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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

A healthy spread for 2021

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To say that last year was a particularly difficult one would be an understatement. 

As if the pandemic and the unprecedented disruptions it wreaked on our lives were not enough, I found myself confined at the hospital on Dec. 24, hours before Christmas Eve, for elevated carbon dioxide level caused by an undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea. The normal range was at 30 to 40 mEq/L (milliequivalents per liter), and I was hitting 110 mEq/L. The long-term solution, according to the seven doctors who monitored my condition until I was discharged on Jan. 4, was to lose weight—the weight of about a regular-sized person, that is.

BETTER BUTTER. A plant-based butter alternative, SAGANÀ is made from 81 percent pure, non-hydrogenated coconut oil, 15 percent water, and 1.5 percent salt, which makes it ideal for vegans, gourmands, flexitarians, and the lactose-intolerant. 

So imagine my pleasant surprise when my good friend Bess Howe messaged me about a plant-based butter spread made from pure coconut oil. A healthy alternative to butter? It was music to my ears that were aching from hearing admonitions on how I should avoid this and that food and how I should eat in strict moderation.

SAGANÀ coconut spread presents an easy choice for those looking to commit to a healthier lifestyle, which usually tops one’s list of New Year’s resolutions that are, more often than not, quickly forgotten come February.

This plant-based spread is made from 81 percent pure, non-hydrogenated coconut oil, 15 percent water, and 1.5 percent salt, with the consistency and flavor of table butter. A suitable alternative for vegans, gourmands, flexitarians, and even the lactose-intolerant, it has all the goodness of butter despite being completely dairy-free.

I tried it on pan de sal while my mom used it to sauté broccoli, and we both could not distinguish any difference from the regular table butter. It can be substituted 1:1 in any recipe that calls for butter, and no one will be the wiser.

SAGANÀ coconut spread does not contain a blend of vegetable oils and is non-hydrogenated, with zero trans fat. Hydrogenated vegetable oil undergoes processing to enhance its taste, texture, and shelf life, and it is this process that forms trans fats, which are bad for the health.

The coconut spread has the consistency and flavor of table butter, sans dairy.

Originally produced for the export market, and proudly Philippine-made, SAGANÀ coconut spread uses coconut oil supplied by a single source in Southern Luzon and sent straight to the manufacturing plant. SAGANÀ is a Swiss-Filipino social enterprise that responsibly sources from and works with smallholder farmers, cooperatives, and like-minded, accountable organizations that strive to employ sustainable practices, helping them create a positive social impact and protect the environment as they achieve the highest premium quality to obtain for them higher earning rates.

Compared to dairy butter, this plant-based alternative takes 70 percent less water to produce and emits up to 50 percent less carbon dioxide in the process, making it a better choice for the environment, too.

If, like me, you would like to start the year right by making that switch to healthy, natural, and more sustainable alternatives, SAGANÀ coconut spread may be the best option for you. It is available at P255 for 225g brick through and in select specialty grocery and vegan stores in Metro Manila.

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