February 20, 2010 by ritadate
I confess. I am a Nutella addict. Some people turn to Baskin Robbins for comfort but I turn to Nutella…pronounced new-tell-uh. The fact that we should not really be turning to food in the first place is another story.
Nutella was not around when I was growing up, it came into the market around 2000 as the healthy chocolate. Everything is healthy in moderation, when overeating occurs so does toxicity.
I was surprised to see Nutella used frequently in France. The French seem to love Nutella crepes, macarons, and croissants. I thought to myself that if the French are eating Nutella then it must be good for you. After all the French take pride in eating all things fresh and all things good for the body and soul. I later found out that the European version of Nutella is different than the American version, there is no palm oil added to the European brand. So it is not only India that is sold substandard items.
Nutella is marketed to be healthy because it is made up of hazelnuts but after looking at the ingredient list I knew otherwise. The first ingredient is sugar and in case you were not aware ingredients must be listed in order of proportion of the total content. Ok, I should have the common sense to this fact but as always it hits you after seeing it in print.
The second ingredient is modified palm oil. The nutella website does not explain how it is modified but after doing some research I found that modified palm oil is fractionated oil. Fractionated basically means that the palm oil has had some saturated fats removed from it to smooth the texture, and make it more liquid.
Modified is not the same as hydrogenated. Adding hydrogens to a fat makes it more solid and longer lasting. Fractionation makes it more flexible of a fat and more fluid.
The third ingredient finally is hazelnuts. These nuts are not so popular in India but in Europe and the US these nuts give flavor to everything from coffee to ice cream. But in addition to flavor hazelnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, dietary fiber, magnesium, and B vitamins. They also have the lowest percentages of saturated fat (along with pinenuts and almonds) and one of the best nut sources of heart healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
Unfortunately this all does not make nutella healthy. The amount of hazelnuts is 18% but the sugar and fat content is just too high to make this a healthy part of your daily diet. The company promotes it as a healthy spread on bread for breakfast and lunch and like me many are hooked.
But I never ate it for health reasons…! I just love the taste and it is easily available on the side panel of the fridge. I decided to cut down after rechecking the calories. Nutella has 190 calories for two tablespoons. When you are trying to eat only 1800 calories a day(not that I ever count) then the 190 figure(more than 10% ) sends red signals, especially when two tablespoons is very little when eating Nutella.
I have cut down now, perhaps because the jar is finished. My kids do not seem to miss it so I will not go and buy another for quite some time. Why are some things just too good to be “good fo