I’m gaining weight and I think it’s due to my serious addiction to Nutella.  I spread it on bread in the morning, and when I get home from work I eat by the tablespoon, scraping every last bit from the jar.  How can I stop eating Nutella? Help!  –Nuts about Nutella

Nutella is definitely tasty, but it sure will help you put on the pounds!  Contrary to what the brand’s marketing messages want you to believe, Nutella is not actually a healthy start to your morning.  The two main ingredients are sugar and palm oil (then hazelnuts), so it’s mostly composed of non-nutritive substances.  Almond butter or peanut butter is a better choice, as those spreads (at least

Tasty, but where’s the nutritional value? Photo from www.wikipedia.com

the natural varieties) are composed of just the nut and sometimes added salt.  It’s a much healthier option and a good source of protein, which should help you stay full and focused longer than Nutella’s sugary blend.  I like the Once Again Almond Butter or Smucker’s Natural Creamy Blend – both providing healthier fats and very low sugar compared to Nutella.

If it’s that chocolate fix you’re really craving, go for a small piece of dark chocolate, which actually has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  Or if it’s the chocolate/nut combo that you love, then make your own snack mix to help satisfy the after work craving.  I usually have a handful of almonds, dark chocolate squares and unsulphured apricots at 4:00 p.m. or a cup of tea and that typically curbs the cravings.  Also, try exercise or connecting with a friend instead of food to help break the cycle in the morning or after work.  An alternative food choice may not fill the void that Nutella is at that time, so break up the routine by doing something different.

If Nutella continues to be a problem, my best advice is to get rid of it – out of sight, out of mind!

– Stacey Antine, M.S. R.D., author, Appetite for Life, and founder, HealthBarn USA.  Do you have a confession to share with Stacey?  Want to learn how to improve an unsavory habit?  Send your stories our way to [email protected], and Stacey will help!

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