Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in our blood that is essential for healthy cell function, but high levels can increase the risk of heart disease. Cholesterol-lowering spreads such as Benecol and Flora Pro-Activ have been developed to help reduce cholesterol levels in a convenient and tasty way.
In this article, we will compare these two popular brands of cholesterol-lowering spreads, Benecol and Flora Pro-Activ. We will examine the key differences between these spreads, their ingredients and nutritional values, and their potential benefits for heart health, weight loss, and diabetes management.
Is Flora the Same as Benecol?
No, Flora is not the same as Benecol. While both spreads contain plant sterols and stanols, the amount and type of these ingredients differ. Flora Pro-Activ contains plant sterols, specifically 0.54g of plant sterols in a 10g serving, while Benecol contains plant stanols, specifically 0.7g of plant stanols in a 10g serving.
Both plant sterols and stanols have been shown to help lower cholesterol levels, but they work slightly differently in the body.
Benecol vs Flora Pro-Activ – Ingredients
Benecol and Flora ProActiv spreads share common ingredients like rapeseed oil, salt, emulsifiers, natural flavorings, Vitamin A and Vitamin D, but Benecol has added buttermilk powder, citric acid and carotenes, while Flora ProActiv includes a blend of vegetable oils like rapeseed, palm, sunflower, and linseed oils.
The main difference lies in the type and quantity of cholesterol-lowering compounds present, with Benecol having plant stanols and Flora ProActiv having plant sterols.
Consuming 2-3 grams of plant stanols or plant sterols per day, found in both Benecol and Flora Pro-Activ spreads, can lower LDL cholesterol by up to 10% by blocking the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine.
|Benecol Buttery taste Spread||Rapeseed Oil, Water, Plant Stanol Ester (plant stanols 6.6g/100g), Responsibly sourced palm oil, Buttermilk Powder, Salt (1%), Emulsifiers (Mono and diglycerides of fatty acids, Sunflower lecithin), Natural flavourings, Acidity regulator (citric acid), Colour (carotenes), Vitamin A, Vitamin D3.|
|Flora ProActiv Buttery Spread||Vegetable oils (65%) (rapeseed, palm1, sunflower, linseed), water, plant sterol esters (9%)*, salt (0.95%), emulsifier (sunflower lecithin), natural flavourings, vitamin A and D.|
* 5.4g plant sterols/100g
1 Flora ProActiv is committed to sustainable Palm Oil
Benecol vs Flora Pro-Activ – Nutrition
Benecol Buttery Spread and Flora Pro-Activ are both marketed as spreads that help to lower cholesterol levels. However, there are some nutritional differences between the two products.
In terms of calories, there is a difference between Benecol and Flora Pro-Activ. Benecol Buttery Spread contains 54 calories per 10g serving, while Flora Pro-Activ Buttery contains 63 calories per 10g serving.
However, both spreads are low in carbohydrates and high in fat. Benecol contains 5.9g of fat per 10g serving, including 1.1g of saturated fat, while Flora Pro-Activ contains 7g of fat per 10g serving, including 1.6g of saturated fat.
Both spreads also contain plant sterols or stanols, with Flora Pro-Activ providing 0.54g of plant sterols per 10g serving, and Benecol providing 0.7g of plant stanols per 10g serving.
Differences between Benecol and Flora Pro-Activ
Some key differences between these spreads are as follows:
- Plant Sterols vs Plant Stanols: Flora Pro-Activ contains plant sterols, while Benecol contains plant stanols.
- Amount of Sterols/Stanols: Flora Pro-Activ has 0.54g of plant sterols per 10g serving, while Benecol has 0.7g of plant stanols per 10g serving.
- Calories: Flora Pro-Activ Buttery contains 63 calories per 10g serving, while Benecol Buttery Spread contains 54 calories per 10g serving.
- Saturated Fat: Flora Pro-Activ Buttery contains 1.6g of saturated fat per 10g serving, while Benecol Buttery Spread contains 1.1g of saturated fat per 10g serving.
- Additional ingredients: Benecol contains buttermilk powder while Flora Pro-Activ does not contain this ingredient.
Benecol vs Flora Pro-Activ for Weight Loss
Benecol and Flora Pro-Activ spreads are often marketed as healthier alternatives to full-fat butter due to their cholesterol-lowering properties. While they are not necessarily low in calories, they can be a useful tool in a weight loss plan when used in moderation.
One tablespoon (10g) of Benecol spread contains 54 calories, while the same amount of Flora Pro-Activ contains 63 calories.
In comparison, one tablespoon (14g) of full-fat butter contains around 100 calories. Therefore, using these spreads in place of butter can save calories and reduce cholesterol intake, potentially aiding in weight loss efforts. However, it is important to keep in mind that overall calorie intake and a balanced diet are key factors in weight loss.
Benecol vs Flora Pro-Activ for Diabetics
Both Benecol and Flora Pro-Activ spreads can be beneficial for diabetics due to their low sugar content and lower saturated fat levels compared to regular butter. However, Flora ProActiv is the better choice for those looking for a product with less sugar, as it contains less than 0.5g per 100g compared to 0.8g in Benecol.
Moreover, the cholesterol-lowering effects of these spreads may promote heart health, which is particularly significant for diabetics who have a higher risk of heart disease.
Nevertheless, since both spreads still contain calories, they should be consumed in moderation, especially for those who are counting calories. While plant sterols and stanols have little to no impact on blood sugar levels, Flora ProActiv’s higher calorie content should be taken into account by diabetics.
Which is better: Benecol or Flora ProActiv?
The comparison between Benecol and Flora Pro-Activ spreads shows that both are effective in lowering cholesterol due to their respective cholesterol-lowering compounds of plant stanols and sterols. While Benecol contains slightly more cholesterol-lowering compounds (stanols), Flora Pro-Activ is lower in sugar and may be better suited for diabetics, while Benecol may be preferable for those aiming for weight loss due to its lower calorie count.
For environmentally-conscious individuals, Flora Pro-Activ’s commitment to sustainable palm oil sourcing may also be a factor. Ultimately, the choice between these two spreads will depend on individual preferences and dietary needs.