Margarine, which is commonly used as a butter substitute, is regarded as being plant-based and vegan friendly. Many people may prefer margarine to butter not just because it is cheaper, but rather because it does not have any animal ingredients. In fact, vegetable oils are widely used to replace the dairy products found in butter.
Is margarine gluten free? Yes! Your average gluten free dietitian will tell you to still check the ingredients list of any product to be better safe than sorry, but margarine contains no gluten proteins. Although gluten cross contamination may still occur.
Avoiding cross – contamination can be difficult, as most food manufacturers make plenty of gluten containing products. As any one factory can be making an assortment of different food products at any given time, grocery stores may label margarine as containing traces of gluten content.
Thankfully, butter is also gluten free like most dairy products. You’ll find butter gluten free, cheese gluten free, and ice cream gluten free. This will make the lives of any celiacs or otherwise gluten intolerant people much easier, as their diets are better catered towards.
What is Margarine?
Margarine, which would be frequently seen as a butter replacement, is considered vegetarian and organic. Many people would prefer margarine over butter not only because it is significantly less expensive, but also because it contains no dairy products. Vegetable oils are frequently substituted for the dairy ingredients present in butter.
On any long list of gluten free ingredients for cooking and baking, you can find margarine and butter. Typically lurking among the cooking oils, any gluten free dietitian will let you use these spreads for your gluten free toast as a morning breakfast treat.
Cross – contamination is less prevalent in margarine and butter however, as they aremanufactured usually alongside dairy products or cooking oils. Millions of people around the world are avoiding gluten, so major brands offering gluten free items is a new market to cater towards.
What’s the Difference Between Margarine and Butter?
The primary distinction between butter and margarine is the list of ingredients. They are frequently used for the same purpose, which is why they are great substitutes for one another. Margarine is largely formed of diverse vegetable oils, ranging from olive to avocado, whereas butter contains a lot of dairy and salt.
Margarine, unlike butter, is vegan-friendly. Both are made using oil and are commonly considered gluten-free. Patients with celiac disease and other gluten-related diseases should be fine eating margarine. In a gluten free diet gluten cross contamination will be your biggest concern.
In terms of nutrition, butter and margarine aren’t that different, and your choice should be dependent on your nutritional requirements. If the absence of artificial flavouring is more important to you than a greater quantity of saturated fat, butter should be used instead of margarine.
Plenty of gluten free baking recipes will permit the use of either butter or margrine, depending on your preference. Many brands of gluten free baked goods, from biscuits to cakes, will use either interchangeably. Making margarine bakes the perfect snack to bring to a gluten free club.
However, be careful with butter as some rice milk based butter actually contain barley enzymes. Barley enzymes in gluten protein, produced by barley grass, can have an adverse reaction in gluten sensitive people. This is because barley grass has a significant gluten protein content.
Cross – Contamination
For any gluten free dietitian, cross contamination is the most serious risk for celiacs and gluten sensitive people. This is because the contamination can be totally unexpected, and cause serious intenstinal distress for thos suffering genuine allergies.
Say you go to a restaurant, and order some french fries. Potato, plant based, gluten free. However, the chefs may fry the classic snack in the same deep fat fryer that they fry battered fish or breaded chicken. Suddenly, your fires are coated in gluten rich oil and sending your gut spinning.
Dishes that are gluten originals are easy to adapt to or avoid. Gluten free recipes exist for more products now, as allergies are seriously catered for. Something unavoidable like gluten grain derived alcoholic beverages are best left to store bought gluten free alternatives.
Although the average American could learn to distill and brew their own beer with enough time, effort, and money, there’s really no reason to do so. Gluten free lagers and grain based whiskies can be replaced by name brands looking to capiatlise on the new gluten intolerant market.
Is Margarine Healthy?
Although gluten free labeled items tend to be healthier, hence why gluten is cut out of many modern diets, margarine is still an oil based spread. Full of saturated fats, margarine is best enjoyed in moderation as a spread with plenty of foods, such as gluten free bread and crackers.
While lots of foods can see cross – contamination with gluten, grocery stores stock safe brands without any presence of wheat or gluten. As previously mentioned, this is because margarine is manufactured alongside cooking oils and other alternatives to dairy butter.
Gluten free foods can be found in your favorite grocery store, but be prepared to check the ethnic food sections of larger supermarkets. There you may find prepared foods with food labels indicating they are gluten free, although most stores have a dedicated gluten free section nowadays.
Although the potential for gluten cross contamination is low, it’s never zero. Take necessary caution for celiacs and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Margarine also can contain artificial chemicals to try and mimic the flavor of dairy butter.
Labels for gluten free products may not always be prevalent on packaging, so make sure to check the allergen list and back packaging for signs. A handful of gluten free products aren’t always advertised as gluten free, but obvious gluten ingredients should be clear on labels.
You can find juices gluten free, liquor gluten free, meat products gluten free, gluten free sausage brands, gluten free soup options (such as those made by Pacific Natural Foods), gluten free pasta options, even gluten free frozen pizza options. If you have reactions to wheat, margarine will be the least of your worries.
Is Margarine Vegan?
Unlike dairy butter production, margarine is totally vegan friendly. Impressive for a mock butter spread, as even some popular salsa brands fail to be vegan friendly, despite the large vegetable base for their food product.
Safe brands avoid any form of wheat, and animal or dairy products. For once, vegans won’t have to go to specialist aisles or stores to find vegan suitable food. Your local individual grocery will stock margarine, making it one of the most easily accessible vegan foods on the market.
Safely gluten free and plant based, margarine is an ideal food product when enjoyed in moderation. If you’re on gluten free foods or a vegan diet as a weight loss method, then you should still perhaps avoid excessive use of margarine for the fat content.
Alternatives of Using Margarine
As there are plenty of gluten free margarine brands, you may not want to find a suitable alternative spread. The list of gluten free foods can be quite thin at times, and better suited to a vegetarian or vegan diet. However, you don’t need to sacrifice your gluten free club or vegan diet for a natural spread.
Vegan butter is readily available as a dairy free, yet organic and natural, alternative to dairy management and margarine. Gluten cross contamination remains a low risk factor, although should still be looked for in larger brands of vegan butter.
Cross – contamination is more likely as vegan butter will be manufactured alongside other plant based products, and any gluten free dietitian can tell you how important grains can be in a vegan plant based diet and lifestyle.
Nutivas Ghee is vegan friendly, gluten and dairy free, and keto-friendly. Ghee is commonly used to substitute butter in cooking and baking, however this form of ghee is also great for putting on bread for breakfast. This ghee, which is made from a combination of avocado and coconut oil, follows a zero waste concept, with 1% of good sales going towards restorative agricultural production.
Miyoko’s european Style Vegan Butter substitute is ideal for cooking and sautéing, when many butter substitutes fall short owing to an unpleasant chemical flavour that develops in the pan. This vegan, dairy free, gluten free, palm oil free, and kosher butter substitute is ideal for almost all of your culinary requirements.