4 doctors weighed in:
How is shortening different than butter or margarine, regarding nutrition and healthiness? Why the name "shortening"? Does it make cooking time short?
4 doctors weighed in

Dr. Idelle Brand
Dentistry
2 doctors agree
In brief: Yes
Shortening can be from animal lard or vegetable fats.
Refers to fat that is solid at room temperature. It is called shortening since it prevents cross-linkage between gluten molecules, thereby preventing elasticity. That's why it makes a flaky crust pie or crumbly cookies. It does not make cooking time shorter. It also has a higher smoke point than butter or margarine; good for deep frying.

In brief: Yes
Shortening can be from animal lard or vegetable fats.
Refers to fat that is solid at room temperature. It is called shortening since it prevents cross-linkage between gluten molecules, thereby preventing elasticity. That's why it makes a flaky crust pie or crumbly cookies. It does not make cooking time shorter. It also has a higher smoke point than butter or margarine; good for deep frying.
Dr. Idelle Brand
Dr. Idelle Brand
Thank
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology
In brief: Chemistry
Fats make pastries less stretchy ("shortening") and more crumbly; by convention, "shortening" is cooking fat solid at room temperature that isn't margarine or butter. Some are artificially hydrogenated producing trans-fats, supposedly unhealthy -- a claim based on people's recollections, with contradictory results, and no good animal model.
I'm reserving judgement, though they're mostly gone.

In brief: Chemistry
Fats make pastries less stretchy ("shortening") and more crumbly; by convention, "shortening" is cooking fat solid at room temperature that isn't margarine or butter. Some are artificially hydrogenated producing trans-fats, supposedly unhealthy -- a claim based on people's recollections, with contradictory results, and no good animal model.
I'm reserving judgement, though they're mostly gone.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Thank
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