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Ask the Diva: Is Olivio a Good Alternative to Butter?

Is Olivio the holy grail of healthy butter? Not so fast. Nutrition Diva digs into the nutrition label to find out the facts,

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,
April 4, 2014

Q. "Could you give some input on Olivio, the olive oil based spread? I really like the taste and that it spreads easily on bread, but it does seem highly processed. Is butter better? Is it safe to keep butter out of the refrigerator so it spreads easier?"

A. I checked out the Olivio product line and I'm not sure they could really be considered olive oil "based." Although most of the spreads contain some olive oil, they seem to be made primarily from canola, soybean, and/or tropical oils, as well as a rather lengthy list of preservatives, natural and artificial flavorings and other additives.  The best of the bunch was the one called "spreadable butter," which was made with butter, canola, water, and (probably not much) olive oil.

Although I wasn't bowled over by this particular product line, you're definitely on to something here. Combining butter with olive oil offers several advantages. First, it tastes great. Second, it boosts your intake of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. And thirdly, it is creamy and spreadable right out of the fridge - so you don't have to choose between freshness and spreadability. 

Best of all, you can make it at home! Blend 2 sticks of softened butter with 1/2 cup of olive oil in your blender until smooth. (Add a pinch of salt if the butter is unsalted). If you like the flavor of olive oil, use extra virgin. If you prefer a more neutral spread, use a light olive oil. Spoon it into a container with a lid and store in the fridge. Enjoy!

See also: The Best Substitute for Butter

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