Natural! Excellent source of Omega -3 ALA! This is what lights up this product’s label. Read further and dive into the nutrition facts and you’ll see 0 g trans-fat, no hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils. Appears to be the perfect blend of tasty peanuts with extra health benefits and none of the separation “issues” of many natural pb’s. A no-stir, all-natural nut butter that is sweetened (naturally of course) seems like the perfect substitute for the peanut butter that we grew up eating in fluffernutter sandwiches. Let’s skippy-on over to the ingredients list and see if this peanut butter really is a sweet deal or if it is Too Good To Be Food.
What’s in it: Peanuts, evaporated cane juice, natural oil blend (palm fruit and flaxseed oils), salt, molasses.
Peanuts are listed first and that’s certainly a good thing since it is peanut butter after all. I’m nutty about this want-to-be nut. These tasty little guys are actually legumes, not nuts, that boast a multitude of health benefits. They are one of the few naturally occurring sources of resveratrol, a potent antioxidant that may help to fight off cancer cells and help maintain a healthy heart. They are also loaded with healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help increase your good (HDL) cholesterol.
Evaporated cane juice is second. Don’t be fooled by this fancy sounding name. Evaporated cane juice is really just another way of saying sugar. Cane juice comes from pressed sugar cane, the same stuff white tablesugar comes from. So no matter how you say or spell it, it does spell s-u-g-a-r.
Natural oil blend (palm fruit and flaxseed oils) are third in line. Although it’s not as bad for you as palm kernel oil, (which has 82% saturated fat), palm oil contains 50% saturated fat. While we all know that saturated fats are no good in excess, as long as most of your fat calories come from healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats, a little real saturated fat is better for you than the hydrogenated oils found in many peanut butters that come from processing fats. Three cheers for flaxseed oil. It is loaded with heart healthy alpha-linolenic acid, an omega- 3 fatty acid. This is the reason why Smart Balance can claim that their product has 320 mg of Omega-3 ALA per serving. And what’s the big fuss about Omega-3’s anyway? These polyunsaturated fats have an endless list of health benefits including heart disease and cancer prevention. And what’s the deal with ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) you might ask? This specific type of omega-3, found in plant sources like flaxseed, is especially credited with healthy development and brain function.
Salt acts as a natural preservative and flavor enhancer. A little bit can go a long way for taste.
Finally, we end with molasses. This is a natural sweetener made from boiled sugar cane.
Bottom Line: Omega-3’s without the hydrogenated oils make this product not Too Good To Be Food. Spoons up! As a pb junky myself I would spread this on most things that crossed my path. Although, I do like plain old ground up peanuts best. This peanut butter is a better creamy alternative to trans-fat laden options. For those who get squirmy around fish, there are only so many ways to get your omega 3’s and this pb offers a tasty one. To note, the total grams of sugar is 1 versus 3 in most traditional peanut butter brands so this product is still a step ahead. Anyone got an apple around?