I Can't Believe You Don't Eat Butter!

June 14, 2011   49 Comments

Snack Girl doesn't watch much television because she hates commercials. She does watch The Daily Show online for her nightly laughter meditation.

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter vs Whipped Butter

BUT, a certain commercial has caught my eye. It stars Kim Cattrall who played Samantha in "Sex and the City".

Kim takes a piece of lobster and dips it in "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" while oohing and aaahing. What are you doing?!!!

Could "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" be so good that you don't notice the difference? Is it really worth substituting for butter when eating a food as expensive as lobster?

You have to watch this (a mere 17 seconds):

This advertisement is aimed directly at me - 41 year old female with kids who wants it ALL! And, no, I will not admit to wanting the 25 year old hunky male in this commercial. (my husband reads this blog)

So, I went out and bought myself a container of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Light" to sample and, alas, found that it doesn't taste like butter :(

It is easy to determine why it misses - see the ingredients:

water, vegetable oil blend (soybean oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, canola oil), sweet cream buttermilk, salt, gelatin, mono and diglycerides, soy lecithin, (potassium sorbate, calcium disodium EDTA, lactic acid, natural and artificial flavor (milk), vitamin A palmitate, beta carotene (color).

Nutrition Facts:

For one tablespoon = 45 calories, 5.0 g fat, 0 g carbohydrates, 0 g protein, 0 g fiber, 85 mg sodium, 1 Points+

I like the idea of using less calorific buttermilk to mimic butter, but all I can taste is salty vegetable oil with a slight butter flavor. I would never confuse this product with butter.

Yes, "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" reduced the amount of saturated fat and calories - but increased the amount of chemicals in the product. Butter is just cream churned to a hard consistency.

Is there a spread out there that will do the trick?

How about "Unsalted Whipped Butter"? See below:



pasteurized sweet cream, natural flavor.

Nutrition Facts:

For one tablespoon = 50 calories, 6.0 g fat, 0 g carbohydrates, 0 g protein, 0 g fiber, 0 mg sodium, 2 Points+

Okay, we added a gram of fat, but the taste! They left out an ingredient in their list - AIR. I guess they don't have to put that in there - whipped butter is simply butter with added air.

Whipped butter is easier to spread than regular butter, but you will have to leave it out of the fridge for 20 minutes for it to get really spreadable. I like the stuff, myself. It is luxurious and melts great on top of toast, pancakes, or corn on the cob.

Have you replaced butter? What have you used to replace it?

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we use the LoL light spreadable butter with canola oil. I really like it.

I have been using Land o Lakes Light salted sticks. The task is pretty good and I've cut down on the amount I use.

We use real butter in our house. We're not fans of the chemicals in other products and synthetic look-a-likes. Yes, there is more fat and calories in butter, but I'd rather ingest those than chemicals.

Thank you for shedding light on the bogus fake butter crapola. To quote Joan Gussow, "I trust cows more than chemists!"

That being said, I would invest in Organic butter, preferably from grass fed cows.

Conventional butter no doubt has pesticide and GMO bovine somatic growth hormones that I wouldn't want to poison my family with.

As for hating TV ads--we got TiVo when it first made its debut. It changed our lives. We now have season's passes to our favorite shows and watch less TV because we do not watch commercials. I can't even imagine watching a Red Sox game without it. :)


Thanks for posting about fake butter. They only offer the fake stuff at my workplace so I tend to avoid it entirely. I've seen plenty of folks live very healthy lives well into their 90s cooking with real butter. :)

P.S. On a recent episode of 'Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution' the kids all thought butter came from corn! :(

We use real, organic butter. Sweet cream is the only ingredient. Even the "natural flavor" in that Land 'O Lakes makes me wonder. Shouldn't butter already taste like butter?

Real butter is all the rage these days. A lot of studies are showing that the saturated fats in meats and dairy aren't nearly as bad as the processed chemicals and additives in most foods. They may actually be the culprit for obesity, not saturated fats.

I switched back to plain old regular salted butter about a year ago. While I'm not one of those so natural people that avoids all processed foods, I had heard enough bad things about this imitation spreads to freak me out and go back to the real thing, but in moderation!

I'm with Julie. LoL light spreadable butter with canola oil!

We use only real butter in our house. Sometimes I will use coconut oil for myself. I got a bagel once and they had used fake butter. I felt like my tongue was coated with petroleum. ugh!


Real butter.

I would love to get organic butter, but the CSAs I'm a member of don't offer it.

It tastes much better than all the substitutes.

We also have the spreadable butter that's mixed with canola oil, but only DH uses it, and then only when the real stuff hasn't been sitting long enough to get soft.

I had my cholesterol checked recently, and DH had his done too..and we're both a healthy number for all the different components. So I see no need to replace real butter with mystery stuff.

Ditto on the real butter. Using it for years in our house due to the same concerns everyone's voicing about additives in the fake stuff. And guess what? My cholesterol levels are LOWER than they were in my 20s when I used margarine and more processed food.

It's not easy to find real unsalted butter; I just get whatever I can find at the grocery store which is usually Land o Lakes. UNsalted, that is. There's no point in fake butter; yes I know, CALORIES... but margerine is disgusting, yellow plastic.

As a new Vegan I bought vegan *butter*. It doesn't taste like butter but it has the texture and it isn't bad. I actually like it. Def worth a try. but remember, butter is soooo yummy because it is so bad for your body.

Totally agree on the LOL whipped butter. Pay attention to the labels, though. LOL makes one version that has all the chemical crap in it. I think one tub is green and one is red? One is natural and one is chemical crap and they look similar.

Also agree with the TiVo comments above. Get a TiVo or get a DVR from your cable company. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Seriously. I record any sports event and start watching it 30-40 minutes in. By the time I get to the end of the game, I've watched the whole thing with no commercials at all.

I use Brummel and Brown's spread in place of **gasp** butter, let alone SALTED BUTTER, with phenomenal results in baking, cooking, everything. butter?? meh!! Totally agree with femmefatal. Get healthy rather than fat.

I'm another butter fan... I'm convinced that it's processed grains and chemicals that cause health problems, not moderate use of butter.

With that said, I will occasionally use Earth Balance (made by the same people as smart balance, but without weird chemicals) if I'm making something like vegetarian gravy - because I don't like to use more than a couple tablespoons of butter at a time because of the calories.

I too use Brummel & Brown - Natural Yogurt Spread. It taste like butter, melts and is much healthier!!! I will not use anything else.

Im quite interested in your article about I can't believe it's not butter because I am on Weight Watchers and I use the Sprayable one which is no points. Ive never minded the taste its only added occasionally however I am curious to know if you don't mind the taste of it, is it a bad choice?

Mostly real, organic butter. I'd rather have whole foods than frankenfoods.

im a die - hard earth balance fan. at first i only got it for baking, because its vegan, and i never really used butter anyway, but one day i made garlic bread with it and oh man its sooo much better than butter. do not confuse it with smart balance! i do agree that real butter is better for you than the fakey stuff, though. just make sure you stay away from hydrogenated oils.

In Ayurvedic cuisine it is recommended to clarify your butter before you use it. to do this, put a stick of butter in a saucepan on low. let it foam and bubble for about 10 minutes, then strain into a glass jar. this leaves behind the sugar and milk solids, and you now have 'ghee' which u can use like regular butter. in India this has been considered a medicinal food for thousands of year, but should still be used in moderation (one or two teaspoons per day)


We go back and forth between Smart Balance made with Olive Oil or Brummel & Brown. It all depends on what happens to be on sale at that moment! :)

I love butter, but when I substitute, I use Olive Oil or Coconut Oil.

I like original promise spread in the read box they have other varieties butthe original is the best and it tastes like butter to me. I use it on everything the requires butter exceopt baking it isn't good for baking.

I grew up in the 60s and 70s when margarine was supposed to be healthier than butter and no one knew about trans fats. So I grew up in a house with margarine. The first time I tasted actual butter I thought it was the most horrible tasting stuff on the planet....

I've since gotten more tolerant of butter but I really prefer more "margarine" flavor. So I will use "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray on veggies (and yes I know it's not really 0 calories, but how the servings are...) and Brummel and Brown spread as a spread and for the outsides of grilled cheese sandwiches.

Personally I'd rather dip my bread in olive oil than put butter on it.

You HAVE to try Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter if you can find it. Life changing. I went from fakes (smart - or is it smarter? - balance is still my cooking-won't-taste-it-much pick) to real/regular to organic (steps up each time) to this (HUGE step). It's more expensive but so's anything Kerrygold, it's all worth it. :) Happy cows! And you can convince yourself it's healthier because it's naturally yellowed from having more beta carotene, and the cows are grass-fed (ok, and because whole foods sells it, but so do giant and supposedly Costco).

Also agreeing that TiVo is a non-negotiable thing for me. Commercials suck. :)

Earth Balance is by far the best tasting butter substitute, in my opinion of course, plus it doesn't use any weird additives or hydrogenated oils. It melts like real butter and is wonderful for baking as well.

There is no substitute for butter for me. I can taste the difference in anything.

I must try the whipped butter then ;)

I got the Smart Balance butter...but I'm still wondering about that...

I've never been a fan of butter, it great when lightly spread on bread or sweet breads for me, but spreading a thick layer of it onto a waffle (like my cousin does then she adds a lot of sugar) then I find it inedible...

I really don't see how the saturated fat that is in butter could possibly be good for you. I use olive oil for the healthy fats and only smart balance or promise when making things that really need butter. U may know people that lived forever eating real butter but I know people that live forever and smoke, that doesn't make smoking good for u! Saturated fat is what causes heart attacks, am I wrong?!

My teenage son calls it, " I can't believe it's not BETTER" which cracks me up. I actually use real butter for cooking with, just a little and if I really want butter on bread for example but not for cooking, I use Brummel and Brown which is deelish and tastes like butter but is made from yogurt.

I use real butter for everything. We just use less. Baking with butter has no equal. If you are going to take the time to make something wonderful for your family, it should taste as good as the love that went into the making of it. Butter does just that. I agree with others who say that "margarine is just yellow plastic" becoz it's true!! Wish we could get organic butter, but I live in the boondocks and no stores carry it. Also - to make butter spreadable, look for an old-fashioned butter keeper that stays on your counter. It surrounds the butter with water, so it doesn't go rancid, but stays spreadable. My grandma used it, and it works great!

@brandi -


To me, it's worth it for taste either way, but especially when the science stating saturated fat's evilness is shaky (and that some kinds like coconut oil have been proven good) it's a no-brainer.

I said the very same thing a few nights ago when I looked in a friend's fridge and only saw margarine. "I can't believe you don't eat butter," is exactly what I said (aloud to myself). LOL I was a big margarine eater until the past 2 years when I switched to eating only butter. Now I can barely stand the taste of margarine. gross

I'll have to try whipped butter. My mom always just got plain old butter and I hated that it was hard to spread. I lived with my aunt and uncle for a little while and they got me hooked on I Can't Beleive It's Not Butter SPRAY... I have all 3 in my house... I love the spray to just squirt your toast quickly on your way out the door.

After going low-carb and more non-processed foods, real butter is all I use. I can't even stand the taste of margarine. I used to eat ICBINB all the time - never again! Now that I'm going back on WW and yes, they are about the low-er fat items, I prefer to spend the extra points on the REAL food. :)

Actually, the "light" versions of margarine are usually worse than the originals, so to be fair, I think you should try the original as is advertized in the commercial.

I would love to use real butter but it's a lot more expensive than margarine. I just try to use very little of it.

palm oil...

OK,OK...after I run out of ICBINB, I will buy REAL butter! I think it is true that a little of something real is better than a lot of something fake. Plus, it is so good! That's the same with mayo, salad dressing, etc. No or low fat is GROSS.

I started eating Land O Lakes Butter with Canola oil and I really love it. It spreads easy even right out of the fridge. This butter has got me so spoiled that I can't stand anything that is chemically made such as Promise and "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter". Yuck!

Ingredients in Land O Lakes Butter with Canola: Sweet Cream, Canola Oil and Salt.

I use mostly Smart Balance products. It doesn't taste like butter but the taste is ok especially considering it is less points on Weight Watchers. I was thinking it is a healthy choice. Am I wrong? Would be interested in your thoughts. Thanks

Since I'm getting up there in years, I had to make some changes. The reason I got away from the "fake" butters is because the hydrogenated oils in them was causing me problems such as high blood pressure and fast heartbeat. Also, most of these "fake" butters have mono-diglycerides another name for hydrogenated oils which is just as dangerous and can and did add weight to my body. At the time I was eating "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" and others like it.

So I went back to real butter which is Land-o-Lakes Butter with Canola oil. Not only did I lose weight but this particular one don't taste greasy like regular butter and the "fake" butters. Other than the Original "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" which is very tasty but have mono-diglycerides, most of them leave a really nasty taste in my mouth. Promise tub margerine was so greasy I couldn't eat it and I don't like Smart Balace at all and that happened after eating the Land-o-Lakes for a while and am still using.

I have a deteriorated liver. No reason for it, never drank, smoked or did drugs, nothing in my genetic linage. Just luck of the draw. My liver specialist (who by the way, is a world recognized authority on liver disease) strongly advises me to stay away from fake butter, margarine, etc ... Says those things are the worst you can do to your liver except alcohol and drugs. Stick to real butter, he says, and in moderation.

I think that says it for most foods: In moderation.

I bought and tried Brummel & Brown from the comments here, but I read the label (duh)and it has diglycerides and EDTA! What to do with a full tub now :-( going back to tub of whipped landolakes butter, it's got 2 ingredients!

I actually use Olivio Light. Center for Science in the Public Interest Best Bite choice.

Hello-oh! What makes you think your preference as to taste is worth anything? People like different things. Acting like you are actually RIGHT about a product is just stupid. I loved ICBINB Light up until this month. Unilever changed it and now it is yucky. But maybe you like it. It has far fewer calories than butter and those are from vegetable fats, not animal fat. Happy Holidays!

Their new "simple" recipe might be simple, but the product now tastes terrible! We've tried the regular and light versions...throwing both away and switching to something different. Maybe just go back to butter!

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