Friday, May 11, 2012

Myths: Is Nutella Healthy?

If you love the hazelnut and chocolate goodness, you have probably heard of the recent debates in the news about how Nutella is marketed. A mother won a class action suit against Ferrero USA (the company that makes Nutella) for promoting their product as a healthy choice for kids. Basically, from their commercials, she had been led to think it was a healthy breakfast option, she fed it to her kids, and then found out it was not as healthy as they marketed it to be.

We do live in a society where “implied advertising” rules. Note that they don’t necessarily call it false advertising. I mean, if all the mobile networks claim they have the best network, somebody must be lying, right? But then again, it depends on what they imply “best network” to mean. It’s all a game.

 So let’s address the issue at hand; is Nutella really that unhealthy? Nutella is a mystery spread to most people. It’s like it tastes good so who cares? Well, let me give you a little insight into the deliciousness that is Nutella. It is made from hazelnuts, almonds, cocoa, and milk. Or at least, that is the way it is advertised. If you look at the ingredients on a jar though, what is the first thing you see? Sugar.

Most people don’t know this, but companies usually list their ingredients in the order of quantity, at least in the US. So this means the sugar content in Nutella is more than the hazelnut, cocoa, milk, and almond content. That is something to think about. In fact, if you dig deeper into production, you’d find out that Nutella is really about 70% sugar and vegetable oil. That’s definitely something to think about.

So what is the nutrition content of Nutella? The picture below gives clear details. It is clear that the 200 calories come mostly from sugar.

So what am I saying really? Don’t fall prey to implied advertising. Make sure you make informed decisions when you select food options. There is nothing wrong with a bit of Nutella here and there just like you would do with any other spread or any other dessert, but it is important to keep your portions controlled, be conscious of your calorie consumption, and not pig out simply because you think it is healthy. Don’t forget the tagline: Everything in moderation.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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