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Deconstructed Nutella: nuts, cocoa – and 58% sugar

Name: Nutella.

Age: 53-ish.

Place of birth: Piedmont, Italy.

Appearance: Lovely brown gloop.

Yeah. Who doesn’t love Nutella? Well, some people say it might be bad for you.

Bad for me? But nuts are healthy and it’s called “Nut-ella”. Doh. Well, someone in Germany has recreated a jar showing the ingredients in layers, and you can see it’s basically half sugar.

Holy moly! And about a third fat.

Roly-poly holy moly! Indeed. People are often shocked to see what’s in their favourite snacks.

Quite rightly! These irresponsible food companies make sweet things that we like, print exactly how much sugar is in them on the side of every pack, then let us believe that they are healthy! Maybe people should just read the packets if they care so much? Then they would know that yes, all told, Nutella is 58% sugar.

See! But have you ever made jam?

I have not. Well, that’s got a lot of sugar in it, too: 50% in the case of Hartley’s strawberry jam; 65% in Daylesford Organic. Even Frank Cooper’s Original Oxford Marmalade is 54%. Rowse honey is 81%. Sweet spreads are mostly sugar. Just don’t eat bowls of them.

How about the fat then? All right. There’s not much fat in jam. (Unless you butter your toast first.) Nutella, however, is 32% fat, most of which is palm oil.

The second most evil of all the oils! Yes, generally. Palm oil plantations have caused severe deforestation, threatening wildlife and the global climate. However, Ferrero, which makes Nutella, is much better than most companies at tracing its palm oil back to sustainable plantations. It could and should do more, but it shouldn’t be the first company you boycott.

How about the cancer risk? I heard palm oil gives you cancer. Look, high-temperature refining may lead to more potentially carcinogenic contaminants, according to the European Food Safety Authority, but it doesn’t necessarily think it’s unsafe. Besides, Ferrero says it doesn’t refine its oil that way. People want food to be simple and dramatic, when it’s a hugely complex web of …

I’m bored. Yeah. That’s what I mean.

Do say: “A teaspoon of Nutella contains about half a teaspoon of sugar. Chill out.”

Don’t say: “I demand to have my cake, eat all of it and blame the baker for making me fat.”

 

Source: The Guardian

Photo Credit: Verbraucherzentrale Hamburg

 

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