Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fake Food Thursday - Liquid Butter Substitute

I'd like to point out that, "Fake Food Thursday" would have way better alliteration if I had an urban Brit accent. So think of Ali G saying it.

I'm going to use Thursdays to highlight products that are great substitutes or fit surprisingly well into the plan. I compare my points A LOT at the grocery store, and often times you can save yourself a point or even two a serving by buying the right brand of what at first glance appears to be the exact same thing. These aren't actually fake food, but that's more fun than, say, Substitution Sunday or Mow On This Monday (is it 'mow?' maybe 'mau' or 'mao?')

The first product I want to feature is one that gets a lot of buzz and has a bit of controversy around it . . . I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray. This little pump bottle gets people stoked because 5 spritzes are free! Needless to say this sounds a little too good to be true, and it is. First of all, the serving size is half what I use on a single piece of toast. Secondly, people dump it all over everything they eat. But I think every meeting my leader mentions how there's 900 calories in that 8oz bottle of spray, so is there a suitable alternative?

Why yes there is! I did a little digging and found a product called Smart Beat Smart Squeeze and did some comparison work. ICBINB is all well and good to spritz, but how does it measure up in terms of the tablespoon I put on my piece of toast? Check it out.

Butter Comparison Per 1 Tbsp Serving

CaloriesFatWW Points
Real Butter100453
Land O Lakes Light Butter4551.5
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray113133.5
Smart Beat Smart Squeeze (by Smart Balance)131.5

Did you see something there? SOMETHING INCREDIBLE? Yes, that's right, ICBINB is great for portioning out butter, but if you're going to do that you're better off spritzing full fat butter through that nozzle because it will actually be FEWER points. I'm renaming this product to I Can't Believe It Has More Calories Than Butter Spray.

The good news is that Smart Beat business starts to look pretty good. It's carried at Shaw's and is a truly good substitute in cooking, though you wouldn't be able to use it in baking and it sticks to pans, so don't throw away your nonstick spray just yet. Maybe there's something to be said about curbing down fat cravings, but if you're dipping your pizza crusts in this stuff anyway, Smart Beat's your best bet.

That said, Smart Balance blends, the sticks that are half Smart Beat and half real butter have the same nutrition content as butter. So read and compare every label. It's also worth noting that Smart Balance tastes great and carries organic and vegan butter as well, carrying universal appeal to diets of all kinds.

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