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10 Spices, Spreads and Oils for Your Healthy Kitchen

It's natural to love butter, which is all-natural.
It's natural to love butter, which is all-natural.
George Doyle/Getty Images

That's right -- No. 1 on our list of spices, spreads and oils for your healthy kitchen is butter. It might not seem like the most obvious choice, but before you start touting the virtue of margarine, read on to learn why butter is the only real deal in a world of alternative spreads.

People have been making butter for hundreds of years, and, after all that time, not much has changed. Butter is made from cream and sometimes salt. Compare that to the multitude of hydrogenated oils and other artificial ingredients found in margarine and butter alternatives. More importantly, butter and margarine contain the same amount of calories and fat grams, though, unlike margarine, butter contains no trans fats.

Still, just because these delicious yellow bars are all-natural doesn't mean they're good for you. There's a reason butter's gotten such a bad rap, as it's loaded with saturated fat, cholesterol and calories, so use it in moderation. It's OK to spread it on your bread or add a pat to a baked potato. Just remember that when it comes to butter, a dab is always better than a slab.