As we’ve mentioned before, “fat is very likely the most understood of the macronutrients.” Margarine, a lab-created vegetable oil–based butter substitute, used to be touted as healthier than butter since it lacked the animal fat associated with bad cholesterol. But lots of margarine products contain trans fat—the worst fat of them all.
Like saturated fat, trans fat increases blood cholesterol levels and your risk of heart disease. But that’s not all. Trans fat lowers your HDL, or “good” cholesterol levels. Rule of thumb for margarine is as follows: The more solid the margarine, the more trans fat it has. We recommend backing away from the margarine altogether and opting for real butter when said ingredient is a must.