The “New” Nutella – A Nutritious Spread? [Inside the Label]

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

Nutritious? Hardly.

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.

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  • http://www.fitnessandspice.com Joanna Sutter (Fitness & Spice)

    Interesting. Very interesting. I appreciate your style of reporting…it’s very responsible.

    I’ve never had Nutella because I fear I’d eat the entire jar in one sitting, but now I have better reason to avoid it…I’ll stick with natural nut butters with 1-2 ingredients. Thank you for another great post.

    • Cmyrick111

      I do eat the whole jar, so I have to be careful.  Costco sells a two large pack that lasts me a few days.  I must stop eating it.

  • http://www.majid.info/ Fazal Majid

    Nutella was a staple of my childhood in 70s France, but nowadays I eat gianduja paste made by other companies, like “Nocciolata” by Agrimontana. They tend to have a higher proportion of hazelnuts and less oil, and taste better. At least Ferrero discontinued the practice of using peanut oil in the US version of Nutella.

    Nutella’s taste is very hard to reproduce by competitors because Ferrero has cornered a huge proportion of the supply for Piemont hazelnuts, using long-term contracts. 80% of the world’s hazelnut supply comes from Turkey, and while those are fine nuts, they do not have quite the flavor of the Piemontese nuts.

    • http://www.facebook.com/serdar.oner.x Serdar Öner

      The Nutella ads in Turkey indicates that Nutella is using “Turkish Hazelnuts”, and the jars are filled in Poland :-) .

  • http://www.betterschoolfood.org Dr. Susan Rubin

    I’m personally not afraid of saturated fat, so that part of the palm oil is not an issue to me. The environmental impact of Palm Oil is another thing! The Rainforest Action Network has been working hard to increase awareness of where palm oil comes from and how unsustainable farming of palm oil impacts ALL of us (even those who aren’t pigging out on Nutella!) http://ran.org/the_problem_with_palm_oil/

    Best bet? Create your own nutbutter using ingredients that are good, clean and fair!

    • Anonymous

      There are worse things out there. Having sugar
      in the morning for breakfast is not as bad as having it at other times
      of the day. Most of that fat is from the hazel nuts which are
      mono/polyunsaturated. As far as 18% of your SF intake… okay so what,
      you get 18%. You also get 18% if you eat some bacon with your eggs. Skim
      milk is fat free and good for you, it has cocoa powder which has
      antioxidant properties… Palm oil is MUCH better than 100%
      hydrogenated  vegetable oil, and fr the record, a serving of even 100%
      natural peanut butter is around 175 calories from all the fat “90% of
      it, good fats”. I’m sorry but Nutella on a piece of whole wheat toast or
      Ezekiel bread is MUCH better than any kind of cereal with milk!!!!  

  • Carol

    Not a big fan of Nutella… but if saturated fat is an issue, peanut butter will provide the same amount per 2 Tbsp. serving (which, by the way, is a lot of spread for one slice of bread, unless you’re trying to gain weight). Almond butter costs more than PB (but less than hazelnut), but tastes great and has half the saturated fat (but slightly less protein and more total fat). To make your own chocolate nut butter spread, try melting semisweet chocolate chips in microwave or double boiler, then gradually stir it into some almond butter. Of course, chocolate chips contain sugar, but anything with chocolate is going to contain some sugar, because the stuff isn’t naturally sweet.

    “Spread thinly” is the real key with anything so dense in calories/fat; i.e., deprogram yourself from what advertisements and restaurants use for a portion size, and you’ll be able to enjoy more foods without worry.

  • Sam

    Awesome detective work! I’ve always been suspicious of Nutella and it’s artificial vanilla…

    I’ve found something similar (homemade chocolate hazelnut spread) that uses: hazelnuts, cocoa powder, agave nectar, vanilla extract, hazelnut oil and salt – that’s it!

    Check it!

    • glowda beasley

      if you dont care wether you fat or whatever than youre crazy. i wannaa live. you said how about them apples. how dumb can you get doofus. mabe you need to get fat on apples instead. mabe u will live………LONGER. dumb ass!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.tiffanirocks.webs.com “Stelawink”

    Wow,
    This is really terrible.
    I was doing a project on food and I chose crepes.
    I looked at this to find the calories.
    NOW THERE IS 119.41 calories in plain Nutella crepes

  • samantha

    I don’t care how fat I am,
    or how fattening and “bad for you” Nutella is,
    I’m eating it anyway.
    How ’bout them apples?

    • Browneyedandawesome

      you can put nutella on those apples too :) it works for everything lol

    • Anonymous

      I agree Samantha. I mean, there are worse things out there. Having sugar in the morning for breakfast is not as bad as having it at other times of the day. Most of that fat is from the hazel nuts which are mono/polyunsaturated. As far as 18% of your SF intake… okay so what, you get 18%. You also get 18% if you eat some bacon with your eggs. Skim milk is fat free and good for you, it has cocoa powder which has antioxidant properties… Palm oil is MUCH better than 100% hydrogenated  vegetable oil, and fr the record, a serving of even 100% natural peanut butter is around 175 calories from all the fat “90% of it, good fats”. I’m sorry but Nutella on a piece of whole wheat toast or Ezekiel bread is MUCH better than any kind of cereal with milk!!!!  Also, your blood sugar is at it’s lowest in the morning!! You need to boost your metabolism.

      • http://twitter.com/Sk88queen Sk88queen

        The problem is some people will not have just a serving. They will have 3,4,5 servings and throw portion control to the wind…

      • guest

        but, palm oil factories kill off thousands of endangered animals and destroys rainforests

        • Jay Buhrt

          But that is a different subject. We are talking about human health, not environmental issues.

          • Savvy Choc Energy

            Palm oil is bad for you and contributes to diabetes too.

      • Johnny

        What you may feel about Nutella is irrelevant, eating sugar for breakfast is BAD. You should NOT be stocking up on energy that your body quickly burns through. Whole wheat toast is fine, but don’t confuse blood sugar levels with SUGAR. The worst possible thing for blood sugar levels is sugar. This is why diabetics can’t have it.

  • Albert

    Thanks for the tips. That’s why I eat NOCCIOLATA Organic Hazelnut Spread from Rigoni di Asiago, Italy (www.rigonidiasiago-usa.com)

  • Jay

    We recently discovered this treat and like a lot of people I originally thought there was some enhanced nutritional value to this product. After reading the label in more detail and using some common sense (taste way to good), I decided to do a little due diligence on the internet for info. It is pretty much unanimous that this is a candy spread imitating a healthy snack. I will still eat it but in extreme moderation.

    • Anonymous

      There are worse things out there. Having sugar
      in the morning for breakfast is not as bad as having it at other times
      of the day. Most of that fat is from the hazel nuts which are
      mono/polyunsaturated. As far as 18% of your SF intake… okay so what,
      you get 18%. You also get 18% if you eat some bacon with your eggs. Skim
      milk is fat free and good for you, it has cocoa powder which has
      antioxidant properties… Palm oil is MUCH better than 100%
      hydrogenated  vegetable oil, and fr the record, a serving of even 100%
      natural peanut butter is around 175 calories from all the fat “90% of
      it, good fats”. I’m sorry but Nutella on a piece of whole wheat toast or
      Ezekiel bread is MUCH better than any kind of cereal with milk!!!!  

  • Clara

    Guessed it any way. :) Any oil found in processed foods that is in solid form is always trans fat. I can bet $1000 on that.
    The only exception is when the oil is plant-based with or without removal of impurities.

  • Corey

    @Clara
    If the oil is solid (saturated) then it is not trans-fat, trans-fat only occurs when an oil is partially hydrogenated, not if it is fully hydrogenated.

    Science!

    Though animal fat always contains amounts of trans-fat naturally.

  • Anonymous

    There are worse things out there. Having sugar
    in the morning for breakfast is not as bad as having it at other times
    of the day. Most of that fat is from the hazel nuts which are
    mono/polyunsaturated. As far as 18% of your SF intake… okay so what,
    you get 18%. You also get 18% if you eat some bacon with your eggs. Skim
    milk is fat free and good for you, it has cocoa powder which has
    antioxidant properties… Palm oil is MUCH better than 100%
    hydrogenated  vegetable oil, and fr the record, a serving of even 100%
    natural peanut butter is around 175 calories from all the fat “90% of
    it, good fats”. I’m sorry but Nutella on a piece of whole wheat toast or
    Ezekiel bread is MUCH better than any kind of cereal with milk!!!! 

  • http://twitter.com/Sk88queen Sk88queen

    “spreadable candy treat”

  • Etyg@gt.com

    Screw you. Nutella is great

  • Dove344

    Like you I have a weakness for nutella. I didn’t realize all the untold ingredients. I will be more careful in my usage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mrjacobv Jacob Vance York

    Nutella is like Jesus in my mouth. It’s miraculous. 

  • Jwlpatterson

    I can’t live without nutella. I discovered it in itlay and have been craving it since then. It made me avoid other junk food altogether. I don’t get hungry as fast. It actually made me manage my weight. I also feel so much better – I have more energy and I’m thinking clearly. Maybe those sugar and fat is what ive been missing all this time. I’m 5’4 and weigh 120lbs….and I eat 4 slices with nutella on each slice a day. Pilates+yoga+nutella made me feel healthier than ever.

  • Dan

    I’m Italian and my parents have made nutella a morning ritual for years and now i do the same for my children… well.. not everyday.. (the original Nutella jar was made of glass and tasted a bit better than the mass produced version today).  If you like hazelnut spread also try Nocciolata (completely organic or Justin’s and American brand.. not too shabby) 

  • Karuna

    I dont need it on my diet, and wont be never im glad I see this label! The best food I can spread on my bread is humus! :)

    • Audrey

      ‘Humus’ is topsoil LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/serdar.oner.x Serdar Öner

    To make a tasty and healthy spread, just buy a good peanut butter with minimum added content, and add some cocoa, little sugar or honey. Mix well :-) .

  • LosingFaithInFooducate

    How do you give this accurate review of Nutella, yet you give it an innacurate grade of B? Fooducate, you are contradicting yourself. I’m losing faith.

  • vicki

    I just tried something new:
    IN hot coffee with a little cream, I melted a small spoon of Nutrella, WOW!!!!! :)
    It was delish!!!!
    Vicki from MO.

    • Turther

      I hope it’s not too late to point this out but caffeine-sugar is a really bad combo.

      While caffeine lowers your insulin sensitivity, sugar raises your blood sugar levels.

      In the long run, we’re talking about obesity, t2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke…

      • Ed

        Caffeine lowers insulin sensitivity temporarily as it releases fatty acids into the blood stream from adipose tissue to be burned. This is temporary and is a good thing, but scary when misunderstood or taken out of context.

        If people freaked out over every isolated study of a given isolated ingredient (because coffee is not just caffeine) there’d be nothing left for them to eat.

  • YesMeYesi

    These comments are hilarious!!!

  • http://twitter.com/trumandare truman dare

    i hate ferrero

    they use VANILLIN which is unhealthy and artificial but they claim that its healthy

  • http://twitter.com/trumandare truman dare

    poor children working for ferrero

  • http://twitter.com/trumandare truman dare

    ferrero is a criminal manufacturer

  • star2dust

    I’m a peanut butter addict, so I prefer peanut butter over any other kind of spread. If I do eat hazelnut spread, it just makes me want peanut butter LOL:)

  • Savvy Choc Energy

    Jus sayin hi!

  • Sui

    Wow ! Thank you so much for the information…I needed this, especially since the very few tine I buy it..it runs out in less than 2 weeks. Im no longer buying this thing. I needed this review BIG TIME!