Are you a butter or a spreads fan? I’m very much in the butter camp – nothing else quite cuts it on my morning slice of toast. Even though it is 80% fat…
One of my best childhood memories is of being given a piece of toast, still slightly warm, and smeared with gently melting butter.
The creaminess and hit of smooth flavour on a cold winter’s morning was a glorious wake-up call to my taste buds after years of having eaten flavourless margarine.
How healthy is butter?
Advice has generally been to stay away from butter – it’s 80% fat after all. However, provided your doctor hasn’t told you to cut your saturated fat intake, you can use butter on your toast guilt-free as long as you bear in mind how much saturated fat you’re consuming from other sources. And, unlike spread, butter naturally contains Vitamin D. Although many spreads are fortified with added Vitamin D.
The British Heart Foundation advises people to swap butter for spreads and, as you can see in the graph below, you’ll be eating less saturated fat if you do.
This shows how much of your Reference Intake (RI) of saturated fat you’ll get from a standard 10g serving of block butter, spreadable butter and spreads (enough for one to two slices of bread, depending on how thickly you like to spread it!).
The taste of butter
Personally, I much prefer the taste of butter. I don’t really like eating spreads on my toast all by itself. I’d have to add jam or marmalade, which means I’d be eating sugar I could’ve avoided if I’d simply used butter. Decent butter is packed full of flavour, so you don’t need to add anything else to your toast.
OK, not everyone likes butter. The best-selling product in the UK is actually dairy spread, which is why we asked members of the public to taste 11 of them so we could recommend the best dairy spreads. I even use it myself in sandwiches, as it’s easier to spread on the bread – especially in winter.
But for me, butter is best on toast. I love toast and even make my own bread, so it’s important to me that my butter is right. When I was a kid, Anchor butter did the job but it doesn’t seem to taste the same to me anymore.
French butter doesn’t work for my British taste buds – it’s too milky, as is alpine butter. Upmarket butters with sea salt aren’t right, are too expensive and a bit too subtle for my liking. After lots of research and chomping my way through many, many rounds of toast, my latest personal favourite is Waitrose Essential Butter.
Are you a butter or spread person? Which, if any, would you recommend?