You have probably come across a tub of margarine whenever you’re shopping for groceries. Soft yellow margarine is often used as a butter substitute, making vegans happy with its dairy-free ingredients.
Though margarine is vegan, is it also gluten-free? How does eating margarine affect those with Celiac disease or with gluten intolerance?
What Is Margarine?
Margarine is a popular butter substitute that was created in 1869. A chemist made margarine with beef tallow, milk, and parts of animal udders. It was a way for people to access “butter” for a much lower price.
The recipe for margarine has changed quite a bit since it was first made. It is mostly vegetable oil with water, emulsifiers, salt, and color. In addition, most margarine is no longer made with any animal byproducts, so it has become a popular butter replacement for vegans.
You only need to replace butter with a 1:1 ratio when using margarine as a substitute. After that, it works the same in cooking and baking.
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Answer: Is Margarine Gluten Free?
Yes! Most, if not all, name-brand margarine are gluten-free. However, it is best to purchase name brands over generic brands when buying gluten-free margarine. This is because most name-brand companies, like Country Crock, test their products to ensure they are free from any gluten ingredients.
The manufacturers will also have their full ingredients on their websites. Sometimes, they explain the more unique ingredients that aren’t as commonly known. It is best to read the ingredients label before purchasing to make sure your favorite margarine brand is, in fact, gluten-free. The colorants, flavorings, or emulsifiers could contain gluten, so these are the ingredients you want to pay the most attention to.
It can be a bit more complicated with generic brands or private-label kinds of margarine. This is because they tend not to have as much information on the specifics of their ingredients as name brands. In addition, many private labels don’t test their margarine for gluten, so there may be issues with cross-contamination or gluten-containing additives.
Butter vs. Margarine:
The two are used in many similar ways but have some differences. The main difference is in their ingredients. Butter is made from dairy, while margarine is made from oil. Many also like to use Crisco shortening. This gives them varying textures and nutritional benefits. However, both can be used interchangeably. It depends on your wants and needs.
Like butter, margarine is okay to eat in moderation. Since margarine is made with vegetable oil, it has more “good” fats than butter. However, some margarine brands have high trans fat, which raises “bad” cholesterol levels and lowers “good” cholesterol.
You can read Is Butter Gluten Free for more information about butter.
Brands Of Gluten Free Margarine:
- Country Crock Margarine
- Land O’ Lakes Margarine
- I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
- Olivio Spread
- Earth Balance
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