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Nutella just can’t seem to catch a break. Last week we found out that the palm oil ingredient in Nutella could be carcinogenic. And earlier this week a Reddit user posted an image depicting what the chocolate-hazelnut spread is actually made of — and it’s pretty alarming.
The post has attracted 28,800 upvotes and close to 1,500 comments.
Why all this attention? The image shows a jar containing just a little bit of skim milk powder, cocoa and hazelnuts. And as for the rest of the ingredients, almost a fourth of the container consists of the undesirable ingredient palm oil. But perhaps what’s even more terrifying is that more than half of the jar contains sugar.
So by enjoying one serving — 37 grams, or two tablespoons — of the spread, you’ll be ingesting 21 grams of sugar. That’s quite a lot of sugar packed into a few tablespoons. Too much sugar in your diet could significantly increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Sugar has also contributed to obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
The American Heart Association recommends that women eat no more than 24 grams of added sugar in a day, while men should eat no more than 36 grams daily. So if we do the math, this means that by enjoying a serving size of Nutella, women will have eaten 88 percent of their recommended daily added sugar limit, while men will have eaten 58 percent.
And the chances of you eating even more added sugars throughout the day are pretty high. From fruit drinks and sodas to pastries and sweetened yogurts, added sugars are in a ton of foods. In fact, many people consume more sugar than they realize, according to the AHA.
So what can we take away from all of this? Prepare meals and snacks with fresh, wholesome ingredients whenever you can. There’s even a healthier take on Nutella you can make at home. It’s also important to pay attention to ingredient labels so that you can make informed decisions about what you eat.
And as one Reddit user perfectly summed up for us: “Can we get a whole post showing all different foods and drinks like this?” Yaas, please!
What Do YOU Think?
Have you ever thought about what exactly goes into packaged foods — and in what proportions? Would this photo make you think twice about eating Nutella? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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Tiffany Lin has been a writer and editor since 2008. Her book reviews, news pieces and features have appeared in Cat Fancy, Dog World, Romantic Homes, Cottages & Bungalows, Chickens, Kittens USA and Urban Farm magazines. Lin is currently the Food & Drink and Nutrition Editor for LIVESTRONG.COM.