Once in a while I come across a product that is, what I call, a “nutrition impostor”. That is, although the product contains little nutrition, is high in fat and/or sugar, the company would have you believe it is little short of a nutrition powerhouse.
There is a ton of false advertising out there, getting us to believe that things are healthier, “greener” or better for us or the environment than they actually are. I’m going to call those products out.
My first offender – Nutella. Nutella’s TV ads feature a mother telling us why she feeds her kids Nutella, as “Part of a balanced breakfast”. Since when does a balanced meal include sweets?
She says “Nutella is made with skim milk, hazelnuts, and a hint of cocoa”.
Nutritious? Nutella provides: (per 2 tablespoons)
200 Calories (100 Calories from fat)
11g fat (3.5g of which are saturated)
21 (!) grams of sugar
Since when is a product that high in sugar and fat considered “healthy”??
Ingredients (as listed on the label): SUGAR, modified palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (from milk), soy lecithin: an emulsifier, vanillin: an ARTIFICIAL flavour.
As sugar is listed first on the label, that means product contains more sugar than any thing else. Secondly, notice that “hint” of cocoa is listed before the skim milk, which means there is more cocoa in the product than milk.
And I particularly like how they make a fuss on the website about having NO artificial colours or preservatives, but they DO have artificial flavour listed right there on the label.
The comment at the bottom of the website states “this website is not brought to you by health care professionals”. No kidding. And above the picture of the “balanced” Nutella breakfast, it states “The ideal Nutella balanced breakfast, as pictured here, is CLOSE to the breakfast recommended by the 2005 Recommended Dietary Guidelines for Americans”.
Bottom line – 2 tablespoons of Nutella is nutritionally equivalent to giving your kids a chocolate bar for breakfast. A tasty treat to be enjoyed on occasion, sure. But claiming the product is anything close to healthy is just false advertising.