The best natural butter substitutes

No one wants to deprive themselves of the delicious taste of butter, but everyone could stand to deprive themselves of the saturated fat and cholesterol that comes with it. Natural butter substitutes provide a way to get that indulgent flavour without taking in nearly as much fat, and even pick up even a few useful vitamins.

Earth Balance Soy Garden Buttery Spread

Vegan friendly and totally conola oil-free, this unique butter substitute is made from naturally crushed soybeans. Earth balance soy garden spreads cold, adding a delicate buttery flavour while adding the nutritional value of soybeans. In fact, the taste is so enjoyable, that the American Tasting Institute voted it the winner of the 2010 award for best tasting natural buttery spread.

Smart Balance Buttery Spread

Designed to deliver buttery flavour while maintaining a healthy cholesterol level, Smart Balance buttery spread is also free of gluten and hydrogenated oils. Really, it's not just what this spread doesn't have compared to regular butter that makes it healthy. It's also the 20 per cent of your Omega-3s that it adds to your diet, along with half your daily value of Vitamin D. Smart Balance is also the winner of three consecutive awards from the American Culinary Institute for best tasting buttery spread.

Brummel and Brown Spread with Yogurt

This spread blends, oils and natural yoghurt together to make a velvety-smooth texture that adds a light, pleasant flavour to anything you put it on. With half the calories and fat of regular butter, it's a healthier alternative, but is still indulgent compared to the leaner Smart Balance, Earth Balance, and Olivio.

Olivio Spreadable Butter with Canola and Olive Oil

They start with real sweet cream butter and churn it with olive, canola, and flaxseed oils. This delivers the taste and texture of sweet cream butter at half the saturated fat and a third the cholesterol. The best part of all: none of the oils are hydrogenated. There's even 400mg of Omega-3 ALA in each serving.

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About the Author

John-Michael Haines has been writing professionally since 2004 with a focus on business, finance and real estate. He started his career by writing for the "Williamson County Sun" near Austin, Texas, where he reported on hard-hitting city and business news. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Houston.