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The 5 Best Substitutes for Margarine

Margarine is a butter substitute made using plant oils and water.

It can be used as a spread or cooking, much like butter.

However, there are many reasons why you might want to consider a substitute for margarine.

First of all, margarine is extremely high in fat, and likely contains trans-fats – unhealthy fats that raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol.

Secondly, the flavor of margarine is very bland and does not compare with that of butter.

If you are on a diet, but you still want to enjoy your food, then why not try using a substitute for margarine? There are many alternatives available on the market.

You can’t make up your mind or don’t know where to start? Read on for more information.

What is Margarine?

what is margarine

Margarine is a food product that, although it is not real butter, is a common substitute for butter.

To understand why margarine, you must first understand what margarine is.

Margarine is the result of hydrogenation; the process removes some of the natural oils and replaces them with a hydrogenated substance called trans fat.

Although it might not seem reasonable for you, there are many reasons why margarine is a popular substitute for butter.

The more obvious reason margarine is present more than butter is because it lasts longer than butter and can be kept at room temperature for long periods.

Because of this, it’s easier to use and spread on toast or bagels needed.

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The 5 Best Substitutes for Margarine

There are many brands of margarine available in the market today.

Some brands use partially hydrogenated soybean oil for taste, texture, and shelf-life stability.

But because hydrogenation can create trans fats, most brands of margarine are made with interesterified fat instead.

Interesterification is a process that hardens vegetable oils at room temperature by melting them and allowing them to cool slowly.

If you are looking for substitutes for margarine, you can use butter or extra virgin olive oil.

Butter is a natural product with many health benefits, such as improving heart health.

Olive oil has numerous benefits for your health and skin, as well.

1 – Olive Oil

olive oil

Olive oil is an excellent substitute for margarine when you are cooking.

It adds a bold flavour to all of your dishes and is also healthier, as it’s low in saturated fats.

When you cook, olive oil will give you more taste without adding more saturated fats to your diet.

The other substitute for margarine that might be available to you is olive oil.

Olive oil is also a monounsaturated fat and contains essential vitamins and minerals.

Some people recommend using olive oil instead of canola oil because it doesn’t break down when heated.

Still, both oils should have the same calories or fewer calories than the margarine they are replacing.

You’ll need to read the label on your substitute to see if it contains any trans fats, saturated fats or other ingredients you need to avoid.

If you’re using olive oil or canola oil, the ratio is usually 1:1 or 2:1.

However, if you’re using peanut or sunflower oil, you’ll want to use more solid fat than liquid fat.

2 – Coconut Oil

coconut oil

Coconut Oil is also an excellent substitute for margarine because of its flavour in dishes that you cook.

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The only issue with coconut oil is that it can be hard to find at some local grocery stores, but it is worth the extra effort to find it because of how delicious it tastes and is healthy.

The exact ratio of oil to solid fat will depend on the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fats in your vegetable oil, so you’ll need to do a little math to get the right combination.

The ratio of Coconut Oil to Butter varies depending on what you are cooking, but the ratio of Coconut Oil to Butter substitutes is 2:1.

This means that if you usually cook with 1 cup of butter, you would use 2 cups of Coconut Oil instead.

This is ideal for baking and frying foods as well.

3 – Peanut Butter

peanut butter

Peanut butter is a creamy and smooth alternative to margarine, used in many foods.

Some people prefer peanut butter over margarine since peanut butter can add a unique taste to any dish you make where you usually use margarine.

In addition to this, if you use peanut butter when cooking, you cut down on the amount of saturated fats in your food.

Although peanut butter doesn’t contain any cholesterol or trans fats, it does have some saturated fat — 6 grams per serving.

It also has 160 calories per serving, so keep an eye on how much you’re eating when you use peanut butter as a spread on your toast and crackers.

4 – Canola Oil

canola oil

Canola oil is one of the best substitutes for margarine, as it is a monounsaturated fat like olive oil.

It contains omega-3 fatty acids, suitable for your heart, and is low in saturated fat.

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Canola oil has a mild flavour that goes well with many foods.

One tablespoon of canola oil has only 46 calories, but it still gives you the flavour you crave from butter or margarine.

5 – Ghee or Clarified Butter

ghee or clarified butter

Another good alternative to margarine is ghee or clarified butter which has had all the milk solids removed, making it a pure fat that is more stable than regular butter.

Ghee is made by simmering butter until all of the water evaporates, and only the milk solids remain on top of the liquid.

Ghee has a higher smoke point than regular butter and doesn’t burn as quickly when cooking at high temperatures.

It also contains far less lactose and casein than standard dairy products.

A tablespoon of ghee has about 110 calories and no cholesterol — whereas a tablespoon of butter has about 100 calories and 7.5 grams of saturated fat).


Margarine is a butter substitute used to spread, primarily made of vegetable oils.

It has a similar taste and texture to butter but is lower in saturated fats.

Compared to butter, there are fewer calories and less cholesterol per tablespoon.

Most people will use margarine, thinking it is better for their health, but there are many health risks involved when using this substitute.

You can find substitutes that are healthier and are much easier to use.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I substitute for margarine or butter?

You can substitute several other ingredients for margarine or butter in baking. These include vegetable oil, coconut oil, nut butters, and even applesauce.

When baking with vegetable oil, use 3/4 cup of oil for every 1 cup of butter. For coconut oil, use a 1:1 ratio of coconut oil to butter.

Nut butters can be used in place of butter, but be sure to adjust the recipe’s liquid content accordingly.

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Applesauce can also be substituted for butter in baking recipes, though some recipes may require additional flour and sugar to help keep the consistency intact.

Is margarine a good substitute?

Margarine can be used as a substitute for butter in baking, but it is not always the best choice.

Margarine contains more water than butter and has a higher melting point, so it does not necessarily produce the same results as butter.

Additionally, margarine may contain trans fats, which are unhealthy for your body.

What are 4 types of butter substitutes?

There are many different types of butter substitutes available. These include vegetable oil, coconut oil, nut butters, and applesauce.

Vegetable oil is a common substitution for baking as it has a neutral flavor and contains healthy fats.

Coconut oil can also be used in baking recipes to replace butter and will give a subtle sweetness to the finished product.

Nut butters such as peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter can also be used in place of butter with some adjustments to the liquid content of the recipe.

Finally, applesauce can be used as a substitute for butter in many recipes.

What is margarine made of?

Margarine is a semi-solid or solid fat food product made from vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated to increase their saturation level, giving them a spreadable consistency.

Margarine typically contains water, salt, and preservatives, as well as other ingredients like skim milk powder, whey powder, and lecithin.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Margarine

The 5 Best Substitutes for Margarine
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Peanut Butter
  • Canola Oil
  • Ghee or Clarified Butter


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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