Chocolate Hazelnut Spread: Is it Healthy?

by in Is It Healthy?, August 20, 2011
nutella
Is this stuff actually good for you?

Clever marketing has attempted to convince consumers that chocolate-hazelnut spreads make a nutritious breakfast. Can this chocolaty delight be a healthy part of any meal?

Yes?

Manufacturers tout that this creamy spread contains wholesome ingredients like hazelnuts and skim milk — and it does. There’s actually not much else to it, only a couple of other ingredients make up the recipe — but that’s where things start to get messy.

No?
The first 2 ingredients listed on the label of chocolate-hazelnut spreads are sugar, followed by palm oil, which means these ingredients out-weigh all others. When you break down the numbers you’ll find it contains 100 calories per tablespoon and more than 50-percent of that comes from fat. While there are some heart-healthy fats from nuts, one-third is the artery-clogging saturated kind. As for the sugar, it’s not looking much better – nearly 5 teaspoons per serving!

Most brands also include thickeners such as soy lecithin. While this food additive is considered safe, folks with soy allergies should be aware.

The Verdict

Just a smidge is all you need! While magically delicious, this choco-nutty spread isn’t to be confused with straight up health food (like natural peanut butter for instance). Use this product sparingly and preferably along with nutrient-dense foods like fresh fruit and whole grains. Always read ingredient labels carefully to get the real facts.

Tell Us: What’s your take on chocolate hazelnut spreads?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

You Might Also Like:

Similar Posts

Cheese: Is It Healthy?

Does this dairy delight have a place in your healthy eating plan? Although cheese has gotten bad press for being high in artery-clogging fat, choosing the right ones can provide important nutrients to your diet.

Comments (192)

  1. Doug says:

    I will throw mine away. Did't realize it had palm oil. I don't eat palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil. A lot of cheap foreign foods include them, and a lot of this junk is starting to show up in candy bars. It's like eating lard. The only tropical oil I eat is cocoa butter. There is no substitute for it, and it is what makes chocolate so appealing.

  2. Vanessa Delgado says:

    The commercial says it is hazelnut spread with a hint of chocolate. I've laughed about that ever since I saw the first commercial. It is a horrible thing for Weight Watchers people!!!!!

  3. Beate Colbert says:

    OMG,I guess you can make a big deal out of everything.! I grew up in Germany,and ate Nutella.Guess what I am still living and healthy.People should be more concerned about eating Waffels,Pancakes,Bisquits,etc.for Breakfast here in der US.We don't eat that for Breakfast in Europe.
    But everything is ok in moderation.

  4. Broomhilda says:

    We call it Buttella at our house because that is right where it goes.

  5. CAiken says:

    I love the taste of Nutella but do not consider a healthy snack because of the sugar and palm oil. However, when I eat it I either spread a small portion on whole wheat toast or pair a serving size with a sliced apple. Yum.

  6. phyllis says:

    no it's not healthy like an apple or yogurt, but it's still so delicious — I eat it in moderation so weekly or monthly instead of daily!

  7. jana says:

    way too sweet and unhealthy. there are other healthier alternatives out there

  8. Sarah says:

    I enjoyed the alcoholic crepes you can get in Europe that put Nutella in them. Nutella, Irish cream and bananas rolled up in a lovely thin crepe… oh yes!

  9. SuzyLS says:

    I have not tried the Hazelnut spread but I have checked the ingredients on the label and found it has way too much sugar. The Nutella brand claims it is an energy food, well if you consider sugar as energy, I guess they are right. I will stick to natural peanut butter as my choice for a nutty spread.
    Healthy Recipes

  10. SuzyLS says:

    I have not tried the Hazelnut spread but I have checked the ingredients on the label and found it has way too much sugar. The Nutella brand claims it is an energy food, well if you consider sugar as energy, I guess they are right. I will stick to natural peanut butter as my choice for a nutty spread. Visit me at http://heartsafecooking.com for many true healthy recipes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>