How Toxic is Nutella?…And Some Healthy Alternatives
One of my previous posts about the many benefits of turmeric and how to incorporate it into your diet proved very popular, so I’m going to do some more foodie type posts. A quick update on me; last week of chemo was far from fun but I was well enough to keep active and get out for walks with the dog so that was good. Apart from the standard illness, fatigue and feeling poisoned I’ve been holding up well. It was a very quiet weekend for me as the majority of my mates were all on a stag do, which is now the 4th one I have missed. So instead of feeling too sorry for myself I treated myself to my first iMac. From now on you will find me sat in Starbucks typing away with my fellow writers!
In this day and age of processed, convenience food there are thousands of popular household brands that hide harmful ingredients. Today I have decided to pick on Nutella because it has pulled the wool over everyones eyes for too long, its not the innocent treat it claims to be. For moral and health reasons I will never buy it again after reading an article recently. I decided to look into it a bit more and share it with you. To fill the chocolatey void I will recommend a few healthy home made versions at the end of this post.
Apologies for the dreams I am about to shatter but I’m sure your insides will thank me after. Like any sane human-being born with the ability to taste I have always enjoyed Nutella. Like a lot of people I usually have it as a little treat on my pancakes. Until I found out how toxic it is that is. So without further ado lets look at what goes into this little jar we have all eaten from with a spoon before, usually while crying and watching the Notebook.…just me?
Ingredients: Sugar, Palm oil, Hazelnuts (13%), Fat reduced cacao, Skimmed milk powder, Whey powder, Emulsifier (soya lecithin), Vanillin.
Im going to start with palm oil. I won’t preach on about how the extraction of palm oil is destroying rainforests and wildlife. You must be living in a cave if you haven’t seen distressing images of Orangutans and other wildlife being burnt alive and caught up in the destruction of their habitat to make way for palm oil farming. Half of the worlds wild orangutans have disappeared in the last 20 years and 80% of their habitat in Indonesia alone has been destroyed. The sad thing is this trend shows no sign of changing.
Everyone sees vanillin and thinks vanilla, however it is processed cheaply in a lab using petroleum.
Vanillin contains monosodium glutamate also known as MSG or E612 which is a toxic flavour enhancer. Nutella claim they don’t use any artificial preservatives or colours however every ingredient they use is processed so much that its so far away from the ingredient it started as. MSG has been proven to be an excitotoxin which stimulates the reward part of the brain and tricks us into thinking it tastes nicer so we consume more, how sneaky! Excitotoxins have been linked to the development of many neurological disorders including migrants, seizures, infections, abnormal neural development, certain endocrine disorders, specific types of obesity and neurological degenerative diseases like Parkinsons, Alzheimers and Huntington’s disease just to name a few.
The next unpleasant ingredient is Nutella’s emulsifier, which is soy lecithin. It comes from a sludge left over after crude soy oil goes through a ‘degumming’ process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides and ranges from a gummy fluid to solid plastic. It also gets bleached to a more appealing light yellow. It is used in a lot of processed foods to keep water and fat molecules from separating and it can be found in some margarines, peanut butter, ice cream, sweets, and baby formulas!
Lastly skimmed milk powder and whey powder, which comes from cows milk and used to be considered a byproduct of cheese making. Its now widely used in many products to prevent coagulation because it stabilises the fat emulsions. Dairy companies have set up factories to concentrate and purify it from cows that are fed genetically modified food and pumped full of antibiotics and hormones to boost their milk production (another reason I don’t drink milk).The milk and whey are then processed separately. The demineralisation that happens during the processing of these ingredients can be 90% making them completely useless in terms of nutrition. So bin this toxic shit and lets look at some healthy alternatives that you can easily make.
RECIPE NO1- makes 550g
100g hazelnut butter
1 x 400g tin of black beans, drained and rinsed.
4 table spoons of cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil
4 tablespoons of raw honey
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Blend all the ingredients together in a powerful processor and store in a sterile jar in the fridge for unto three weeks.
RECIPE NO2- makes 250ml jar
1 cup of hazelnuts soaked for 8 hours and rinsed
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup of cacao order
2-4 tbsp of coconut milk
Pinch of sea salt
Blend all ingredients in a powerful processor and store in a sterile jar for unto 3 weeks.
RECIPE NO3- makes a 330ml jar
15 dates (around 90g)
1/2 cup almond butter
4 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup carob powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
Rehydrate the dates in hot water for 10 mins (or cold water for 2 hours). Blend all the ingredients in a food processor. Add water or oil but never milk in this recipe.