It’s one of those things that’s almost synonymous with happiness to many. One Vice writer even dubs the act of eating it straight from the jar a “subcultural ritual.”
There are donuts filled with it, and giant Nutella tubs for sale on Amazon.
Needless to say, it tastes pretty marvelous.
It’s also poisoning your family.
No, you’re not all going to keel over and die in the next hour. But you will potentially suffer several long-term health effects if you continue eating it on a regular basis.
Let’s start by looking at the ingredients of Nutella.
What’s in the Jar?
According to Nutella themselves, the product contains the following:
- Palm Oil
- Soy Lecithin
It all sounds pretty benign, right? Well actually, those ingredients are incredibly processed. Soy lecithin on its own has garnered quite a bit of attention and debate regarding its safety.
You see, it’s not produced from the sort of soy you might associate with long-living Asian populations who consume high amounts of fermented soy products. Rather, it’s a non-fermented, genetically modified type of soy that the body has a hard time digesting.
Further, two tablespoons of Nutella contain a whopping 200 calories, 11 grams of fat and 21 grams of sugar, about half as much as a can of Coke.
And that’s just two tablespoons. If you know anything about Nutella consumption, you’ll know that’s a drop in the bucket compared to what many people eat in one sitting.
The Worst Part
We haven’t even touched the worst ingredient in Nutella yet, which is…
No, it’s not vanilla as you might think. Vanilla is an aphrodisiac, a stress reliever and mood booster. Vanillin is imitation vanilla, or ‘vanilla flavor.’ It’s a low quality sweetener produced to taste just like vanilla.
And the worst part about it is that it contains unlabeled MSG, which has been dubbed a “slow poison.” It has zero health benefits and has been linked to a triggering of brain chemicals similar to those associated with addiction.
MSG is also associated with ALS, a condition for which there is no known cure.
Palm Oil – Also Bad
The palm oil contained in Nutella is also not the most friendly substance.
While it is reportedly less harmful that partially hydrogenated soybean oil, it is still less healthy than other vegetable oils, according to LIVESTRONG.
It is difficult to digest and can cause toxicity in the heart, kidney, liver, lungs and reproductive organs.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest also reported that palm oil raises blood cholesterol levels, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
And it’s not just the human body that’s being harmed by palm oil. Many animals are facing extinction as their habitats are destroyed by its production.
So What Now?
The famous hazelnut spread is one of my favorite things to eat. But does the poisonous nature of Nutella mean we should all doom ourselves to an existence fueled by fruit jam and peanut butter alone?
No, of course not!
If you like hazelnut spreads, you have a few options. The most appealing is making your own!
Check out the following POPSUGAR Food tutorial to making your very own tasty Nutella that’s even better than the original.
- 8 oz roasted, skinless hazelnuts
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp hazelnut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
See? All-natural ingredients you can source on your own!
Check out the video below for instructions on whipping these ingredients up into your very own tasty spread.