Publication Date 01/12/2010         Volume. 2 No. 11   
Information to Pharmacists


Neil Johnston

With 2010 drawing to a close, some of us will be able to relax and enjoy the festive season, socialising and touching base with family and friends.
Others of us will be busily planning for 2011 to try and insulate against some of the havoc that may occur in 2012.
More than ever pharmacies need to audit their management processes to eliminate any wasteful procedures or activities.

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To avoid trans fat, avoid butter says Heart Foundation

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Editing and Researching news and stories about global and local Pharmacy Issues


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To avoid trans fat, avoid butter says
Heart Foundation
A Heart Foundation investigation into margarine and butter has shown that butter has, on average, 20 times the trans fat levels of margarine.
With popular television programs, chefs and food magazines all using butter in their recipes, there have been big increases in butter sales – up 9.3% in 2009 - and the Heart Foundation has good reason to be alarmed.
In response to a report published today by the Heart Foundation in the journal Food Australia, Susan Anderson, National Director Healthy Weight – Heart Foundation said “This news will come as a big surprise to many people who choose butter believing that it’s ‘natural’ and therefore healthier - but it simply isn’t the case.”
“Butter is mostly made of the fat that raises your bad cholesterol levels – saturated fat at around 50% and trans fat at more than 4%. Compare those figures to margarine spreads at an average of 14% and 0.2 % respectively, and margarine is clearly the healthier choice,“ said Ms Anderson
Trans fat, whether manufactured or naturally occurring, is bad for the heart. Switching to margarine cuts back on the unhealthy saturated fat and trans fat, and you cut back on salt too - with butter averaging almost twice the salt of margarine.
And furthermore, on average butter contains significantly more kilojoules than margarine which doesn’t help Australia’s waistlines.
Ms Anderson said, "The Heart Foundation is calling on cooks and chefs to switch from butter to margarine and healthy oils for the sake of Australians' health. They both perform similar functions so butter can be easily substituted for margarine when baking and oils such as canola can be used in sautéing and in mashed potatoes,“ said Ms Anderson.
And at home, simply swap butter for margarine, starting daily with your morning toast and sandwiches and this change alone can save almost 3kg of saturated fat from your diet in a year.
With recent research1 revealing that Australian women have higher LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol levels than men, the Heart Foundation is urging all women to take another look at their lifestyle to ward off heart disease and making the switch to margarine is a good place to start.

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