How unhealthy is Nutella

Nutella and Co. are so unhealthy

Questions to Susanne Henn, SWR Environment and Nutrition

Why did the nut nougat creams fare so badly?

There are three reasons for this. First, the creams contain too much sugar. For some it was 58 percent. Second, there is too much fat in it, up to 45 percent. Mostly it is cheap palm oil, every now and then the healthier rapeseed oil is also in it. In contrast, the proportion of nuts and cocoa is rather low.

Öko-Test had 20 nut nougat creams tested. Only two received the school grade 3 in the overall assessment: "Cocoba" by Gepa and "Nulacta" by Norma. Four other creams scored "sufficient" - i.e. a 4 -, the remaining 14 were rated 5 or 6.

Thirdly, the testers measured a relatively high level of pollution. All products are contaminated - sometimes in considerable quantities - with a certain group of saturated hydrocarbons, namely with so-called MOSH and POSH. The mineral oil and plastic residues are fat-soluble.

What these hydrocarbons do in the body is not yet known. However, they are at least suspected of damaging the liver and therefore have no place in food. By the way: Among the products with very bad grades there are also Nutella and a number of "organic" creams.

Sugar and fats are often difficult to identify on the label, so meaningful portion information is required. Do the food companies want that too?

Consumer advocates have long been calling for a nutrient traffic light that shows at a glance whether the product contains a lot or little sugar, fat and salt. The food industry has always resisted this.

Now some corporations, including Nestlé and Unilever, have announced that they will not be closed to color coding. However, this should not refer to 100 grams, but to portion sizes and daily requirements.

However, this would probably have the consequence that the portion sizes are chosen more arbitrarily and not realistically. For nut nougat cream, for example, the companies propose a portion size of 15 grams. This is unrealistic - normally you smear twice as much on a slice of bread.

But if you assume 15 grams, then the food traffic light would only be yellow. With the realistic 30 gram portion, the traffic light would be deep red. That looks a bit like trickery. Portion sizes would have to be uniform across the EU and also set by the EU - and not by the corporations themselves.

Do we have to do without Nutella and Co for breakfast now?

At least it shouldn't be started every day. Anyone who eats bread with nut nougat cream in the morning has usually already eaten as much sugar as the World Health Organization recommends as the daily maximum. This is even more extreme with children.

That would be fine if you skipped sweets and cakes for the rest of the day, but most of the time it isn't. Therefore: The creams are delicious - but anything but healthy, and therefore you shouldn't eat them every day.

Or you can try a homemade nut spread, in which you decide yourself which ingredients are included:

Online: Sola Hülsewig