Unless you have a hazelnut allergy, you’re probably well aware of how delicious Nutella is. I love Nutella and it was personally painful for me to write this (ignorance is truly bliss), but it was highly requested and probably for the best. So, without further adieu, enjoy this Think About It on Nutella!
A lot of people, including myself, tend to associate Nutella with peanut butter. Nut butters are often heralded as a source of protein for those that don’t eat meat or dairy, although this is a bit misguided because their protein contribution is actually quite low compared to most other foods (check out my article on peanut butter to learn more). This misnomer is especially true for Nutella -- two tablespoons has just two grams of protein (or 4% of the FDA daily recommended value).
The Nutella and peanut butter pairing does get a few things right -- they’re both fairly calorically dense, and they both have a small serving size that’s easy to overshoot. All of the statistics on the Nutrition Facts Label are based off of two tablespoons of nut butter. That roughly equates to two soup spoons (level, not heaping!), so if you’re prone to eating out of the jar, you might be overdoing it.
One serving of Nutella packs in 200 calories, or 10% of the FDA-daily recommended calorie intake. Remember that a 2,000 calorie diet is likely to be an overestimate for most females, as we’re generally smaller and less muscular (and thus require fewer calories). The USDA recommends 1600-1800 calories a day for moderately active women, which would mean that just one serving of Nutella could be as much as 13% of the daily calorie intake.
Like most addicting and delicious foods, Nutella has the double-whammy effect of being high in both fat and sugar. One serving has 11 grams of fat (or 18% of the FDA-daily recommended value), which is roughly the equivalent of two eggs or one lean-beef burger. The latter two examples are better nutritional investments and would stick with you for much longer (although they definitely don’t taste as good in my opinion).
More ominously, one serving of Nutella has 21 grams of added sugar (or almost 50% of the daily recommended value). To put that in perspective, two tablespoons of Betty Crocker Vanilla Frosting has less added sugar than Nutella. By law, the ingredients must be listed on food packaging in order of abundance — it’s no surprise then that sugar is the first one on all Nutella packaging (the second ingredient is palm oil, which explains the high fat content).
Ways to Think About It:
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed nutritionist nor a registered dietician. The opinions expressed in this article are my own, and each individual is ultimately responsible for his/her dietary and nutrition practices. Please consult a physician before starting a new dietary program.