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Is Nutella a Health Food or Sugar Trap?

By Genevieve Cunningham

Nutella has been incredibly popular over the past few years. When it first came out, it was touted as a healthy way to eat chocolate … except it wasn’t really chocolate. Those who were interested in keeping their diets clean and healthy scooped up this treat by the bucket. Unfortunately, the health reputation didn’t last for long. Eventually, people began to question its content and whether or not it’s actually healthy. So, what’s the verdict? Is it a health food or a step away from a candy bar? Take a look at what makes Nutella so delicious, as well as whether it should be a staple in your diet or left at the grocery store.

What Exactly is Nutella?

If you haven’t tried Nutella, where have you been? This food has been a hot item for a few years now. It’s touted as a hazelnut spread, but it tastes more like chocolate. Its ingredients include hazelnuts, modified palm oil, sugar, and skimmed milk powder, among a few others. It can be spread on anything … from toast to pastries to fruit.

What are the Healthy Claims?

The packaging of a jar of Nutella claims that it is a hazelnut spread that is gluten-free. But healthy? Advertisements prior to 2012 claimed that the spread brought a wealth of benefits, and this it was a good healthy choice for adding some flavor to your breakfast. After a lawsuit, Nutella no longer advertises as a health food, but people still have the idea in their minds.

What are the Pitfalls?

So if it’s not actually a health food, what’s so unhealthy about it? Sugar. Nutella is packed full of sugar. In fact, one serving is the equivalent of five tablespoons of sugar. One serving also packs around 200 calories and is heavy in saturated fat. Combine this with the fact that most people use it as a spread on something else -- often bread or pastry -- and you’re getting ample amounts of sugar in one little snack. Nutella is also high in fat and carbs and very low in protein. Does it taste good? Absolutely. Is it healthy? Absolutely not.

The Final Verdict

If you want to eat Nutella, go ahead. It’s probably not the worst food out there, but it’s definitely not going to bring you health benefits. If you choose to indulge, just remember that you’re eating it for the flavor and not the nutritional content. And if you keep this stocked in your cabinet, eat in moderation to keep the negative side effects away while still enjoying your favorite treat.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Westminster, Calif.

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