What are the best Weight Watchers butter choices for members? If you are recently joining or rejoining WW, you might be wondering how to save points on butter. Whether you are using it on cooked veggies, spreading it on toast or baking with it, we have recommendations to help you save points and enjoy delicious buttery flavor.
- Top 7 Best Weight Watchers Butter Choices (Low in Points!)
- 1. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (ICBINB) Spray – 0 calories/0 points per spray
- 2. Brummel & Brown – 45 calories/2 points per tablespoon
- 3. Real Butter – 102 calories/6 points per tablespoon
- 4. Whipped Butter – 68.7 calories/4 points per tablespoon
- 5. Light Margarine – 40-80 calories/1-4 points per tablespoon
- 6. Butter Buds – 30 calories/1 point per tablespoon
- 7. Skip the Butter – 0 calories/0 points
- Nut Butters
- Why Is Butter So High in Points on WW?
- Best Substitutes for Butter in Baking & Cooking
- Our Butter Taste Test (with Top Result!)
This article is written by LaNette Whiteside, a contributor at The Holy Mess who has lost 300+ pounds! Read more of LaNette’s story below.
Top 7 Best Weight Watchers Butter Choices (Low in Points!)
Here are my top recommendations for butter and butter alternatives. These are all good choices for spreading on toast or muffins, spraying on popcorn or cooking.
1. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (ICBINB) Spray – 0 calories/0 points per spray
This buttery spray is a staple among many of us who do WW.
- I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray is a popular choice because it’s tasty, convenient and ZERO points.
- Members use ICBINB spray on veggies, toast or popcorn. It adds the moisture and taste we’ve come to expect from traditional butter or margarine.
Are there any negatives? I have always fiercely defended this spray. And, I admit to squirting a puddle in my palm and licking it. (Remember, we are in a judgment free zone!)
So, I was surprised at a few facts my research turned up.
- The second ingredient is soybean oil.
- Portion distortion is common. A serving size is considered 1 spray. An 8 oz bottle has 1130 servings. To put this into perspective, 40 sprays equals 1 tablespoon.
- A whole bottle has approximately 771 calories. Six sprays adds 5 calories. This really surprised me since the nutrition label shows basically all zeros. I had to ask myself, how many sprays do I really use, and how many calories have I been adding by not counting my actual serving?
This applies to popular cooking sprays that many of us routinely use, as well. Take Pam cooking spray as an example. A ⅓ second spray is zero calories. A one second spray is 8 calories. Again, how many calories/points have I been adding by not counting a real serving of this?
Both ICBINB spray and Pam are two of my favorite kitchen staples. I’ll continue to use both products, but maybe not quite so generously.
2. Brummel & Brown – 45 calories/2 points per tablespoon
Members often select B&B as their margarine of choice. It’s easily spreadable and has a good flavor.
- B&B ingredients are quite similar to ICBINB spray. Both have water as the main ingredient, with soybean oil as the second ingredient.
- B&B does contain actual nonfat yogurt, which lends a dairy-product taste to the flavor.
- 1 Tablespoon is the serving size. It contains 5 g of fat and only 1.5 g saturated fat. According to the American Heart Association, saturated fat can raise our “bad” cholesterol which increases our risk for developing heart disease.
Next, let’s see how actual butter weighs in.
3. Real Butter – 102 calories/6 points per tablespoon
This is a taste most of us are familiar with. It is used in cooking, as well as on vegetables and bread.
- You might choose to use the “real thing” because it’s more natural and you prefer the taste and texture it gives to food. That’s okay as long as portion distortion doesn’t slip in. When dealing with higher calorie or point foods, proper measuring is key. While it’s easy to grab a measuring spoon at home, what about at a restaurant? The last joint on your thumb (from the bend to tip) is the rough measure of a tablespoon. Using the same technique, 1 teaspoon is the size of your index finger from the first bend to the tip.
- Nutritionally, real butter has 11.5 g of fat per tablespoon. The saturated fat is quite high at 7.3 g per tablespoon.
4. Whipped Butter – 68.7 calories/4 points per tablespoon
Whipped butter is the middle man. It’s higher in calories and points than ICBINB spray and B&B, but lower than 100% real butter. Whipped butter is best used as a topping on veggies or bread.
- Whipped butter is real butter that has been whipped. This process incorporates air into the butter, making it softer and easier to spread.
- Whipped butter does not measure the same for baking, so do not use it for items that are going into the oven.
- Nutritionally, whipped butter has 7.4 g of fat per tablespoon, The saturated fat is 4.3 g per tablespoon.
5. Light Margarine – 40-80 calories/1-4 points per tablespoon
There are many brands of light margarine. It’s available in both stick and tub forms. The calories and points vary.
Here a few common brands that are readily available.
- Smart Balance
- I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
- Land O Lakes
- Country Crock
- Earth Balance
- Blue Bonnett
- I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
- Land O Lakes
Personally, I prefer light tub margarine for veggies, bread or spreading. The light stick margarine is a great substitute in baking and cooking.
6. Butter Buds – 30 calories/1 point per tablespoon
Butter Buds and Molly McButter are a blast from the past for me. Both are derived from butter. I like them sprinkled on veggies which are “wet” rather than on “dry” food such as popcorn.
- The serving size of Butter Buds is 1 tsp (10 calories/0 points).
- The calories and points rise with the amount you use.
These types of sprinkles are much like the sprays because serving size and moderation are key. (Remember this: Anything I sprinkle on should probably be measured.)
7. Skip the Butter – 0 calories/0 points
Is this even a thing? YES! Try adding spices to jazz up a food and leave out the butter all together.
- Everything Bagel seasoning is good on salads, veggies, eggs, and of course bagels.
- Add flavor by using lemon or lemon juice.
- Apple cider vinegar adds a nice flavor.
- Salsa is also great in place of butter on a baked potato.
Experiment. There are many kinds of seasoning blends available, and many are even salt free.
While not the traditional dairy butter we usually think of, nut butters are popular.
- Peanut Butter – 96 calories/3 points per tablespoon
- Almond Butter – 98 calories/3 points per tablespoon
- Sunflower Butter – 98 calories/3 points per tablespoon
- Cashew Butter – 95 calories/3 points per tablespoon
If these options feel too high in points for you, check out powdered peanut butter to reduce points and calories.
Why Is Butter So High in Points on WW?
The algorithm that calculates a food’s point value looks at the nutritional facts.
In the case of butter, the high saturated fat causes the point value to also be high. Remember, the American Heart Association says a diet high in saturated fat increases your risk of developing heart disease.
Best Substitutes for Butter in Baking & Cooking
I rarely use any butter or margarine when baking. Here are some of my favorite fat substitutes for baking.
- Applesauce – Applesauce is my go-to. I measure it exactly like the recipes calls for margarine, butter or oil.
- Nonfat Greek yogurt
- Mashed bananas
- Pumpkin puree
Stove Top Cooking Substitutes
Butter or margarine is also used to cook on the stove top. So, what’s a good substitute to use?
- Pam cooking spray
- A pan brushed with olive oil
I’ve found good nonstick cookware helps me to decrease the amount of fat I use in cooking. I have a couple of Teflon coated skillets I like. Recently, I purchased a ceramic coated skillet that I love. It never sticks.
Making simple swaps has helped me to lose 320+ pounds and keep it off. I’ve found that most people won’t notice a swap, especially in baking. I make cornbread using applesauce and Greek yogurt. My family eats it without even knowing the substitutes I’ve made.
Do I ever eat real butter? Of course I do, but nothing like before. While I don’t eat it often, sometimes a splurge is nice if tracked and measured.
Before WW, I used to laugh and say I ate butter on my food in yellow puddles…definitely no measuring or tracking there. I have found that food tastes really good and is satisfying without those yellow puddles. Plus, I’m much healthier without it.
Our Butter Taste Test (with Top Result!)
I enlisted my 21 year old daughter, who does not do WW or follow a diet, to help me conduct a taste test.
We sampled margarine on a low fat Wheat Thin. We both agreed that Brummel & Brown won hands down.
My daughter eats out often and said the B&B was very much like regular butter served in a restaurant. I liked having her perspective. We both liked the buttery flavor and that it was soft and easy to spread. The Earth Balance and Smart Balance were firmer and similar in taste and texture. Note that the Smart Balance container says it can be used in cooking and baking.
Now I want to hear from you. What’s your favorite brands, margarines, butters and substitutes? Share in the comments below so we can learn from each other.
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