Smart Balance vs. Earth Balance: A Plant-Based Butter Showdown

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In the world of non-dairy butter spreads, Smart Balance and Earth Balance reign supreme. Whether you’re following a vegan or plant-based diet or simply looking for a dairy-free alternative, these two products have likely caught your attention. But what sets them apart, and which one should you choose? In this article, we’ll conduct a side-by-side comparison of Smart Balance vs. Earth Balance to help you make an informed decision.

Ingredients Comparison

Let’s begin by examining the core ingredients of both Smart Balance and Earth Balance, focusing on their “original” flavors:

Smart Balance Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil blend (canola, palm, olive)
  • Pea protein
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Sunflower lecithin
  • Lactic acid
  • Vitamin A palmitate
  • Beta-Carotene
  • Vitamin D
  • Vegetable monoglycerides
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Calcium disodium EDTA

Earth Balance Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil blend (Palm Fruit, Canola, Soybean, Flax, and Olive Oils)
  • Pea protein
  • Natural flavor (Plant-derived from Corn)
  • Sunflower lecithin
  • Lactic acid
  • Naturally Extracted Annatto

At first glance, you’ll notice that the core ingredients are remarkably similar. Both brands feature a vegetable oil blend that includes palm oil. While Earth Balance proudly uses “sustainable” palm oil, it’s important to note that Smart Balance doesn’t contain palm oil in all its varieties. However, it’s essential to mention that most Smart Balance butters are not considered vegan due to the inclusion of vitamin D, often derived from lanolin.

Summary: Smart Balance and Earth Balance share nearly identical core ingredients. However, Smart Balance includes more additives for texture and preservation and may not be suitable for vegans due to added vitamin D.

Nutrition Comparison

Now, let’s dive into the nutritional aspects of both “original” versions:

Smart Balance (per 1 tbsp):

  • Calories: 80
  • Fat: 9g
    • Saturated Fat: 2.5g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
    • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5g
    • Monounsaturated Fat: 5g

Earth Balance (per 1 tbsp):

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 11g
    • Saturated Fat: 3g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
    • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g
    • Monounsaturated Fat: 5g

Smart Balance boasts fewer calories per tablespoon, which can be attributed to its additional “filler” ingredients, as previously mentioned. While both products have similar levels of every type of fat, Smart Balance is marginally lower in calories, saturated fat, and polyunsaturated fat compared to Earth Balance.

Summary: Smart Balance has a slight nutritional edge with fewer calories and slightly less saturated and polyunsaturated fat. However, the differences are minimal and only significant if consuming multiple servings.

Final Thoughts and Alternatives

For those following a plant-based diet, there’s not a substantial difference between Smart Balance and Earth Balance. The core ingredients and overall nutrition are remarkably similar, with Smart Balance featuring more filler ingredients.

If you’re a vegan and want to avoid added vitamin D, Earth Balance is the preferable choice, as most Smart Balance products contain this ingredient.

For those who are vegan and also concerned about palm oil, there are alternative vegan butter options available that do not contain palm oil.

Are They Healthy Choices? Neither Smart Balance nor Earth Balance can be considered particularly healthy, as they offer limited vitamin and mineral content. Additionally, they are calorie-dense, and it’s crucial to consume them in moderation.

In conclusion, the decision between Smart Balance and Earth Balance often comes down to personal preferences and dietary restrictions. Both brands provide viable non-dairy butter options that cater to the growing demand for plant-based alternatives.

For more insights and information, visit Crooked Beverage Co. Making informed choices about the products you consume is an essential part of maintaining a balanced and health-conscious diet.

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