The Truth About Nutella

It is no doubt that many kids love Nutella, many of them consume jars and jars of it per year not knowing its harmful ingredients and low nutritional value. On every jar of Nutella is a label of ingredients, one ingredient called monosodium glutamate (MSG) also known as E621 is hideously concealed as vanillin. One might think it is the normal vanilla or vanilla extract used at home but it is actually an artificial flavor which is most likely the synthetic form identical to the natural vanillin, but much less expensive is the largest flavor component of the vanilla bean but much less interesting.  In addition to this, it contains the toxic GMO emulsifier soy lecithin and palm oil whose extraction leads to destruction of forests and wildlife all over the world.

Nutella was introduced in the market in 1964 by the Italian company. Pietro Ferrero who owned a bakery in Alba, Piedmont an area known for the production of hazelnuts. The first jar of Nutella left the Ferrero factory in Alba on 20 April 1964. The product was an instant success and has remained popular over the years with parents starting to get concerned about the ingredients of Nutella in recent years.

You’d presume that the official website should give the full listing of Nutella’s ingredients, as well as the nutrition figures that come with it, in exactly the same way most other food manufacturers do these days. Not so with Nutella. Here’s all they tell you about what’s in their iconic product:

Nutella contains hazelnuts, cocoa powder, skim milk powder, vegetable oil, sugar, soy lecithin and vanillin

Yes, these are the ingredients in Nutella but they are not in the stipulated correct order. They re-arrange the true order to make a better impression. And leave out the percentage and the correct additive names which is very lame.

You actually have to purchase a jar of the Nutella to find out the truth about the ingredients. Once you’re looking at the back of the label, you quickly see (when forced by food law) what the jar actually contains: Sugar, vegetable oil, hazelnuts (13%), cocoa powder (7.4%), non-fat milk solids, emulsifier (soy lecithin), flavor (vanillin)

Nutella contains a whole 67% saturated fat and processed sugar in weight! A two-tablespoon (37 gram) serving of Nutella contains 200 calories, 11 grams of fat, 3.5 of which are saturated and 21 grams of sugar. To make it clear, a typical chocolate and nut candy bar has 250 to 300 calories and 12 to 16 grams of fat respectively.

Vanillin: an artificial flavor (msg)

These are molecules that are extracted from a vanilla bean. It is one of the dangerous ingredients in Nutella that might simply be thought of as vanilla. Vanillin makes up about 90% of the scent in the vanilla. Alternatively, you can produce it chemically from petroleum in a lab with the biggest manufacturers being the Chinese who also produce Nutella containing this Vanillin.

It is sad to note that vanillin contains MSG that is usually not labelled. This constituent has no benefits whatsoever but contains “glutamate” that has negative effects. Natural glutamate in plants and animals is known as L-glutamic acid. MSG is present in many common foods and its poisonous nature is amplified by vanillin.

Recently, there is an increasing number of Clinicians and Scientists who are certain that excitotoxins play a major role in the development of several neurological disorders, including migraines, seizures, infections, abnormal neural development, certain endocrine disorders, specific types of obesity, and especially the neurodegenerative diseases; a group of diseases which includes: ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and olivopontocerebellar degeneration

The reason why one tends to consume more Nutella is due to the effect of the MSG in making the brain feel rewarded by excitotoxin effect making you think that it tastes better hence leading to more consumption.

Palm oil

It is extracted from the oil palm tree fruit. It comes second to soybean in popularity as a food oil. One of the dangers of palm oil is that it increases blood cholesterol levels due to palmitic acid present in the oil which might lead to heart diseases. Research has showed that oxidizing the oil can be threatening to physiological and biochemical functions of the body such as organ toxicity of the heart, kidney, liver and lungs, as well as reproductive toxicity, increase in free fatty acids, phospholipids and cerebrosides.

Some of the countries that have been affected by this industry include one of the two main exporters of palm oil, Indonesia that is now feeling the cost of being in that position. Even with the fall in orangutans’ population by 80%, government plans of land use don’t seem to be making any solutions to the calamity. The case is not any different in Malaysia, deforestation of peat swamp forests which is endangering the habitat of the pygmy elephant (the smallest elephant on Earth) the clouded leopard, the long-nosed tapir and many rare birds.

Burning Palm oil from our foods is essential so as to ensure a sustainable and healthy ecosystem.

Soy lecithin

Soy lecithin is one of the most ubiquitous additives in our food supply, it comes from a sludge left after crude soy oil goes through the degumming process. Sadly, the FDA does not regulate the amount of hexane residue in food products. It is used primarily as an emulsifier and you can find it in everything from salad dressings to tea bags. It is used to ensure that the water and fats don’t separate in foods such as margarine, peanut butter, chocolate candies, ice cream, coffee creamers and infant formulas.

Most of the soy grown in the US is genetically modified, unless the label says ‘organic soy lecithin’ chances are that it came from a genetically modified soybean. GMO are hazardous due to the presence of transferable DNA and potentially immunogenic proteins and toxins that are very harmful in the case of genetically engineered soy.

Reduced mineral whey

It starts with dairy cows and was previously discarded since it was a byproduct of cheese production. Reduced mineral final product is usually cream-colored product which is acquired raw by companies from the manufacturers. It is the substance that is obtained by the removal of a portion of the minerals from whey. The dry product normally should contain less than a 7% ash content. The removal of minerals is done to extremes of a percentage of 90 which makes them useless nutritionally. It is therefore advisable to opt for more healthy alternatives as shown below;

Healthy alternatives to nutella

Raw Nutella Recipe #1

  • Makes about 1 cup


  • 1 cup hazelnuts, soaked for 8-10 hours
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 2-4 tbsp coconut milk

Drain and rinse hazelnuts and place them in a food processor or high-powered blender. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Depending on the strength of your blender, this may take 10-15 minutes to get the desired consistency.

 Once the hazelnuts turn into a buttery consistency, add the sweetener, vanilla, salt, and cacao powder and blend until smooth. Slowly add the milk until desired consistency.

Raw Nutella Recipe #2

  • Makes a 330ml Jar


  • 15 dates (around 90 g. or 3 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 4 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup carob powder
  • 1Tbsp coconut oil

1. Rehydrate the dates in hot water for about 10 minutes (or 2 hours in cold water)

2. Combine all your ingredients in a blender. Scrape the sides as needed to make sure the spread is smooth. Add only water or oil…no milk for this recipe.