As more and more research is confirming the health-promoting effects of olive oil, many people are turning to Bertolli olive oil spread as a way to boost their wellness. But when it comes to this product, what exactly do you get? Is it truly good for you or is it just another marketing ploy? Should you replace your usual margarine or butter with the brand’s spread?
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the benefits of consuming Bertolli olive oil spread while exploring its nutritional details so that you can decide if using the product as an alternative cooking ingredient would be beneficial for achieving your health goals.
Is Bertolli spread butter or margarine?
Bertolli spread is actually neither. It is a combination of both. Bertolli is made from vegetable oils, olive oil and buttermilk which is added to provide flavour. It is also fortified with vitamins A and D, which is why it is often referred to as a “spreadable butter” (real butter is a good source of these vitamins).
Ingredients of Bertolli olive oil spread
Here is a complete list of ingredients found in Bertolli olive oil spread (Original):
Vegetable Oils (49%) (Rapeseed, Palm), Water, Olive Oil (10%), Salt (1.1%), Buttermilk (Milk), Emulsifiers (Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids, Lecithin), Natural Flavouring, Vitamins A and D
Surprisingly there is only 10% of olive oil in the product and it’s not even “extra virgin olive oil”.
Compared to regular olive oil, extra virgin olive oil is a much healthier choice – it’s cold-pressed and less processed, resulting in higher levels of polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. However, regular olive oil still offers benefits for the heart and is a great source of monounsaturated fats which help to protect against cardiovascular disease.
The main ingredients of Bertolli spread are actually vegetable oils – rapeseed and palm oils. While these oils are not as beneficial for the heart as extra virgin olive oil is, they still offer some health benefits.
Rapeseed oil contains less saturated fat than olive oil and is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is why it is often referred to as “heart-healthy oil”.
Palm oil has more saturated fat than olive oil and less beneficial monounsaturated fats, but is still a better choice than high–trans fat shortenings.
Bertolli is fortified with vitamins A and D, which are beneficial for bone health and the immune system.
Is Bertolli olive oil spread dairy free?
No, Bertolli is not dairy free because it is made with buttermilk.
Bertolli olive oil spread is lower in saturated fat than butter, with 16g per 100g of product (compared to 52.1g in real butter). It is also lower in calories and is rich in monounsaturated fats.
One tablespoon of Bertolli olive oil spread (14g) provides :
- Calories: 74
- Total fat: 8.3g
- Saturated fat: 2.5g
- Monounsaturated fat: 4.5g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g
- Carbohydrates: 0g
- Protein: 0g
- Salt: 0.15g
- Vitamin A: 112µg (micrograms) – equivalent to 16% of the daily value (DV) for men aged 19-64 and 18% for women aged 19-64
- Vitamin D: 1.05µg – equivalent to 10% of the DV for both men and women aged 19-64
Calories in Bertolli olive oil spread
One tablespoon (14g) of Bertolli olive oil spread contains 74 calories. This is a lower calorie count than butter, which provides 102 calories per tablespoon.
Does Bertolli olive oil spread contain trans fats?
No, Bertolli is free from trans fats. Trans fats are typically found in hydrogenated vegetable oils and other processed foods, but Bertolli is made from vegetable oils that are not hydrogenated.
Is Bertolli spread good for high cholesterol?
If you have high cholesterol it’s recommended to cut down on fatty foods, especially those high in saturated fats. You should replace these types of foods with those that are lower in saturated fat and higher in monounsaturated fats, for example, olive oil, avocados and nuts.
The NHS recommends eating less butter, lard and ghee and foods that contain palm oil, among other fatty foods.
Based on these recommendations, Bertolli spread is a better choice than butter as it is lower in saturated fat and free from trans fats. However, you should still moderate your consumption of Bertolli as it contains very little olive oil which helps reduce total cholesterol levels. It also contains palm oil which is something you should avoid.
If you are trying to change your lifestyle to lower your cholesterol and all you do is replace butter with Bertolli spread, this on its own is unlikely to improve your cholesterol levels.
To successfully reduce your cholesterol levels, you need to make other dietary changes such as including more fruit, vegetables, wholegrain and fibre into your diet, as well as reducing your sugar and processed foods. Regular physical activity is also recommended.
You should speak to your doctor if you want further advice on how to reduce your cholesterol levels.
Is Bertolli olive oil spread better than butter?
Bertolli olive oil spread is lower in calories and saturated fat than butter, and is fortified with vitamins A and D. However, it is not as beneficial for the heart as extra virgin olive oil is, as it is made with a blend of oils, including palm oil.
Although Bertolli spread may be a healthier alternative to butter in terms of calories and fat content, if you want to truly take advantage of the health benefits associated with olive oil, then extra virgin olive oil is your best choice.
Is Bertolli olive oil spread good or bad for you?
Bertolli olive oil spread is not what it looks like. It is not made mainly with olive oil, but is a blend of oils, including palm oil. While it is lower in calories and saturated fat than butter, it is not thought to be as beneficial for your heart health as extra virgin olive oil is.
However, if you are looking for a healthier alternative to butter, Bertolli is a good choice. It is also fortified with vitamins A and D which is beneficial for your health.