Shit food that is best to avoid: Nutella.


“Hazelnut spread with cocoa”…

Oh HI! you left out: “and sugar, palm oil, skim milk powder, emulsifier and flavour.”

This stuff is shit. The FIRST ingredient is sugar. That means it’s the majority ingredient, here in Australia, in accordance with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) we have to list ingredients in order of most – least.

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients list:


Right. So 13% of the product is hazelnuts. 8.7% is skim milk powder. 7.4% is cocoa powder. So those three ingredients account for 29.1% of the product, leaving 70.9% constituting the sugar, palm oil, soy lecithin and vanillin.

I’m guessing that the emulsifier, serving the purpose of keeping a smooth mixture smooth (i.e. preventing it from separating upon standing) doesn’t take up a large percentage of that 70% and same goes for the vanillin.

That’s a shit load of sugar and palm oil … “Start the day with Nutella” … erm, NO.

start the day_nutella

Palm oil, regardless of whether or not it’s “sustainable” is still vegetable oil crap. You don’t want that sludge sliding around in your blood stream, instigating inflammatory processes and getting lodged inside vascular plaques and setting the scene for cardiovascular disease: which is the NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF DEATH year in and year out here in Australia (and the developed world.)

I personally don’t bend if you make a mind blowing Nutella cheesecake or a Nutella filled donut or if your kids only eat it on the weekends or whatever, I draw the line in the sand for certain foods and this is one of them that doesn’t get to cross it – ever.

This is a food I suggest to just stop buying and eating. You can make your own, there’s a whole bunch of recipes out there, just Google it. You toast up some hazelnuts, blitz them with cocoa butter and cocoa and sweeten it if you like, something as simple as that.

It might seem benign, like “How much do you even eat that it’s a problem?” but it’s the tablespoons after tablespoons per year that add up and they in turn add up with all the other small portions of shit food that people eat and all told: it does count.

Let’s have a closer look at the nutritional panel:

nutrition panel_nutella

1. “Carbohydrate” (another way of saying “sugar): 8.8g per serve. A serve in this instance, is one 15g tablespoon.

We know that 4g of carbohydrate equals one teaspoon of sugar. So there’s a little over two teaspoons of sugar in one tablespoon. Do you eat just one exact 15g tablespoon of Nutella?

2. “Energy” (another way of saying kilojoules or calories): 335KJ per serve. Suggested to be 4% of the daily intake of kilojoules in an 8700KJ/day diet.

Negligible? Perhaps … depending on the remainder of the foods that contribute to the total daily kilojoules consumed. And on the physical activity levels of the individual. And on how many tablespoons are consumed.

3. Fat: Total 4.6g / Saturated 1.5g. Suggested to be 7% of the daily intake of fat grams, again, based on an 8700KG/day diet.

If you are eating more than 2 tablespoons of this stuff, then this is a significant portion of your daily fat intake. Especially if you’re having this for breakfast and then you eat food hall chips/curry/pasta/pizza/kebab etc. or McDonalds for lunch. And this is before you’ve even had your afternoon snack or dinner.

Basically, this is an “empty kilojoules” food. It delivers on kilojoules but not on nutrients.

Now let’s have a sniff into the world of “sustainable palm oil”, what does this mean exactly?

Accordingly with an article on the WWF website: “This means the plantation was established on land that did not contain significant biodiversity, wildlife habitat or other environmental values, and meets the highest environmental, social and economic standards as set out by the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.)”

Futher: “At the moment, it’s almost impossible for Australians to know which products contain palm oil, let alone sustainable palm oil, unless you contact the company who made the product directly and ask them.
There is currently no law in Australia that requires palm oil to be specifically labelled on the list of ingredients. Instead it appears as ‘vegetable oil’, which does not reveal whether the product uses palm oil or not. Further information on palm oil labelling is available from Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.”

So let’s assume Nutella manufacturers selling to the Australian market are telling us the truth, it’s good to see awareness of the environmental impact of mass produced food ingredients. But it’s still vegetable oil. Blergh.

Take home message: Nutella is loaded with sugar and vegetable oil. It’s kilojoule dense but nutrient poor.

Choose a sugar free nut butter instead. Or try making your own Nutella. It could be something fun to do with the kids on a weekend. And if it fucks up and won’t blend smoothly or looks all wrong and chunky then chuck it into a cookie batter and make the most of it.

Yours in the ugly truth, K180, x

(Jar purchased for prop purposes only I didn’t want to stand in the aisle taking photos!)