to the body (the recommendation is 30% of the total calories a day comes from fat)
    - A number of fats and oils provide essential fats.
    - Fat carries fat-soluble vitamins to be used by the body (vitamins A, D, E and K)
    - Gives satiety after eating
    - Provides a better taste for food

  • Why do children need dietary fats?
    Dietary fats are a fundamental part of a healthy diet. Fats are carriers of fat soluble vitamins, contribute to the feeling of satiety after eating, provide energy, enter in the composition of our body cells and serve to make foods more palatable.
  • What is hydrogenation?
    Hydrogenation is the process by which liquid oils are converted in to firmer fats. This process is well established and used all over the world to enable the use of vegetable oil in producing various products. The process of hydrogenation is similar to the biohydrogenation, which takes place in the digestive system of ruminant animals such as cows.
  • I’ve heard that it’s best to avoid hydrogenated fats. Why is it?
    It is only, partial hydrogenation leads to the formation of Trans-Fats which are bad for consumption. However, fully hydrogenated oils hardly contain any trans fats and don’t have any health implications. But brands such as Astra does not go through any hydrogenation process hence has nothing to worry about.
  • What are the trans “fatty acids”?
    Trans fats are the worse fatty acids among the different fatty acids.
    These are created naturally in the intestine of ruminants such as cows. Trans fats raise the bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower good (HDL) cholesterol levels making an overall negative impact on health.
  • Are saturated fats bad?
    Yes, the saturated fat needs to be limited. WHO recommendation is to restrict energy intake from saturated fats, not more than 10% from the daily energy intake.
  • To reduce the saturated fats intake, is it not better to avoid any source of saturated fats, including spreads?
    No. It is important to minimize “bad” saturated fats intake and at the same time provide enough beneficial “good” unsaturated fats. Therefore, it is better to use fat spread than butter.
    Besides the use of spread, it is important to avoid foods high in saturated fats such as full fat dairy foods including butter and cheese, fatty meat products, biscuits, cakes and deep fries. Spreads are made of a healthy blend of vegetable oil, contain less saturated fats than butter. In addition spreads are a source of Vitamins A, D for which there are not many alternative sources in the daily diet.
  • What are unsaturated fats?
    Unsaturated fat helps to maintain a good LDL cholesterol level if you follow a healthy balanced diet low in saturated fats. There are two main types of unsaturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
  • Why use spreads instead of just the oils?
    Spreads are the source of good fats & contains Vitamins. Spreads also deliver less calories than vegetable oils, hence is the healthier option than oils.
  • Why do they say the oils in Margarine/spreads contain no cholesterol?
    Margarine/spreads are made with plant and seed oils which naturally do not contain cholesterol. Butter is fat derived from animals and contains cholesterol.