So I obviously wrote my blog this week when I was feeling strongly about this subject. Before you read this blog I don’t mean to pick one product in the marketplace and totally pull it apart. My reasoning for this blog is to inform my readers that things may not seem as they appear. I almost didn’t post this but have a read and hopefully I have highlighted to you something that you didn’t already know.. So here goes..
If you haven’t heard about the latest craze of Nutella donuts then you must be living under a rock! Every time I go on social media something is mentioned about them and all the cafes are advertising them as the hottest new thing out. I don’t why this gets to me so much but Nutella really is an unhealthy food item. What gets me the most irate is that I have seen it advertised as a healthy breakfast option for children! They say on their website “it can be eaten any time of the day when you feel like eating bread or toast.” Let me tell you why Nutella should only be given to children in moderation if at all!
Since starting my Healthy Mumma online business I’ve learnt that when you package products you have to abide by Australian Food Standards which includes listing all ingredients contained in your products. Not only do you have to list the ingredients you also have to list ingredients in descending order (by ingoing weight). This means the first ingredient listed contributes to the largest amount and the last ingredient listed contributes to the least. For example, if sugar is listed near the start of the list the product contains a greater proportion of this ingredient.
Let’s take a look at Nutella’s ingredients list and the order as it appears on the jar:
Ingredients: Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Palm*), Hazelnuts (13%), Skim Milk Powder (8.7%), Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder (7.4%), Emulsifier (Lecithins) (Soy), Flavouring (Vanillin).
So as you can see the first ingredient listed is sugar which means this product is full of the stuff! Not only does it contain sugar it also contains Palm Oil an ingredient in itself that has a lot of controversy surrounding it which I won’t go into here as it would be an entire blog on its own. Nutella do however state the following on their website “Ferrero only uses 100% sustainable and segregated certified palm oil” however any vegetable oil should be avoided for health reasons. Again I have another blog on healthy oils that you can go back to that explains my choices of oils in my cooking.
Back to the ingredients list it also only has 13% Hazelnuts and uses artificial flavourings and additives. Nutella also explain on their website that it is free of artificial preservatives and colours that may be the case but it isn’t free of artificial flavours i.e. vanillin and also contains additives! This also makes me angry as for the general consumer you think ok great it doesn’t have any nasties in it, well it does! The way they have worded this is very clever but still misleading to the consumer, they explain that it doesn’t have any artificial colours but what they don’t state is that is DOES have artificial flavourings in the form of vanillin an artificial flavour for vanilla. This to me is misleading information to the consumer.
The scariest thing that people don’t know about Nutella is that it contains monosodium glutamate (MSG), also known as E621. It is cleverly hidden inside the artificial flavour vanillin. Again I could write an entire blog about MSG and the harmful effects it has on our bodies but basically it has been proven to act as an excitotoxin which stimulates the reward system of the brain, so we think it tastes better (than it actually does) and consequently consume more.
So why am I blogging about Nutella this week! I decided that since I have been so annoyed at the current craze of this unhealthy chocolate spread that I would experiment. It’s taken me a few tries but I have come up with a delicious and healthier version of Nutella (see pic below). If I can get one person to stop eating Nutella and making their own healthy version I feel as though I’ve done something positive for someone else’s health and wellbeing.
My loyal subscribers will receive my recipe for this healthy version of this delicious chocolate spread. So if you haven’t subscribed and would like this recipe and other free recipes subscribe at the bottom of any page on my website. Hope you all enjoy it, my two and half year old son loves it!