Nutella is not Peanut Butter (sad but true)

I know you love it. I love it, too. But please don’t kid yourself into thinking Nutella is a good substitute for peanut butter or almond butter when you’re making a healthy breakfast for yourself or your children.

The commercial alone makes me insane. The mom lovingly sends her family off for the day with a piece of toast slathered with Nutella….and a side of orange juice no less! Delicious? Yes. Nutritious? Not a chance.

Let’s look at the facts. And remember, back labels can’t lie because they are highly regulated. Front labels are another story altogether. So, first up, peanut butter. This is Jif Natural, which I chose because it’s a good mainstream brand.

Jif Label

A 2 Tbsp. serving of Jif Natural Peanut Butter has 190 calories, 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of sugar. Note that the first ingredient listed on the label is PEANUTS which means that the highest occurring ingredient in this jar (by weight) is peanuts. Not too shabby. Peanut butter is high in fat (16 grams per serving) but most of it is unsaturated which is the good kind.

Now… buckle up.

Nutella and Jif

A 2 Tbsp. serving of Nutella has 200 calories, but only 2 grams of protein and a whopping 21 grams of sugar. TWENTY-ONE. And check out the first ingredient on the list. SUGAR. That means that MOST of the volume in this jar is sugar. Yes, it’s a little lower in fat than peanut butter at 12 grams per serving, but that’s only because sugar is naturally fat free and this stuff contains so much sugar. Besides, it’s actually HIGHER in saturated fat which is the kind you want to limit.

So, can you still buy Nutella? Absolutely. Just be honest with yourself and your kids and call it a TREAT (or a dessert, an indulgence, or a moment of pure bliss…) Let’s just not kid ourselves and call it a healthy breakfast. K?

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