To Eat or Not to Eat: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter

butter-sprayNot to get all Paula Deen on ya’ll, but I like butter. And I really, really like olive oil. So when I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter contacted us about its new Extra Virgin Olive Oil spray and Whipped and Creamy Taste spread, I pretty much couldn’t say no. Sure, margarine of the past freaks me out almost as much as the thought of being left alone without any sunscreen or a large brimmed hat in the Sahara, but these new kinds have a much-improved nutritional profile. Let’s look at the pros and cons (’cause we FBGs are objective like that)…

Pros of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter

  • Holy cow it’s low-calorie. There are just 50 calories for a tablespoon of the Whipped spread and “zero” calories for a spray of the spray (the calorie count is actually more than zero, but as long as you don’t go drowning your food in it, you’ll be better calorie-wise than real butter).
  • It’s easy. A butter that sprays? An easily spreadable spread? Perfection.
  • Um, it tastes good. A little of the spray goes a long way, and although you can just barely taste the extra virgin olive oil, it’s nice. And the spread is airy, creamy and, well, just delightful.

butterCons of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter

  • It’s not butter. We’re not big on calorie-counting up in here, so when it comes to eating something that’s a lighter version of an original, we often choose to have less of the real stuff instead of replacing it with a version that is more processed. We think Paula Deen would agree with us on this one.
  • There are things we can’t pronounce on the ingredient list. While the ingredient list on these two products is way better than it has been in the past, it’s still considerably longer than the list on a stick of butter. Just sayin’.
  • It’s a little salty. You can always buy unsalted butter, but these products taste a little too salty for my taste. A tablespoon of the whip has 65 milligrams of sodium and the spray has zero milligrams (although, we know that’s probably a little nutrition-labeling trickery as evidenced above). The spray tastes especially salty, to me at least.
In typical FBG style, we can see both sides of this one. If you’re a butter addict, this will certainly help to improve your nutritional profile, and these products sure are convenient. On the other hand, if you’re a clean-eating devotee, you probably will want to steer clear of these and just use olive oil—again, just go light on the olive oil. Like we’ve said before, healthy eating is a journey and an evolution! —Jenn  


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We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial.



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  1. This is a constant difficult area, as so many of us are trying to eat healthy and that often means seeking lighter calories. But more and more, I go with the high-quality “real” thing over these low-calorie alternatives. When I can’t read half the ingredients list, that’s my cue to just walk away.

    I *do* love the convenience of spray “butter,” though! So much easier to spritz here and there. But we have made a full switch to only real, unsalted butter in our house. I just try not to go all Paula Dean at every meal!

  2. I love butter!! If I could get away with it, I’d eat it over ICBINB every day. In fact, for one year, I did! Now, I’ve NEVER had a cholesterol problem-EVER- but that year, my cholesterol actually got to a borderline level. My husband struggles with high cholesterol, no matter what he does. If I have to choose a non-butter alternative, this is the best I have found.

  3. The problem with the purple “I can’t believe it’s not butter” is that it has significantly more fat and calories per serving than the label indicates. They are able to do this due to a loophole in the FDA labeling laws that defines only triglycerides as fats that can count towards the calories on the label, even though mono- and diglycerides contribute to caloric content of foods. There are a lot of partially hydrogenated fats in the form of mono- and diglycerides which are listed in the ingredients but not counted as part of the calories.

    I have not tried this particular spread because I don’t believe in using margarines and artificial buttery spreads, but I have looked at the ingredients label of a very similar brand of butter by “Promise” which was recently recalled from stores.
    Here is a link to an article with more information about mis-labeling in relation to Promise butter (probably also the case here):