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The Deceiving Facts About Spray Butter


The “Beauty” of Spray Butter

Admit it; you love the taste of butter and you would do anything to have that rich, creamy, salty goodness in your mouth without the extra calories and fats that it brings. Well, you thought your dreams came true when you came across the invention of spray butter. Spray butter comes in a variety of brands and is advertised as a fat-free and calorie-free alternative to butter. Does this seem too good to be true? Well in fact, there is a catch to this product that consumers ought to know.

One brand of spray butter, Parkay, lists its recommended serving size as five sprays. However, what the label does not disclose is that there are 832 calories and 93 grams of fat per 8-ounce bottle. In other words, pouring this “butter” straight out of the bottle onto your steamed vegetables, or spraying your popcorn until it is drenched does not mean that you are still indulging in a zero calorie, zero fat snack. While the suggested servings per container are about 226, it is unrealistic to assume that the average consumer is going to abide by this recommendation. For those people who are health conscious or on a diet, consuming an unrestricted amount of spray butter translates into consuming an unrestricted amount of unwanted calories and fats.

Even if you stick to the serving size of five sprays, spray butter is highly processed. “I can’t believe it’s not butter!” spray butter contains more than 10 ingredients, several of which are controversial including polysorbate 60, sodium benzoate and EDTA, along with natural and artificial flavors. Furthermore, every nutrition fact listed on the label is zero, including healthy and unhealthy nutritional values. The only exception is for sodium, as there are 15 milligrams per five sprays.

To Spray or Not to Spray

The question that you must ask yourself is whether you are more concerned about calories and fats or clean eating. For those of you who are still concerned about your calorie and fat intake, than opt for a butter alternative that has added health benefits. One brand to consider is Olivio’s Light Spread with only 50 calories and 5 grams of total fat per one tablespoon serving. However, unlike many brands of spray butter, this substitute has the added benefits of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and 300 milligrams of omega 3 fatty acids. It is also made with olive oil, a healthy fat that has numerous health benefits when consumed in moderation.  

If you are concerned about clean eating, than spray butter is not the best option as a butter substitute for your diet. A better choice for this type of consumer would be a natural whipped butter. Whipped butter has added air, which gives you the sensation of having more volume per serving. Secondly, this alternative only contains pasteurized cream and salt, unless you opt for the unsalted variety, and best of all, no preservatives or chemicals.

Stick Butter

Is all of this is leaving you to wonder, what is so wrong with a good old fashion stick of butter? One tablespoon, the recommended serving size for Land O Lakes Salted Butter, has 100 calories and 11 grams of total fat. Yes, these are high numbers; however one tablespoon is a lot of butter. If you only use a shaving of this butter, or even a small portion of Olivio’s Light Spread, then you are only consuming a minute portion of their calories and fat. In addition to not sacrificing on taste, Land O Lakes is minimally processed with its only ingredients being sweet cream and salt, plus it includes 8 percent of the USDA’s recommended daily value of vitamin A.

In terms of spray butter, about 75 sprays equal the one tablespoon serving of the more traditional “stick” butter. If you were to use that many sprays in one serving, that would equate to about 60 calories and 6 grams of fat. When comparing these numbers to that of Land O Lakes Salted Butter spray butter does not hold true to its “zero everything” label when consumed in mass quantities. In the end, it is up to you if you are a spray butter girl or more of a traditional stick user, or somewhere in between with the spreadable options. When you do begin to compare the labels of butter products, it is important to have an understanding as to what the nutrition facts on the label actually mean.

What the Nutrition Facts Mean

The FDA allows manufacturers to label a food product as being fat-free if it has less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving. A product can also be labeled as calorie-free if it has less than 5 calories per serving. In terms of fat, it is important to remember that healthy fats do exist and they are a necessary part of your diet, when consumed in moderation. The Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) recommends that 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories should come from fat. “Healthy” fats are unsaturated fats, and are listed on labels as both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats, like canola oil and olive oil, can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and being high in vitamin E, an antioxidant, these fats can help maintain body cells. Polyunsaturated fats, such as vegetable oils like soybean oil and corn oil, also have the health benefit to help reduce cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease. The type of fat that you want to avoid in your diet, or keep to a low consumption level, is saturated fats and trans fats. So, take this information as you may and just remember there is a price you have to pay depending on how much you choose to spray. 

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