Smart Balance Review

Editor's Review: 3.2 / 5.0

What You Should Know

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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.

Ingredients

Depends on specific product.

Product Features

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 The butterfat in the milk used to make the cheese has been replaced by a blend of vegetable oils.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.

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Advantages

  • 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.

Disadvantages

  • 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.

Conclusion

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.

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43 User Reviews about Smart Balance

  • 1
    Diana

    I have purchased Smart Balance butter for years. Won’t buy anything else. About 3 months ago, I noticed a horrible wild taste in the butter. I’m so disappointed because I love this butter. Now, I’m having to try other brands. I’ve tried every single Smart Balance butter they put out there and only one has the right taste that I’ve always loved. The rest have the wild animal taste. I wish I knew what they are putting in it that is making it taste this way? Anyone out there know?

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    Missy

    I’ve used the spread for years and recently have noticed a horrible taste also. I thought maybe it had gotten too warm before I got it home and in the fridge so I threw it out and purchased a new one. The new container has the same horrible taste so I am getting rid of it and switching to something else.

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  • 2
    Nick O

    I like their butter, but their milk? Its amazing. I read some comments from 2011 on here that said it used to taste fishy, that may be so as i hadn’t tried it back then, but the Lactose Free/Fat Free Omega 3 milk is by far my favorite milk. Period. I actually consider it a treat, the no Lactose is also night as even though im not Lactose-intolerant i have some sensitivity to it but i love milk.

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  • 3
    sandy Templeton

    my parents use smart balance in their diet . they don’t eat fish unless it has fins and scales.. what kind of fish oil is in you stick butter.. thanks in advance for you help …

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  • 4
    tony wallace

    Where can I buy your fat free margarine in ft smith arkansas

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    Irma

    tell me why the smart spread taste salty
    if it don’t have salt, but is delicious

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  • 5
    Suzeq

    I cannot figure out exactly which ingredient(s) I am violently ‘allergic’ to in non butter spreads such as Smart Balance Original, and/or margarine in general. I spread it on toast, and 1/2 an hour to an hour later, I throw up. Can anyone explain this to me, and/or offer any alternatives OTHER than Smart Balance, etc to butter that are NOT cholesterol laden??

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  • 6
    Annie

    The Smart Balance Milk in the Red carton with Omega3 is sooo good. It does not taste fishy. Imade hot chocolate with the milk. It does not sour like regular milk does. I will pay the $4.00 for it because it does spoil and it has a long expiration date on the carton. It has been in my frig for over a month and it is still good .Does not expire til March 12 2012. Saving money with this molk. Thanks

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  • 7
    ginger

    please explain how the expiration date is to be read. I have sept1312M7 15:14

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  • 8
    Susieg

    Store location for Smart Balance Cheese Slices?

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  • 9
    Damiana

    I love your products, intact I just buy your olive oil margarine. Since I love it so much I decided to try your milk too. Well, the fat free milk is delicious and I would definitely buy it again, but the lactose free one…sorry, it tastes horrible! I can’t have a milk that tastes like sardines. I though it was from my microwave that it passed the taste to the milk, so I heated the milk in my stove. Unfortunate it tasted just as bad! Well, I will never buy this milk again, and I feel sorry that I spend almost four dollars on it. A late that tastes like fish is not on my healthy choice!

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    jay

    Why do you need to heat the milk? This may be bringing out the “fishy” taste, since smart balance does use fish oils in some of their products.

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    futurevet

    Regardless of heated or cold, the milk with added omega 3s tastes very fishy. Some of the readers commented above about the same issue. Fish oil added to milk just isn’t the best idea, as it turns out. Pretty bad tasting stuff!

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  • 10
    Karen Dodge

    My 3 year old Collie ate an entire tub of Smart Balance and became violently sick — are there ingredients that make trigger pancreatitis when consumed in large quantities?

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    jay

    Why did you let your dog eat an entire tub? I mean, even if it was regular butter that wouldn’t be good…

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    futurevet

    I’m sure you’ve reolved this by now, but wanted to put in my two cents anyhow. Any fatty meal can trigger acute pancreatitis! A ‘meal’ that was total fat, in an animal much smaller than human size nonetheless, would put your collie at a grossly increased risk of pancreatitis. Hopefully you were able to get him to a vet quickly and get supportive care started!

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  • 11
    Anonymous

    Loved the Smart Balance Fat Free Milk that tasted like 2%. Then they had to go and change it and added fish oil. I bought it thinking it was the original, but when I tasted it I knew something was wrong. Definite fishy taste. My husband agreed. Now I can’t find the original in the stores anymore. Guess I have to buy another brand!

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  • 12
    angel

    We have been using smart balance products for years. Im 38 and very health conscience. We use the oil,the butter & the mayo(all yummy). We eat the pop corn, sour cream and we love the new lactose free milk. I believe I saved my husbands(age53)life by adding these products into his diet. No, we dont use them for weight loss but for over all health. The main reason we keep buying them is because they actually taste dang good! My family love the taste of these products and I am glad to see the products are expanding. Great stuff!

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  • 13
    jeanette smock

    How much potassium does Smart Balance milk contain? My husband was just put on a low Potassium diet.
    Jeanette

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  • 14
    Donna

    I am a milk snob…and despise fat free or 1/2 percent.. but I love the smart balance fat free milk!

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  • 15
    Ginny

    I love the Smart Balance 1%. It tastes like whole milk, and I found no fish oil taste at all. It’s worth the extra expense

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  • 16
    Larry Courtney

    Is SmartBalance technically a margarine?

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  • 17
    Paulette Weiss

    Sorry to have to say it, but I agree with others who note that the heart right milk is fishy tasting. It’s so bad that at first I thought it was spoiled, then realized that the taste was fish. Too bad–good idea, but totally awful taste.

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  • 18
    Robin Austin

    I am a huge fan of Smart Balance products. However, the heart right milk is the worst tasting milk on the market. It has fish oil in it, and yes, it tastes like fishy milk. Gross! I love my heart, but I can’t stomach this milk.

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  • 19
    Cameron Byrne

    The Smart Balance milk I purchased had such a bad taste, I threw it out. It tasted like fish! I will NEVER buy this stuff again. It also smelled bad. It wasn’t expired, but it sure could have caused me to expire!

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    Theresa

    Smart Balance has several varieties of milk. One of them tasted very fishy (bought it because the one I usually buy was out of stock at my local Winn Dixie). I won’t get that one again BUT I will get the “heart right fat free” in the darker green carton. IT tastes richer and is creamier than other skim milks.

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  • 20
    Marjorie Pennington

    Can you thicken milk product?

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  • 21
    Charles Knippa

    just started using your product and am very pleased with all the butters and margarines plan on trying the sour cream and mayo next

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  • 22
    Carol Hackett

    Is SmartBalance technically a margarine? Is it produced like margarine, (which is disgusting), and now we know how bad margerine is for us. I just want to be sure that it is an entirely different product than margerine, and is truly healthy.

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  • 23
    kathy harris

    I have used your peanut butter for a couple of years and loved it. I am not happy with the addition of cane juice and the reduction of omega 3′s by 70%. There is also additional sodium. Why the changes?

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  • 24
    Lynda Rogers

    when will the milk be available in Houston, Texas?????

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    pam

    I had coupons for the milk. They expired because i can’t find it in Fort Smith, Arkansas. What is up people????

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  • 25
    olgawichowski

    I think smart balance is the best. It is the next thing to butter. I am so glad that I have found it. Thanks

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    Anonymous

    Smart balance is the best but it is too expensive.$6.18/3lbtub.

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  • 26
    LYNDA STRECKER

    I just purchased Smart Balance creamy peanut butter which I’ve been using for @ last 2 yrs.This time, however, it tasted too sweet so I ckd. ingredients and lo and behold,there was cane juice, 2nd ingredient,I think, and molasses.I was very disappointed and will not buy it again unless there is another variety w/out sugar

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    Wes

    I am glad to see this comment. I too noticed a decidable change in the taste … even went so far as to search for an “earlier” version that might still be on the shelf. I’m glad to know I am not the only one who noticed. It’s a shame things have to be “tweaked” to only make them worse … It seems to be a law of human nature ..People just can’t quit while they are ahead. … I definitely will be moving to another brand .. I love peanut butter … thought Smart Brand was the best I ever tried … but no more.

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  • 27
    marlene

    when was smart balance margarine but in the grocery stores?

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  • 28
    Ava

    can smart balance be frozen

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  • 29
    julie

    my ? is …what vegetable oils do you really use specifically. is canola oil a product you use?

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  • 30
    Gail

    In the us we have a commercial of smart balance buttery spread can it be founf in sweden? My friend lived there and said no

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  • 31
    Mary

    The milk is fantastic. Very creamy. Great in coffee instead of cream.

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  • 32
    Verlie D

    really love your margarine, but tried both your mayo and sour cream product. None of the family would eat anything I made with them, so tossed them. They said, and I agree, they just had an “off” taste to them no matter what I used them with.

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  • 33
    Meg Pavich

    50/50 Butter Blend bought at Giant Eagle, exp. date June 13, 10 was a terrible disappointment. It has a rancid taste I ended up throwing it away! We like the regular Smart Balance a lot and will stick to it in the future!

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