Bread by itself has a number of vitamins and minerals, especially if it is enriched or made with 100 percent whole grains. Unfortunately, it can also be bland. That's where a spread comes in. The trick is to spare yourself empty calories by using a spread that has its fair share of nutrients. With many varieties available, it is really a matter of preference as to which one is best for you.
The ideal spread is the one that provides some protein
Jam is a thick and chunky spread made from either crushed, chopped or puréed fruit and is cooked with sugar. The fruit's natural pectin imparts firmness to the jam resulting in a semi-jellied texture that is easy to spread but is not liquid. Jams are usually made from the pulp and juice of a single fruit without the addition of other flavours.
Natural peanut butter provides a dose of carbohydrates for an energy boost, bundled with the full-feeling provided by protein and monounsaturated fat - a heart-healthy fat that lowers total cholesterol and LDL ("bad" cholesterol), while boosting HDL ("good" cholesterol). Peanut butter also contains Vitamin E, fiber, niacin, phosphorus, and magnesium, all essential nutrients that are needed by our body. However, all these good things are only available through natural peanut butter.
Butter is a dairy product made from churning milk or cream. The churning process separates the butterfat (the solids) from the buttermilk (the liquid). The butter we most often buy is made from cow's milk, although other varieties — made from the milk of sheep, goat, yak, or buffalo — are also available.
Margarine is a non-dairy product created as a substitute for butter. While originally made from animal fat in the 1800s, today the primary ingredients include vegetable oil, water, salt, emulsifiers, and some also include milk. Margarine can be found in both stick-form and tubs.
The ideal spread is the one that provides some protein. However, if you choose other kinds of spreads, the most important thing is to watch your portion sizes. One tablespoon is the standard. You can estimate a tablespoon by looking at your thumb. A serving size about the size of the tip of a woman's thumb is 1 tablespoon. One tablespoon of any of these spreads is an okay way to start your day, but piling on extra spoonfuls can pack on extra calories fast.
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