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Brief History of Nutella
The first Nutella spread was formulated during the 1940s by a man named Mr. Pietro Ferrero who also happened to be the founder of the Ferrero Company. The spread itself is essentially a hazelnut-flavored concoction that is tasty on toast. Nutella was registered under the Ferrero Company in 1963 and is currently sold in over 75 countries at the time of this writing.
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Nutella Nutrition Facts
Before we get to the specific nutrition facts, let's take a look at what claims are being made that are put directly on the packaging. These include:
- Made with over 50 hazelnuts per 13 ounce jar
- Contains no artificial colors
- Contains no artificial preservatives
Hazelnuts are naturally a pretty healthy food because they are high in protein and unsaturated fat. Many people don't realize that our bodies do need some fat to be healthy but the key is choosing the right kinds of fat. We want to avoid saturated fat and trans fat. Hazelnuts also contain good amounts of thiamine and vitamin B6 and other B vitamins. Thiamine helps our bodies convert carbohydrates into energy and it is thought that those who have diabetes also have a thiamine deficiency. B vitamins also help to convert food into energy and they help your body form red blood cells as well.
Each serving (2 tbsp.) of Nutella contains 200 calories with 100 of those calories being calories from fat. Although Nutella spread does not contain any trans fat it does contain 3.5 grams of saturated fat per serving. If you were eating a diet based on 2,000 calories daily that would be approximately 18% of your fat intake for the entire day. There are 11 grams of total fat per serving.
It should be noted that Nutella nutrition facts show that the spread itself contains a whopping 21 grams of sugar per serving. The first ingredient listed on the packaging is sugar. Remember that the ingredients on food labels are listed in order from most to least. This tells you that the main ingredient in this product is sugar. The rest of the ingredients include palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey, lecithin as emulsifier (soy) and vanillin artificial flavoring. Each serving also contains 22 carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber and 3 grams of protein. While Nutella does not contain any vitamin A or vitamin C it does contain small amounts of calcium and iron.
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Nutella in the News
In February 2011, a woman in California filed a lawsuit against Nutella. She claims that after viewing commercials for Nutella, the brand made her believe that the hazelnut spread is a "healthy" alternative for breakfast or snacks. According to the papers filed, the woman's lawyer states, "Ms. Hohenburg was searching for healthy foods to serve her family for breakfast or as a snack because she is aware that healthy nutrition is important for maintaining the overall health of her family."
Now that you know Nutella nutrition facts you should be able to make an informed decision about whether or not you want to add Nutella into your diet. To put things into perspective consider the nutrition information for that of a Snickers candy bar. One regular-sized Snickers bar contains 280 calories, 130 calories from fat, 11 grams of total fat and 28 grams of sugar. While Nutella contains fewer calories and slightly lower amounts of sugar than a Snickers bar, they really aren't that different from each other as far as nutrition goes. Obviously it's okay to eat it on occasion but looking at the sugar content, Nutella should not be considered a "healthy" food of any kind.
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Nutella Website: http://www.nutellausa.com
Medline Plus: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002401.htm
Court House News: http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/02/02/Nutella.pdf
Nutella Spread: Author's own experience