Smart Balance is a line of spreads, oils and other products such as sour cream and milk that are marketed toward people aiming for heart-healthy food solutions. Understanding the nutritional facts behind Smart Balance products can help you determine if they really are the best solution for your dietary needs and your heart health.
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Buttery Spread is Smart Balance’s flagship product and represents the company’s efforts to provide consumers with healthy spreads such as margarine. One serving of Buttery Spread -- approximately 1 tbsp. -- contains 80 calories, all of which come from fat. The spread contains 9 g of fat, 2.5 g of which is saturated fat, 3.5 g of which is polyunsaturated fat and 3 g of which is monounsaturated fat. The spread contains no cholesterol and only 90 mg of sodium.
Smart Balance makes many of its products -- especially spreads -- with the same core ingredients. For example, the Buttery Spread consists of a blend of soybean, palm fruit, canola and olive oil, along with water, whey, salt and natural and artificial flavorings. Also included in the ingredients are calcium disodium as a preservative, vitamins B6, B12 and vitamins E and D.
No Trans Fat
Smart Balance prides itself on providing products that are naturally trans-fat free. Trans fats are made from hydrogenated oils -- oils that have hydrogen added to them in order to prevent spoilage -- and contribute to raising your overall cholesterol numbers by lowering your HDL -- or “good” -- cholesterol numbers and elevating your LDL -- or “bad” -- cholesterol levels. By using all-natural oils free from hydrogenation, Smart Balance products are free from the trans fats that may increase your risk of heart disease.
One of the benefits of Smart Balance Products is the ability to incorporate healthier fats into your diet. While 9 g of fat may seem like a lot for only 1 tbsp. of spread, with that you’re getting 6.5 g of healthy fats like mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which have been shown to keep cholesterol levels low and may even help lower your LDL cholesterol numbers, according to the American Heart Association.
Along with their Buttery Spread, Smart Balance offers other spreads with additional health benefits, like the Omega-3 spread which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, a spread with additional flaxseed oil for heart health and low-sodium or organic spread options. Smart Balance also offers vegetable oil and spray made with natural oils and with added vitamin E. Their milk is low fat, but with whey added in to give you the sensation of drinking whole or 2 percent milk without the added saturated fat.