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Welcome to the battle of the spreads. What’s better for you, butter or margarine? This age-old argument has divided shoppers for years.

First things first: not all margarines are created equal – some are hard and contain trans fats, while others, including Becel®, are soft, non-hydrogenated margarines that are low in saturated fat, provide a source of omega-3 polyunsaturates and can be incorporated into a heart healthy diet. Remember: one food choice alone doesn’t determine whether your diet is healthy or unhealthy; it’s the sum of your food choices – your overall diet as whole – that matters. Having said that, you may have heard the claim that butter is “healthier” than margarine.

Is butter "healthier" than Becel®?

Many people believe butter is the better option simply because it’s “natural.” It’s important to note that natural substances don’t always equate to the healthier option; good nutrition is what’s important to your health. Per serving, Becel® margarine contains the same number of calories and amount of fat as butter. However, it’s not just the total amount of fat – but also the type of fat – that is important to know. Becel® margarine has 80 less saturated fat than butter and is a delicious and simple way to incorporate plant-based oils into your diet. Butter is an animal-based fat that contains cholesterol, trans fat, and a higher level of saturated fat than Becel® margarine. Here are few important facts:

Contents Butter Becel® Original margarine
Calories per serving (Per 2 tsp. (10 g) servings) 70 70
Total Fat 8 g 8 g
Saturated fat per serving 5 g 1 g
Trans fat per serving 0.4 g 0 g
Type of Fat Animal-based Plant-based
Suitable for vegan diets? No Yes, Becel® Vegan variety
Spreadable straight from the fridge? No Yes

Did you know?

Becel® margarine is made from a blend of plant and seed oils that contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – and according to Health Canada1, replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats from vegetable oils can help to lower cholesterol? Becel® also contains zero trans-fat or cholesterol.

Canada’s Food Guide recommends incorporating a small amount – 30 to 45 ml (2-3 tablespoons) – of unsaturated fat every day (e.g. Becel®) and notes Canadians should limit consumption of butter, hard margarines, lard and shortening2.

Learn more about the the different types of fats.

Is butter more natural than Becel® and, therefore, healthier?

There’s a misconception that butter is a healthier alternative to margarine because it is considered more "natural". This is simply not true. Remember: "natural" isn’t necessarily synonymous with "healthy".

Take a look at the ingredients lists on our product pages. Becel® starts with wholesome ingredients like canola and sunflower oil, then we add a few ingredients including water, a pinch of salt, buttermilk powder and vitamins A and D. It’s not as complicated as you might think. In fact, you could make a kind of homemade margarine yourself if you had the right equipment.

In addition, unlike butter which is animal-based, Becel® is primarily plant-based3,4,5 meaning it uses less energy, land and water to produce5. Becel® is largely made with canola grown right here in Canada – we are proud to support our Canadian farmers.

Can Becel® be used in any recipe that requires butter?

Just like butter, Becel® margarine can be used for cooking, baking, roasting, sautéing, and grilling. It’s a simple swap: substitute it on a 1:1 ratio for butter in any recipe.


2. (932 KB)
3. Sustainability of meat-based and plant-based diets and the environment. Sourced Oct 1, 2016.