The study is one of the many aimed at the problem . The researchers found that reduced risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) was more closely associated with an increased consumption of polyunsaturated fats (e.g., soft, trans fat-free margarines made from soybean and canola oil)(1). In fact, an increase in polyunsaturated fat consumption is found to have a greater reduction in CHD risk than increased fruit intake or reduced smoking.
Walter Willett, M.D., Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, states, "The experience of Poland is consistent with epidemiological and clinical evidence indicating that mortality due to coronary heart disease can be reduced by partly replacing dietary saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats while maintaining a low intake of trans fatty acids." Further adding, "Increased intakes of polyunsaturated fat also probably explain most of the major declines in coronary mortality in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia over several decades."
For the first time, liquid oils and soft, trans fat-free soft margarine spreads were elevated in importance in that they "help meet essential fatty acid needs and also contribute toward Vitamin E needs" states the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report.
Richard Cristol, president of the National Association of Margarine Manufacturers (NAMM) is of the opinion that, "In the past, added fats, even those that are the healthier unsaturated fats, had been relegated to 'use as little as possible. Margarine manufacturers have been leaders in the food industry in removing trans fats from their products and will continue to innovate to meet the health, taste and convenience requirements of consumers."
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a serving of margarine or a lower-calorie margarine spread has 2 grams or less of saturated fat per serving, compared to 7 grams in butter (see fsan.fda.gov/~dms/transfat.html). Butter also contains 30 milligrams of cholesterol per serving whereas margarine and margarine spreads have no cholesterol because they are made with vegetable oil, a good source of vitamin E.