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Is Smart Balance really good for you?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'd like something other than butter occasionally but I don't want to eat a big tub of chemicals that are bad for us.

Is there a butter alternative that is actually good for you?
post #2 of 8
I don't know about Smart Balance in particular. Read the ingredients, and if you don't know what some of them are, do Google searches on them. Read the nutrition facts; does it contain any nutrients?

I like Earth Balance spread. It does have some fat but no trans fat. It's high in Vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. Tastes good, too!

I also like real butter but try to use it in moderation because of the cholesterol. For example, if I want buttered toast, I put Earth Balance on it unless I have a strong craving for real butter. I use real butter if I'm buttering non-toasted bread, because we can keep it at room temp for easy spreading, whereas Earth Balance has to be refrigerated.

In recipes that call for melted butter, usually you can substitute liquid oil. I use olive oil for savory-type recipes and almond or canola oil for sweet recipes. Olive oil also is yummy on garlic bread.
post #3 of 8
why are you avoiding butter? I thought naturl butter was healthier than most vegetable oils?
post #4 of 8
Cant get any healthier than butter.
post #5 of 8
Smart Balance and Earth Balance are made by the same company and are quite similar. Both contain, among other things, soybean and canola oils. Canola oil is controversial. Soybean oil:" The fatty acid profile of the soybean includes large amounts of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids compared to other pulses (legumes); but these omega-3 fatty acids are particularly susceptible to rancidity when subjected to high pressures and temperatures. This is exactly what is required to remove oil from the bean, as soybean oil is particularly difficult to extract. Hexane or other solvents are always used to extract oil from soybeans, and traces remain in the commercial product." Neither of these oils should be consumed on a regular basis.

As the pps said a good quality organic (pref raw, pref grassfed) butter is a better choice:

Butter Is a Healthy Food

Organic, cultured butter is available in many stores. It has restored enzymes and a high vitamin A content. Contrary to widely held opinion, there is no evidence that butter contributes to heart disease or cancer. At the turn of the century, butter consumption in America was 18 pounds per person per year. Today it is a mere five pounds. As butter consumption has plummeted, cancer and heart disease have risen dramatically. The real blame for this increase points squarely at hydrogenated butter substitutes—margarine and shortening.34 Butter contains many nutrients that protect us against disease. Those with severe allergies to milk products can still eat clarified butter (ghee) and enjoy its good taste and numerous nutritional benefits.
post #6 of 8
mamao'two -

I LOVE Smart Balance - though I prefer the vegan organic version of it.

Whether or not you personally will agree depends on your own nutritional beliefs. If you fall under the Weston A. Price/NT banner, then I'd say you would be better to follow the advice of pps Ruthla, momto l&a, and carnelian. BTW: the information carnelian is giving you is straight from the Weston A. Price Foundation, just follow the link. (NOTE to other posters: Don't flame me! If you find the Weston A. Price Foundation helpful to you and agree with their findings, more power to you!)

If your nutritional beliefs do not fall along those lines, then I would say that it can be a suitable alternative to butter. If you were going to pick Smart Balance, I would encourage you to pick the organic one. I think Earth Balance is organic too, but don't quote me on that, you'll want to double check that to be sure.

HTH!
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnelian
Organic, cultured butter is available in many stores. It has restored enzymes and a high vitamin A content. Contrary to widely held opinion, there is no evidence that butter contributes to heart disease or cancer. At the turn of the century, butter consumption in America was 18 pounds per person per year. Today it is a mere five pounds. As butter consumption has plummeted, cancer and heart disease have risen dramatically. The real blame for this increase points squarely at hydrogenated butter substitutes—margarine and shortening.34 Butter contains many nutrients that protect us against disease. Those with severe allergies to milk products can still eat clarified butter (ghee) and enjoy its good taste and numerous nutritional benefits.
Excuse my ignorance, but what is cultured butter? And how would I know if I were buying it? Is it just regular butter or is it really expensive?
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
Excuse my ignorance, but what is cultured butter? And how would I know if I were buying it? Is it just regular butter or is it really expensive?
It's butter with bacterial culture added to it thus giving you similar benefits to those you'd get from any other cultured product such as yogurt, kefir, sour cream, raw sauerkraut etc. Not anymore expensive than regular organic butter. Cultured butter is usually labeled as such or you can check the ingredients to see if it lists bacterial cultures.
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