What You Should Know
Smart Balance manufactures a number of “heart-healthy” food products including spreads, oils, milk, cheese and peanut butter. Smart Balance products are formulated to reduce cholesterol and saturated fat content.
Smart Balance’s original spread contains a blend of vegetable oils and does not contain hydrogenated oil or trans-fatty acids, which have been implicated in high cholesterol and heart disease. The spread also provides a balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are required to provide protection and fluidity to cell membranes. Current research supports the assertion that the proportion of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in relation to each other is important.
Depends on specific product.
Smart Balance Milk is lower in fat than regular milk and contains added omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, calcium and protein. Currently, the Smart Balance milk is being sold in only a few states but the company expects to expand in the near future. The Smart Balance processed cheese comes in several forms but the most popular appears to be the Creamy Cheddar-Flavored Slices. The butterfat in the milk used to make the cheese has been replaced by a blend of vegetable oils.
Flax oil is one of the main ingredients in the Smart Balance Peanut Butter. Flax oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids and scientific study is beginning to support other health benefits. The refined corn sugar found in most commercial peanut butters is replaced by molasses in the Smart Balance peanut butter. The Smart Balance website is thorough and informative. It provides full nutritional information on each of its products. The specific oils in the blends found in each product are listed but not the percentages. The website has a section to print off coupons for the products but there were no coupons listed at the time of this review. We were unable to locate any reference to product samples. Product samples are a useful way to allow consumers to try out a new or different product before buying.
- Products have reduced levels of saturated fats.
- Products are high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
- The line of Smart Balance products is increasing.
- Total fat content may still be similar to other products.
- Frequently more expensive than competitive products.
- More of a health food than a weight loss aid.
There are many reasons why consumers may wish to limit saturated fat in their diets or increase omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Limiting saturated fats can help those who wish to lose weight as well as those managing heart conditions. Smart Balance products seem tailor-made for these purposes and they can be a useful addition to specialized diets. When comparing Smart Balance products to their competitors, keep in mind that total fat levels may be similar.