Nutella is hands down one of the tastiest spreads out there. A rich and creamy hazlenut and chocolate spread turns any toast into a culinary rockstar.
Ferrero , Nutella’s manufacturer, is now trying to ride the health wave by positioning itself as a healthy and nutritious start to the day. It invites you to treat yourself to a tasty balanced breakfast with Nutella:
Over 50 Hazelnuts per 13 oz. Jar
Contains No Artificial Colors
Contains No Artificial Preservatives
Here’s what they forget to tell you.
What you need to know:
A 2 tablespoon serving, which is what you’d spread on a toast, is 200 calories. It contains 11 grams of fat, 3.5 of which are saturated (18% of your daily recommended value). The 21 grams of sugar in a serving are equivalent to 5 teaspoonfuls!
Here is the ingredient list:
sugar, modified palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (from milk), soy lecithin: an emulsifier, vanillin: an artificial flavor.
As expected, the first ingredient is sugar.
Regarding the modified palm oil, it’s not exactly clear what has been done to the oil. In the past, Nutella used hazelnut oil, but then switched to cheaper oils which were hydrogenated. But ever since trans-fats have become synonymous with a looming death sentence, manufacturers have been looking for different solutions. Palm oil is naturally close to solid at room temperature, so does not require hydrogenation like some other liquidy oils. but it is high in saturated fat.
Soy lecithin is used to firm up the spread and keep the ingredients from separating.
Vanillin, is an artificial flavoring that is much cheaper than using real vanilla extract.
Let’s look again at the product highlights including our commentary:
Over 50 Hazelnuts per 13 oz. Jar – and over 50 teaspoons of sugar too!
Contains No Artificial Colors – but does contain artificial flavors
Contains No Artificial Preservatives – but includes modified palm oil
That said, we have a weakness for Nutella; not every thing we eat has got to be of perfect nutritious harmony. However, we certainly don’t appreciate being conned into believing a spreadable candy treat is anything but that.
What to do at the supermarket:
A jar of Nutella should last you a couple of months when used only occasionally, for example a packed lunch for the last day of the school week, or spread thinly on a Sunday morning crepe.
If you’re looking for a spread that will work hard for you on a daily basis, peanut butter is a more nutritious and affordable choice. Peanut butter (made with peanuts only) has just 3 grams of sugar vs. Nutella’s 21.
Help us test our new food comparison tool: alpha.fooducate.com