Is “Smart Balance” Peanut Butter Smart?

Smart Balance Review

January 30, 2014   34 Comments

Snack Girl doesn’t like to do this type of post.


The people at Smart Balance mailed me a container of peanut butter for review and I am going to have to flame it.

I am a very staunch supporter of peanut butter. I think it is healthy, tasty, and one of those processed foods (ground peanuts) that you can count on. I even wrote a very brilliant article entitled How To Choose Healthy Peanut Butter in order to guide consumers.

The advice in the article was simple. The ingredients list should look like this:


I know what you are thinking – where can I find such peanut butter. Everywhere! Smuckers, a national brand, sells Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter – their ingredients list is:

peanuts, contains 1% or less of salt

Pretty close, no?

What did Smart Balance do wrong? Here is a photo of the ingredient list:

SUGAR! See the sugar? Dried cane syrup and molasses. And they added oil which I believe is unnecessary.

If you like your peanut butter to be sweet, mix it with some jam, add a sliced banana or apple. You don’t need sugar in peanut butter.

This is one of the MANY examples of a product making that healthy promise – but missing the mark. I buy a peanut butter brand called “Teddy Bear”. It doesn’t make any promises and it is perfect.

Do you like Smart Balance?

This product was received for review consideration. No other compensation was provided.

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First 20 Comments: [ see all 34 ]

The Smuckers Natural is awesome but my kid hates it. It's the lack of sugar and the texture. I love it so I'll keep buying it for me but I bought her skippy natural which has sugar and Palm oil. She eats it - which is the goal after all. I make up for it with home made jelly... It's the best I can do and that's good with me : )

on January 30, 2014

I've tried this peanut butter and after a couple of days it smells! I threw out the jar of it. Plus it's deceiving because you think it's healthy and they throw in all of that sugar and other crap!

on January 30, 2014

I shop at Kroger and they have a natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy) that only has peanuts in it. It's really good. I use it as a dip for celery and carrots. You have to carefully read the product labels, even when it says "natural" or "organic".

on January 30, 2014

i did not know there is so many considerations to be made regarding peanut butter, now i know better... pun not intended...

on January 30, 2014

I get a brand Krema, is excellent, only peanuts listed, 0 sodium,2 sugar, not added, 7 carbs, 190 calories, 150 fat, has very good taste and texture... Can only find at Kroger here in Salem, va......highly recommend.

on January 30, 2014

I love Teddy peanut butter above and beyond all others. They have one with flaxseed as a bonus and it is delicious and the texture change is barely noticeable. My 12 and 14 year-old like it, too. It is a product made locally to us, too which I try to promote whenever I can.

on January 30, 2014

Never bought Smart Balance, never will !

on January 30, 2014

for people whose kids won't eat "natural" peanut idea is to slowly start mixing natural with the sugared kind...and gradually decrease the amount of sugary peanut butter. My daughter now actually prefers the natural kind, but it took a while to get her taste buds used to no sugar!

on January 30, 2014

Smuckers also makes a no salt version which is my fave PB.

on January 30, 2014

I thought the point of Smart Balance products was to help control cholesterol, not be a perfect pure food. Keep people off medication. Etc.

on January 30, 2014

A store I shop at has a nut grinder for peanuts and for almonds. You grind your own & the amount you want. I love the texture. Nothing added. No oil separation. At first I added some salt when I got home. Now I don't even miss the salt. I agree it might take time to acquire the taste. For me there is no going back to a jar. Also, it's a discount store so not expensive. I am addicted to it so I have to weigh out my daily allotment.

on January 30, 2014

Kroger natural peanut butter is the BEST. I like the crunchy, but my husband and daughter like the creamy. It is much smoother than Smuckers and tastes much better too. As a Zoo educator it is my job to speak for the orangutans - please make conscious choices and try to avoid products containing palm oil - if that isn't possible please choose products that are certified sustainable and safe. Here is a link to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's Palm Oil Crisis page and it contains a link to the app store so you can have tools right at your fingertips to make wise choices!

on January 30, 2014

Years ago I met a gent who managed the Boston Food Bank and he turned me on to "Teddie's. He pointed out it was the only peanut butter on the market that has peanuts certified U.S. grown-- not imported from other countries. There are two ingredients in their regular butter -- peanuts & salt. Or, unsalted is available. We love it -- it's the real taste of peanuts, and if you place the jar upside-down when you bring it home from the market, the natural oil wends its way through the butter and there is very little stirring that needs to be done when you open it. So yummy!

on January 30, 2014

Marlene, I never thought to place the jar upside down, that is a brilliant tip. Thank you.

on January 30, 2014

Thanks for this post. I am bothered by the rewording of ingredient names to trick people into thinking they are healthy or wholesome. In this case, 'natural oils / palm fruit oil'. Thanks again. I enjoy your blog.

on January 30, 2014

PB2 is my fav!!! Use for sandwiches, dipping apples, celery!!

on January 30, 2014

When I need real PB (grandson visiting) I go for Krema - which I love. Since I have a hard time restricting myself to an appropriate amount of PB, I keep PB2 in the house. The chocolate variety tastes nuttier to me; it's not nearly as good as the real thing, but it does the trick.

on January 30, 2014

You must be careful while reading the labels! "Smart" balance isn't always smart, and Skippy All Natural still has added sugar. Even the Peanutbutter and Co. that is all organic still contains added sugar (which is why it is so delicious :) ). Notice that in supermarkets the cheaper the PB is, the more sugar/ingredients it contains. Name brand stores like Wegmans and Topps charge as low as $2.50 for PB sometimes, where Teddy's/All Natural Smuckers is close to $4 a jar.

on January 30, 2014

I also eat a lot of peanut butter, but I exclusively eat the fresh-ground stuff. It is delicious and has just that one essential ingredient: peanuts!

on January 30, 2014

Never heard of Krema or Teddy - are they US brands?

on January 30, 2014

See all 34 Comments

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