Italian supermarkets are removing Nutella from their shelves because of processed palm oil. While we aren't denying the deliciousness of Nutella, it is a far cry from healthy to begin with. Let's take a look at the label:
2 Tablespoons contains 200 calories, 11g of fat (3.5 of which are saturated), 21g of sugar and 3g of protein. Nutella is often compared to peanut butter which is far superior nutritionally with 190 calories per 2 TBSP (comparable), 17g of fat, with 3.5 being saturated (even though this number is higher, it is coming from healthy fats). 3g of sugar (DING DING DING) compared to 21 in Nutella, and 7g of protein which is more then double Nutella. Peanut butter gives you some bang for your buck. But this is not why Nutella is under fire, it is because of their ingredients.
If you go to their website, they list their ingredients in a very transparent fashion, with a detailed description of each one so it appears to be harmless. So what is the deal with this processed palm oil? We sifted through all of the boring science stuff and have learned that a chemical reaction that occurs when we consume processed palm oil can damage DNA and is carcinogenic, or cancer-causing. Using a different oil would be more costly, which is on of the reasons why they have not changed their formula.
This decision seems to be taking a toll on the company as some Italian supermarkets have removed it from their stores, especially because the product is marketed to children. The company is currently doing research to understand more about processed palm oil.
Nutella is under scrutiny because Europe has historically higher standards for food ingredients compared to the US. In the United States, we have plenty of ingredients that fly under the radar, which is why you should always read your ingredient lists.
Typically, the best foods come without labels.