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Nuts for Nutella? What you need to know

August 20th, 2012 | no comments

In case you haven’t noticed, I am not one to tell you to not eat a particular food—no matter how many grams of sugar are in it. When you restrict a food, you assign it power. When food has power, it wins! Now of course certain foods are more supportive of your health than others, and while you should focus on building your meals around these foods, really, all foods do fit.

Nutella fans, you may breathe a sigh of relief—I’m not about to burst your Nutella bubble. I do, however, want to clear up one thing about your favorite spread:

It is NOT the same as peanut butter!

I know, I know, the very first few letters spell ‘NUT’…but it still doesn’t even come close to peanut butter.

What is Nutella?

A hazelnut-cocoa spread used as a topping for toast or bagels. Hazelnuts and cocoa are both perfectly nutritious foods. Sugar, on the other hand, is not. In fact, Nutella has more sugar than any other ingredient—a little over five teaspoons of the white stuff in just one serving (2 tablespoons).

Keep in mind that you should try to aim for no more than six teaspoons of added sugar in one day. Why? Over consumption of added sugars (not those naturally found in fruit and milk) has been linked to heart disease and certain cancers.

So, can Nutella fit in a healthy meal plan? Yes! But just make sure to count it as a Soul Food, because that’s exactly what it is! Soul Food is that food you cannot live without…and you shouldn’t have to. It makes up about 10% of your daily food intake. My Soul Food is chocolate. It’s a rare occasion that I don’t have a piece of chocolate every night after dinner. Notice I said PIECE of chocolate, not BAG of chocolate. If I’m allowing myself to have chocolate, it doesn’t make sense to eat the entire bag. I eat a piece (or two). I smile. I enjoy it. I go on with my day.

If you are looking for a lower sugar spread for your bagel, stir a touch of cocoa into a tablespoon of Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter. Not only is it more filling and nutritious than Nutella, it only has a trace of sugar (0.5 grams). If you aren’t looking for a lower sugar spread and are nuts for Nutella…eat Nutella. Smile. Enjoy it. Then watch your added sugars for the rest of the day.

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