Monday, September 14, 2009

Nutella as a health food?

Have you seen the latest ad for Nutella? There's a mom putting it on healthy food to get her kids to eat it. As I was watching I couldn't help but think this was the most ridiculous thing I had seen since the High Fructose Corn Syrup ads. Now, I am not knocking Nutella. It's yummy, but using it to get your kids to eat healthy foods?

This picture is featured on the Nutella website as "The ideal balanced Nutella® breakfast, as pictured here, is close to the breakfast recommended by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans."

Really? It's all sugar. Sugar in the orange juice, the fruit, the Nutella...even the glass of milk has sugar! Not a good way to start your day. 

Ingredients: sugar, modified palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (from milk), soy lecithin: an emulsifier, vanillin: an artificial flavor.

21 grams of sugar....that's almost 4-1/2 teaspoons per serving! The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for sugar is 0. That's right none. Some experts think we do not need any sugar in our diet at all.

Modified palm oil = 18% saturated fat. Saturated fat elevates your bad cholesterol levels.'s a nut so it must be healthy right? Hazelnuts contain vitamin E and selenium and can provide health benefits when not consumed with the fat and sugar of a spread.

What about soy lecithin? Some experts said it's bad for you and some say it's ok in moderation. But what is it? It's a by-product of soybean oil used to keep the cocoa and butter from separating. Do I want to eat a by-product?

The purpose of this article is not to tell you to stop eating Nutella. I want you to be informed that it is definitely not a health food and should be eaten in moderation if at all.

Everyone should start their day with a hearty breakfast that gives you energy throughout the morning. If you need to add sweetness to your food use a natural sweetener such as agave nectar, pure maple syrup, Stevia or raw honey. For breakfast ideas check out the recipes found here.

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