It’s officially Nutella day — a day made to celebrate the addictive and delicious hazelnut and chocolate spread.
But if you are celebrating by chowing down on this delicious treat, keep in mind that even though it contains nuts, it isn’t actually all that good for you — even one serving has as much sugar as five Oreos.
The company has gotten in some trouble before for their advertisements that suggest that “breakfast loves” the chocolate hazelnut spread and the ads seem to imply that the “94 hazelnuts” in each jar make the spread good for you.
Yoni Freedhoff, a Canadian doctor and professor at the University of Ottawa, was interested in what’s actually in the addictive spread, because: “I think its supposed to make me think: ‘that it’s good for me — 94 hazelnuts in every jar.'”
The problem? There is too much sugar in the spread for it to be considered a healthy snack.
Freedhoff runs the blog Weighty Matters. In a post from September 2013 , he pointed out that two tablespoons of Nutella (the amount you see spread on a slice of toast in Nutella’s delicious looking ads) has as much sugar as FIVE OREO COOKIES.
Here what else he found in one serving size of the hazelnut spread:
- Five hazelnuts
- Skim milk powder and whey powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of palm oil
- cocoa powder
- Five and a half teaspoons (or packets) of sugar
The official Nutella nutrition facts say that two tablespoons of the spread contain:
- 200 calories
- 12 grams of fat
- 21 grams of sugar
That’s an impressive feat for something they are marketing as a healthy breakfast addition.
“Make no mistake, Nutella is spreadable candy. It is not healthy. Breakfast does not love it. You might love it. But this does not help to make a nutritious breakfast fun, it helps to make a nutritious breakfast non-nutritious,” Freedhoff says in the video.
This comes just a few years after a class action settlement against Ferrero, who produces the product. In that settlement, the company also agreed to “modify the Nutella label, modify certain marketing statements about Nutella, create new television ads, and change the Nutella website.”
Looks like their new campaigns aren’t getting the message through that the spread isn’t health food. Watch the YouTube video to see what that much sugar looks like:
Nutella even has a “build your breakfast” option on their website, which gives you comparable breakfasts to one with Nutella. Here’s what they offered me:
I have a feeling that I would stay fuller longer with the oatmeal or eggs, bacon, and fried potatoes, than I would with a single slice of Nutella-spread toast, a few strawberries, and a glass of milk, but they all have about the same calorie content.
If you compare the two toast breakfasts, you can see you literally get a whole bowl of cereal instead of the 2 ounces of hazelnut spread. Compared to peanut butter, Nutella has less fat but a ton more sugar.
Freedhoff isn’t saying you can’t have Nutella, but it’s pretty obvious that it isn’t something parents should be feeding their kids for breakfast every day before sending them off to school — the sugar will send them crashing by mid-morning.
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