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Smart Balance Smart n Healthy Microwave Popcorn Review

Reviewed by Tanya Jackson | Aug 4, 2008
Rating:

Smart Balance PopcornSmart Balance says, "just a hint of butter and a pinch of salt make our Smart 'n Healthy Popcorn the smartest snack going." I put this to the test, and sure enough, at first glance, the steamy popcorn aroma will explode from the bright blue bag leading you to believe that you're in for a treat. Numerous popcorn kernels have a yellow appearance to them, like buttered popcorn, but don't be fooled. I had lofty expectations and I was let down hard when I ate this popcorn.

Sure, it is fun to eat and eat and eat without too much guilt, since each cup of popped popcorn is only 20 calories, but I would rather eat one cup of delicious popcorn than 10 cups of Smart Balance Smart 'N Healthy Microwave Popcorn. It's not completely tasteless, but would probably get about a 3 on a scale of 10. It's a shame because even the ingredients are on point with this product, but I guess they sacrificed on the taste.

The nutritional information and abundance of health claims is what lured me into purchasing this product (clever packaging artists). The front of the box is flooded with statements: "No Trans Fat", "Low Sodium", "Low Fat", Non-Hydrogenated", American Heart Association Approval and 2007 Best Taste Award from Chef's Best (hmm...). One cup popped has 20 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium (attributes to the popcorn's less than stellar flavor profile), 4% of the RDA for fiber, no sugar and 4 grams of protein.

The ingredient list is also impressive. Simply corn, natural oil blend (corn and palm fruit oils), salt, natural and artificial flavor (derived from lactose free milk), colored with annatto, TBHQ to preserve freshness.

With such figure friendly nutrition facts and ingredients, I'm willing to work with this popcorn, but just know that this cannot stand on it's own. The only reason I would buy this popcorn again is if it was on sale (I paid about $4.00 for three 3oz bags) and I had some Fat Free Buttery Spray on hand (which brings the flavor up to about a 7.5).

Rating
Taste: 2
Nutrition: 5
Price: 3.5
Overall: 2
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Welcome to the internet home of Tanya Jackson, PhD. Here I review food products marketed as healthy and diet friendly options. I also share my weekly meal plans as I strive to get more creative in the kitchen.

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