I CAN Believe it’s Not Butter

For quite a while, it was widely believed that the only alternative to cooking with thick, fatty, yellow butter was margarine…or Crisco…neither too appealing, if you ask us. But there’s another alternative you can use to get that same non-stick texture and rich flavor:

Olive oil.

Olive oil can be used more efficiently for frying, sautéing and baking. Pour a little in your pots and pans for a no-stick surface, or drizzle it over a salad to bring out the flavors of your veggies. And if you happen to live a vegan or lactose-free life, olive oil is the ideal substitute for dairy-based products!

Olive oil contains nearly three times as much monounsaturated or “good” fats per tablespoon as butter, margarine and other popular cooking oils. When using monounsaturated fat to replace saturated fat, the levels of LDL or “bad cholesterol” are reduced and the HDL or “good cholesterol” levels are maintained- and may even increase.

A lesser-known benefit of olive oil is its positive effects on the stomach lining. It naturally activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones, and thus it lowers the likelihood of gallstone formation, as well as helps prevent ulcers and gastritis. Can butter do that? We don’t think so.

So, what actually goes in to these mealtime accoutrements?

Butter is a concentrated source of milk fat (80 percent) with some water and nonfat milk solids. It is made from milk, cream or both. Per tablespoon, it contains:

  • 100 calories
  • 12 grams of fat
    • 7 grams of saturated fats
    • 3 grams of healthy fats
  • 31mg of cholesterol
  • 82 mg sodium

Olive oil is all-natural and preserves the taste, aroma, vitamins and properties of the olive. Olive oil is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed as it is - freshly pressed from the fruit. Extra virgin olive oil has the most health benefits, since it is the least-processed and maintains the most nutritional elements such as vitamin E and phenols. Per tablespoon, it contains:

  • 120 calories
  • 14 grams of fat
    • 2 grams of saturated fats
    • 12 grams of healthy fats
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 0 mg sodium

Have you been inspired enough to substitute olive oil for butter next time you’re in the kitchen? Here’s a handy chart from www.goodcooking.com to help you out:


Olive Oil

1 teaspoon

= 3/4 teaspoon

1 tablespoon

= 2 1/4 teaspoons

2 tablespoons

= 1 1/2 tablespoons

1/4 cup

= 3 tablespoons

1/3 cup

= 1/4 cup

1/2 cup

= 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons

2/3 cup

= 1/2 cup

3/4 cup

= 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon

1 cup

= 3/4 cup

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