Is Nutella Good for You? Debunking Health Myths

Nutella, the delicious hazelnut spread with cocoa, has become a popular choice for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth. You might be wondering if Nutella is good for you or just another indulgence best limited to occasional treats. To determine its place in a healthy diet, it’s essential to consider its ingredients and nutritional content.

Made primarily from sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, and skimmed milk, Nutella’s taste and texture are undeniably appealing. However, its high sugar and fat content raises some concerns about its health benefits. While the hazelnuts and cocoa in Nutella offer some nutritional value, it is important to remember moderation when incorporating it into your diet.

As you explore the world of Nutella, keep in mind its potential impact on your health, and remember to enjoy it in moderation. Balancing its delicious flavor with a well-rounded diet can help you make informed choices about incorporating Nutella into your lifestyle.

What is Nutella?

Is Nutella Good for You

Nutella is a popular chocolate-hazelnut spread that originated in Italy. It was created in the 1940s by Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker, who wanted to stretch his limited cocoa supply during World War II. By combining cocoa with hazelnuts, which were abundant in the region, he created the delicious and unique product known as Nutella today.

Nutella is primarily sold in jars, with its rich, creamy texture making it a favorite among consumers. The main ingredients in Nutella include sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, milk powder, and cocoa. While the hazelnut spread is loved for its taste, it’s essential to remember that it’s high in sugar and fat, making it a treat that should be enjoyed in moderation.

You can enjoy Nutella in various ways, including:

  • Spread on toast or bread: Nutella is a popular choice for a tasty breakfast or snack when spread on toast or bread. Add some sliced fruits like bananas or strawberries for a delicious twist.
  • In baked goods: Incorporate Nutella into your favorite baked goods, such as brownies, cookies, and cakes, for a rich, chocolatey flavor.
  • As a dip: Use Nutella as a dip for fruits, pretzels, or breadsticks. This can make for a fun and indulgent dessert or snack option.

Remember, while Nutella is a delicious treat, it’s important to consume it in moderation due to its high sugar and fat content. Enjoy the tasty blend of chocolate, hazelnuts, and cocoa responsibly!


When considering whether Nutella is good for you, it’s essential to examine its ingredients. Nutella primarily consists of the following ingredients:

  • Cocoa: The cocoa gives Nutella its chocolatey flavor.
  • Skim Milk: This is used to give Nutella some of its creamy texture and contributes to the overall flavor of the product.
  • Sugar: It provides the product with a sweet taste.
  • Palm Oil: Nutella uses palm oil to give the spread its creamy texture. Palm oil is solid at room temperature and helps Nutella stay spreadable. It’s worth noting that the use of palm oil is controversial due to environmental concerns related to its production, which often involves deforestation and habitat destruction.
  • Hazelnuts: Hazelnuts provide the distinctive flavor that Nutella is known for. They are ground into a paste that is mixed with the other ingredients.
  • Vanillin: An artificial flavoring, vanillin is used to enhance the sweetness of Nutella. It is less expensive than natural vanilla extract but mimics the flavor.
  • Lecithin: Specifically, soy lecithin. It is an emulsifier, meaning it helps mix the water and fat components of Nutella for a consistent, homogeneous texture.

Nutrition Information

In this section, we will examine the nutritional content of Nutella to help you understand whether it could be a good addition to your diet.

These are the nutrients found in Nutella (1 tablespoon or 20 g):

  • Energy: 108 kcal
  • Protein: 1.08 g
  • Total lipid (fat): 5.94 g
  • Carbohydrate, by difference: 12.5 g
  • Fiber, total dietary: 1.08 g
  • Sugars, total including NLEA: 10.8 g
  • Calcium, Ca: 21.6 mg
  • Iron, Fe: 0.876 mg
  • Magnesium, Mg: 12.8 mg
  • Phosphorus, P: 30.4 mg
  • Potassium, K: 81.4 mg
  • Sodium, Na: 8.2 mg
  • Zinc, Zn: 0.212 mg
  • Copper, Cu: 0.094 mg
  • Selenium, Se: 0.72 µg
  • Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol): 0.992 mg


Nutella contains a significant amount of calories, with a one-tablespoon serving providing around 100 calories. While consuming calories is necessary to fuel your body, consuming excessive calories can lead to weight gain. Keep in mind the caloric content when incorporating Nutella into your diet.


Nutella contains a small amount of protein, about 1 gram per tablespoon. Although it is not a primary protein source like peanut butter, it can still contribute to your overall daily protein intake.


The majority of Nutella’s calories come from carbohydrates, specifically sugar. A one-tablespoon serving contains 11 grams of sugar, which is nearly the daily allowance for added sugars for women. Be cautious about consuming Nutella in large quantities, as it could contribute to excessive sugar intake.


Nutella is high in fat, with 6 grams per tablespoon. A significant portion of this fat is saturated fat from modified palm oil, which can raise LDL cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease. However, Nutella also contains hazelnut paste, which provides healthy fats that promote brain function.


Nutella contains a moderate amount of sodium, 8 milligrams per tablespoon. Consuming high amounts of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure. But in moderation, Nutella’s sodium content should not pose a significant risk.


Hazelnuts contain antioxidants that protect against cell damage and support overall health. However, the highly refined nature of Nutella may decrease the overall antioxidant content.


Nutella provides a small amount of calcium, thanks to ingredients like whey powder. While it is not a significant source of calcium, it can still contribute to your daily intake.

In summary, Nutella offers some nutritional benefits, but its high sugar and fat content should be considered when incorporating it into your diet. There are many alternatives available, such as blending chia seeds, hazelnuts, and maple syrup, to create a more wholesome option. As always, consult with a dietitian to determine what’s best for your personal nutrition needs.

Health Benefits of Nutella

When it comes to Nutella, you might be wondering about its health benefits. While Nutella is not considered a health food, there are certain components in it that could provide some health benefits when consumed in moderation.

First, Nutella contains hazelnuts, which are a good source of healthy fats. These fats, mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, are known to benefit your heart health and cholesterol levels. Incorporating small amounts of Nutella into your diet can help you consume these healthy fats.

Additionally, hazelnuts are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are vital for protecting your body from oxidative stress and free radical damage, which can contribute to chronic diseases and aging. So, by consuming Nutella, you can benefit from the antioxidants present in hazelnuts.

Nutella also goes well with various fruits, such as bananas. Bananas are a great source of potassium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. Pairing Nutella with bananas or other fruit can give you a more nutritious and delicious snack.

Lastly, hazelnuts are a good source of nutrients that aid brain function. They contain vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium, which are essential for maintaining cognitive health. Adding small amounts of Nutella to your diet might help ensure you get these important nutrients.

To sum up, while Nutella cannot be classified as a health food in itself, it contains components like healthy fats and antioxidants that can benefit your overall health when consumed in moderation. Pairing Nutella with nutritious fruits such as bananas can also make for a more balanced, delicious snack.

Pros and Cons of Nutella

When considering Nutella as a part of your diet, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons.

On the positive side, Nutella can provide some health benefits due to its ingredients. The primary component, hazelnuts, are rich in healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins, which can contribute to a balanced diet. Additionally, Nutella contains cocoa, known for its antioxidants properties that support heart health. In moderation, Nutella can be a tasty and enjoyable treat.

However, there are some cons to consider as well. One of the main ingredients in Nutella is sugar, making it a high-calorie food. Consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of obesity and heart disease. Additionally, Nutella contains palm oil, which is high in saturated fat, also linked to heart disease when consumed in excessive amounts.

Balancing your serving size is essential when enjoying Nutella. A recommended serving size is usually around two tablespoons, limiting your calorie intake and preventing excessive consumption of sugar and fat. Sticking to a controlled portion can help reduce the risk of weight gain and other health concerns.

In conclusion, Nutella has both pros and cons associated with its consumption. The key is to enjoy it in moderation, being mindful of your serving size and overall sugar and fat intake.

Related Studies

In a study examining better-for-you foods targeted at children, Nutella was analyzed as it is often advertised as part of a nutritious breakfast for children. The research revealed that Nutella contains about 70% saturated fat and processed ingredients, which may not be as healthy as the advertisements suggest.

Another qualitative study on the significance of food for people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) mentions Nutella as one of the food items that participants had to avoid due to its potential negative impacts on their health. The study highlights the importance of understanding how certain foods can affect individuals with specific health conditions.

While the American Heart Association is not directly mentioned in any study on Nutella specifically, it is essential to be aware of their recommendations. They advise limiting saturated fat intake, which is present in high quantities in Nutella, to reduce the risk of heart disease. Keeping an eye on your saturated fat intake aligns with the American Heart Association’s guidelines for maintaining heart health.

Concerning childhood obesity, it’s crucial to understand that excessive consumption of high-calorie, high-fat, and high-sugar products like Nutella can contribute to weight gain and associated health issues. Focusing on a balanced diet and incorporating healthier options can aid in combating childhood obesity.

These studies emphasize the need to approach widely advertised products like Nutella with a discerning mindset and educate yourself on the potential health impacts they may have. It is essential to maintain a balanced diet and be aware of the influences of certain food products on heart health, obesity, and disease management.

What Do Health Experts Say About Nutella?

As you try to understand if Nutella is good for you, it’s important to consider what health experts have to say. Most of Nutella’s calories come from sugar and fat, which can be unhealthy when consumed in large quantities. That being said, moderation is key when enjoying this delicious chocolate-hazelnut spread.

Some health professionals express concern over the inclusion of palm oil in Nutella, as there have been debates about its potential health risks and environmental impact. Despite those concerns, it’s crucial to remember that Nutella is not solely unhealthy because of palm oil. The high sugar content is also a factor to keep in mind when considering the nutritional value of the spread.

The debate around whether Nutella is healthy or not seems to stem from how it’s marketed. Though it’s often advertised as a breakfast food or a hazelnut spread, it’s important to remember that Nutella is, in fact, a sweet treat with a high calorie content. As such, you should consume it with the same level of caution as you would for any other sugary snack.

In the realm of #foodporn, Nutella has become iconic, but it’s essential not to mistake its popularity for nutritional value. When it comes to eating for health, especially when dealing with pre-existing health conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, you should assess your food choices carefully before indulging.

To summarize, Nutella can be a delicious treat to enjoy from time to time, but it’s essential to remember that moderation is key. As with all sweet treats, you should consume Nutella mindfully, being aware of its sugar and fat content and potential health ramifications.

Who Should Avoid It

Nutella, though delicious, may not be the healthiest choice for specific individuals. If you fall into one of these categories, you may want to consider limiting your Nutella intake or avoiding it altogether.

If you have diabetes, Nutella’s high sugar content can be a concern. With 21 grams of sugar in just two tablespoons, Nutella can cause blood sugar levels to spike and make managing diabetes more difficult. It’s crucial to monitor sugar intake and opt for healthier alternatives when you can.

Those with high blood pressure should also be cautious about consuming Nutella. It contains 11 grams of fat per serving, and some of that comes from unhealthy saturated fats. Eating too much-saturated fat can lead to unhealthy weight gain, which in turn can result in high blood pressure. Therefore, moderation is key.

Despite the hazelnuts used in Nutella, the spread is still considered a highly refined product – meaning the main ingredients are processed to a large extent. This makes it a less healthy option compared to a more natural nut butter like almond or peanut butter, both of which contain higher levels of nutrients and fewer additives.

Finally, those with soy allergies should be aware that Nutella contains soy lecithin, which may trigger allergic reactions in some people. If you know or suspect that you have a soy allergy, it’s best to avoid Nutella and check product labels carefully for the presence of soy.

Natural Alternatives

If you are looking for healthier alternatives to Nutella, consider incorporating ingredients like honey, coconut oil, raw cacao, sea salt, and baking powder into your pantry. These natural alternatives can provide similar flavors and textures without the high sugar content and preservatives found in many commercial spreads.

Honey, for example, is a natural sweetener that contains antioxidants and has antibacterial properties. You can use it as a spread or add it to various recipes for a touch of natural sweetness.

Coconut oil is another great alternative due to its healthy fats and the fact that it is less processed than other oils. You can use it to create your own homemade chocolate spread. Simply mix it with raw cacao for a rich, chocolate flavor. You can also combine the mixture with almond or hazelnut butter to recreate a similar texture to Nutella.

Raw cacao, the unprocessed form of cocoa, is known for its high antioxidant content and its role in mood enhancement. By using raw cacao in your chocolate spread, you can enjoy the delicious taste and health benefits that chocolate has to offer without the unnecessary additives.

Experimenting with ingredients like honey, coconut oil, raw cacao, sea salt, and baking powder can help you create tasty and healthier alternatives to Nutella. Embrace these natural ingredients and enjoy their benefits by incorporating them into your everyday meals and snacks.


Nutella, being a chocolate hazelnut spread, is undoubtedly a delicious treat. However, whether or not it is good for you depends on your personal dietary needs and consumption patterns. It is important to remember that Nutella is high in sugar and fat, which, when consumed in excess, can lead to weight gain or other health issues.

You should be aware of the palm oil conflict surrounding the brand. Some individuals raise concerns about the environmental and health impacts of palm oil production and consumption. As a consumer, it is up to you to consider these factors when deciding whether or not to include Nutella in your diet.

In moderation, Nutella can be enjoyed as an indulgent snack or as a small part of a balanced diet. However, it should not be considered a health food or a primary source of nutrition.

It’s crucial to read the label and pay attention to serving sizes, as well as keep your overall nutritional needs in mind. Remember that there are alternative spreads on the market that may cater better to your health goals or dietary restrictions. Being conscious of your consumption habits and making informed choices will set you on a path towards a healthier lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Nutella’s health benefits?

Nutella contains some nutrients, like hazelnuts, which provide healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. However, it also contains high amounts of sugar and fat, making it less healthy overall. It’s best to enjoy Nutella in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Does Nutella have any side effects?

While Nutella is not inherently harmful, consuming it excessively can contribute to weight gain and other health issues due to its high sugar and fat content. Additionally, some people may be allergic to ingredients in Nutella, such as hazelnuts and milk, and should avoid consuming it.

How many calories are in Nutella?

Nutella has around 546 calories per 100g. It is a calorie-dense food, and consuming it in large quantities can increase your daily calorie intake significantly. To maintain a healthy diet, it’s important to be mindful of portion size when enjoying Nutella.

Is Nutella similar to peanut butter?

Nutella and peanut butter are both spreads derived from nuts, but they differ in ingredients and nutritional profiles. Peanut butter is primarily made from peanuts and contains more protein and healthy fats but less sugar compared to Nutella, which is made from hazelnuts and cocoa with added sugar.

Why is Nutella considered harmful to the environment?

The production of Nutella has been linked to environmental concerns due to its use of palm oil, which has been associated with deforestation and habitat destruction. This has led some consumers to choose alternative spreads. However, Nutella’s manufacturer, Ferrero, has committed to sustainable palm oil sourcing to address these concerns.

What is the sugar content in Nutella per 100g?

Nutella contains approximately 56.3g of sugar per 100g. This high sugar content contributes to Nutella’s sweet taste but also makes it less healthy when consumed in large quantities. It’s important to balance your sugar intake by consuming other foods that are low in sugar and higher in essential nutrients.


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  • Marixie Manarang, MT, undergrad MD

    Marixie Manarang is licensed Medical Laboratory Scientist and an undergraduate of Doctor of Medicine (MD). For one year, she completed her internship training in a government hospital, primarily catering to retired veterans and their dependents. Through her preceptorships in medical school, she gained exposure to patients from various medical departments. Marixie’s passion for writing stems from her excellent medical background, being a mother, and a strong desire to assist the elderly and others in need. Education: Our Lady of Fatima University Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Medicine (2012-2015), Angeles University Foundation Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Medicine (2009-2011), Angeles University Foundation Bachelors, Medical Technology (2004-2009)






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