Oh Nutella…you are so misleading. You sound like a nut butter, but are actually a dessert.
Nutella claims that it is a, “delicious hazelnut spread that contains quality ingredients, such as skim milk and a hint of cocoa, that moms can serve as part of a balanced breakfast.” There are at least two problems with this statement. Let’s start with the ingredients!
Nutella does contain hazelnuts, however, unlike a traditional nut butter hazelnuts are not the first ingredient in the ingredients list. Can you guess what is? Drumroll please….SUGAR! Every food label has an ingredients list, which lists each ingredient in the food product in order of predominance. Therefore, the item listed first in an ingredients list is used the most in the food product and the item at the end of the list is used the least. The marketing for this product makes it appear that hazelnuts, skim milk, and cocoa are the main food ingredients in Nutella. When in fact, sugar and palm oil are the two ingredients that make up the majority of this food item.
The next part of the marketing statement that is so troubling is that Nutella “can serve as part of a balanced breakfast.” When did eating “added sugar” become part of a balanced breakfast? Would you eat M&Ms for breakfast? Please say no… A healthy breakfast consists of 1/3 grains, 1/3 fruit, and 1/3 protein.
Here are a few examples of a healthy breakfast:
- One boiled egg, one slice of whole wheat toast, and a small apple.
- Breakfast Trail Mix: 1 cup of a whole grain cereal, 1/4 cup of an unsweetened dried fruit, and 1/4 cup of unsalted nuts
- One whole grain English muffin with 1 tablespoon of a nut butter and a small banana
- One (6 oz) serving of Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup of granola and 1 cup of mixed berries
For the record, I am not saying that Nutella can’t fit in a balanced eating plan, but I will say that it doesn’t fit into a healthy breakfast! As you may have noticed, I didn’t include Nutella in any of the above options. Nutella is a dessert; please consume as such.