I used to love Nutella when I was kid–that is before studying nutrition and discovering its harmful ingredients. The scariest thing that people don’t know about Nutella is that it contains monosodium glutamate (MSG), also known as E621. It’s cleverly hidden inside an artificial flavor called vanillin which is labeled on every Nutella jar. It also contains the toxic GMO emulsifier soy lecithin and palm oil whose extraction is ravaging forests and wildlife throughout the world.
Nutella was introduced in 1964 by the Italian company Ferrero who still manufactures the product, however they do have local manufacturers in many countries.
As kids we went crazy over nutella in the 70s and 80s, but parents back then weren’t taking as many precautions as they are today, especially when it comes to reading ingredient labels.
According to the official US Nutella Website, the ingredients are as follows:
“sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), soy lecithin as emulsifier, vanillin: an artificial flavor”
Nutella claims their product contains “No Artificial Colors and No Artificial Preservatives”.
The definition of artificial is “made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally.” Every single one of their ingredients goes through very heavy processing which would imply that the natural state of these ingredients which contribute to color and preservation is completely absent from their formula. Their soy lecithin alone is about as artificial as an emulsifier/preservative gets.
Nutella contains 67% saturated fat and processed sugar by 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 put that into perspective, a typical chocolate and nut candy bar has 250 to 300 calories and 12 to 16 grams of fat.
VANILLIN: AN ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR (MSG)
When most people see vanillin, they think…oh it has vanilla. However, this is likely one of the most harmful ingredients in Nutella. Scent and flavor of vanillin are nothing but chemicals. When we talk about actual real-life non-imitation vanilla flavor, what we’re really talking about is a bunch of molecules that are extracted from a vanilla bean.
The grandest chemical of all of these is vanillin. Sure, vanilla has plenty of other odor molecules, but vanillin is about 95% of the scent. And, thanks to technology, you can make it cheaply from petroleum and in a lab. The largest vanillin manufacturers in the world are in China and more than 90% of food products manufactured contain vanillin from China including Nutella.
The worst part of vanillin is that it contains unlabeled MSG. It is not a nutrient, vitamin, or mineral and has no health benefits. The part of MSG that negatively affects the human body is the “glutamate”, not the sodium. The breakdown of MSG typically consists of 78% glutamate, 12% sodium, and about 10% water. Any glutamate added to a processed food is not and can not be considered naturally occurring. Natural glutamate in plants and animals is known as L-glutamic acid. MSG Lurks As A Slow Poison In Common Food Items Without Your Knowledge and vanillin is one of them.
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