In case you’ve missed the recent stream of news, Nutella is being pulled from grocery store shelves in Europe due to a fear it may cause cancer. Before you skim these headlines and run to trash your chocolatey spread, let’s examine the facts.
The European Food Safety Authority, an organization similar to the United States’ Food and Drug Administration, recently released a report stating when palm oil is heated above 200°C (392°F), it forms glycidyl fatty acid esters – compounds which are genotoxic (damaging to DNA) and carcinogenic (cancer promoting).
While Nutella certainly should be evaluated, many other food products also contain palm oil - including ice cream, bread, chocolate, and peanut butter. Even so, when you read Nutella’s ingredient label, it’s understandable why consumers would be concerned. Ingredients are listed on packages by weight in descending order, and the second ingredient in Nutella is palm oil, following sugar.
The swirl of controversy around Nutella’s potential can...
Vitamin D is quite unique. Both a vitamin we consume and a hormone we make, it is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin because the process of making it in our bodies is initiated by sunlight hitting our skin (and is ultimately synthesized in the kidneys).
We can also get vitamin D from food sources. But the truth is, it’s actually pretty difficult to get adequate vitamin D from foods. Few foods are actually good sources (fatty fish like tuna and salmon are!), and most of those sources are fortified (like dairy products and breakfast cereals). Because of this, vitamin D has recently been the subject of much research and discussion.It is thought that 1 billion people worldwide have low blood levels of vitamin D. This is especially problematic for those living in northern latitudes where the type of sunlight exposure necessary for adequate vitamin D synthesis isn’t up to par for the majority of the year.