Saturday, March 5, 2011

Health News: Smart Balance vs: I Can't Believe It's Not Butter

What we all need to know regarding Butter. For our overall health - here's an article from AssociatedContent that compares I can't Believe It's Not Butter and Smart Balance.

Most foodies would agree that butter, a popular and delicious addition to any dish whether that be toast, sautéed chicken or mashed potatoes, is a tough recipe ingredient to replace. Butter substitutes have bee around for decades, most notably margarine and oleo. These days, you will have better luck finding oleo in crossword puzzles instead of supermarket shelves. But all is not lost to those of us who want the great taste of butter without the damage to the heart and hips. Smart Balance and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter are the closest substitutes you will get to the real thing. Still there are similarities and differences with regard to taste and health respectively that distinguish these brands from other substitutes and each other.

In comparing Smart Balance and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, the latter certainly has the edge in longevity. For the past few decades, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter has profited greatly from television and print commercial campaigns willing to poke fun at itself with stars like Fabio along for the ride. Television advertising for Smart Balance is not in heavy circulation. Both brands have insightful websites, and

Unlike Smart Balance whose products include microwave popcorn and peanut butter, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter has retained its primary focus; versions of its original, light and fat free substitutes. People know what they are getting with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. The loyalty the company has shown to its customers in dedicating itself to being the best brand of its type has been financially rewarding. Oh and there are health benefits, too. That said those benefits lean more in favor of Smart Balance.

Nutrition labels confirm that a serving of butter is 1 tablespoon (14 grams) and that it contains 11 grams of fat and 100 calories. The same serving in the Smart Balance buttery spread contains 9 grams of fat and 80
calories. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter is made up of 10 grams of fat and 90 calories. The light and fat free spreads for each brand have no trans fat. Growing evidence has shown that trans fats are more damaging than saturated fat in that it actually can raise the LDL "bad" cholesterol and lower the HDL "good" cholesterol in blood. While the statistics for both spreads are comparable and healthier than butter, Smart Balance can be part of a vegetarian diet. In fact Smart Balance Lite is vegan, a rarity among butter spreads.

Interestingly the aforementioned strength of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, their sole concentration of creating delicious butter based products, is contrary to Smart Balance’s strength, their ability to market other food categories. Putting out vegetable oils and cheeses as well as butter substitutes gives them a sizable edge in terms of being the more health conscious brand.

Prices vary from store to store but generally I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter is the better buy ranging anywhere from $1 to $2 cheaper than Smart Balance. Also, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter is easier to find since Smart Balance is sold mainly at organic and Whole Foods chains.

All things considered, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and Smart Balance are satisfying alternatives to butter. The brands distinguish themselves in the areas of promotion, health and price. For a chuckle as you smear, go for I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter If you would like to burn a few more calories on the treadmill, try Smart Balance. Buy I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter to save some dough. But choose either as an appetizing substitute.

My personal opinion:
I choose "Smart Balance." Though the difference is only 1 gram of fat and 10 calories per 1 tablespoon if you add them overtime however, that's a lot. In one year or 365 days, you are talking about a difference of 365 grams of fat and 3650 calories per tablespoon of butter. That is if you only consume 1 tablespoon a day.

Yes, Smart Balance is more expensive by a dollar or so - but I think it's worth it! if It affects our overall health. It's a price I am willing to pay.

However, there are manufacturers coupon you can watch out for.

Have a great and a HEALTHY weekend!

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