Why I don’t use Nuttelex & Other Dairy Free Spreads

For one reason or another dairy free spreads like that of Nuttelex, seem to be marketed as the healthy alternative to margarine. I’m not entirely sure why, perhaps it’s the name? Maybe consumers believe that Nuttelex implies that it contains nuts? Funnily enough, it doesn’t, so let’s unpack it some more. 

NOTE: Before we delve in, please know I am not against any particular brand of product in any way, this is simply a post based on dairy-free spreads and after much research, these are the main options available in supermarkets. If you would like me to compare a number of other dairy-free spreads, please pop them in the comments below. 


Before I delve into dairy-free spreads, I want to draw your attention to margarine. I’ve written an entire post about why I choose not to use margarine here. If you’ve not read this article, I HIGHLY recommend you jump over there first as this post will make a whole lot more sense if you do. Read it? Great. Now you know what to look for.

For those of you who have read it, you will know that the common ingredients found in Margarine are listed below:

Vegetable oils 65% (containing 52% canola & sunflower oil), water, salt, emulsifiers (soy lecithin, 471), preservative 202, food acid (lactic),milk solids, maltodextrin, natural colour (beta-carotene), vitamins A & D, flavour.

Know that the big players here are the vegetable oils and emulsifiers (read all about these here at the margarine post). And whilst we’re at it, the preservatives and maltodextrin aren’t great either but we won’t go there….


Whilst we’ve still got the ingredients of Margarine fresh in our minds, let’s jump to the ingredients found in Nuttelex Original:

Vegetable Oil (containing sunflower oil 41%), water, salt, emulsifiers (471, sunflower lecithin), natural flavour, vitamins A, D2, E, natural colour (beta carotene).

They are almost the same. To highlight my point, I’ve included this table below:

Margarine Vs Nuttelex - An Apple a Day

I’ve gone through the list of Nuttelex options and I’ve tried to find the ones that are perceived the healthiest. The results, still very much the same:

OLIVE OIL NUTTELEX:  Vegetable oils 65% (olive oil 21%), water, salt, emulsifiers (471, sunflower lecithin), natural flavour, vitamins A, D2, E, natural colour (beta carotene).

NOTE: Olive oil is only 21% of the vegetable oil content. That means the remaining 79% is from one of the other sources i.e. canola oil, sunflower oil or palm oil.

NUTTELEX with Coconut Oil: Vegetable oil (containing 18% coconut oil), water, coconut oil, salt, emulsifiers [non-palm] 471 sunflower lecithin, natural flavour, vitamin D, E, natural flavour (beta carotene).

NOTE: Coconut Oil is only 18% of the vegetable oil content. That means the remaining 82% is from one of the other sources i.e. canola oil, sunflower oil or palm oil.


As per the Nuttelex website, the only option that doesn’t contain Palm Oil is the Coconut Oil variety. You can read all about why Palm Oil is an issue for both animals and the environment here.


I personally always opt for real food. I’ve included my favourites below:

  • Butter – for those of you interested, butter’s ingredients are: milk, cream and maybe some salt. I know what I’d rather 🙂
  • Avocado
  • Tahini
  • Olive Oil (I LOVE dipping bread in olive oil with balsamic vinegar or dukkah)
  • Coconut Butter
  • Coconut Oil


If you’re having issues with managing your cholesterol, please talk to your health professional prior to making the switch.


  1. Skye

    Thank you for this article. I appreciate your consideration of animals and the environment but it’s dissapointing to then see you suggest butter because it contains milk and cream. Dairy cows live short lives (less than a quarter of their normal lifespan), are impregnated every year and their babies removed leaving them crying for eachother with their male babies killed as ‘waste’. The lives of wild animals is important, and so are the lives of the animals we use for making butter.

  2. Alyse

    Hi Skye,
    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I feel as though you’ve overlooked the intention of the article – that is avoiding processed foods in a bid to adopt a more wholesome diet. As you can see in the body of the article, I have provided a number of wholesome vegan alternatives if butter doesn’t suit your own personal preference.

  3. Karen

    I think you have failed to mention that some people are unable to use natural products due to intolerances and it may have been a better more informed article if you had listed dairy free alternatives for example in baking cakes etc. which butter is hard to substitute.

  4. Jse

    Hi, not sure if my message got through, do you know what the natural flavour in nuttelex is? They refuse to tell me. I’m concerned about MSG and free glutamates. Thank you!

  5. Alyse

    I haven’t been informed either, sorry!

  6. Alyse

    Hi Karen,
    Thanks for the feedback! As you can see the article was titled “Why I Don’t Use Nuttelex”; it wasn’t designed to be a one stop shop for ALL dairy free advice and information. If you’re struggling to find options suitable to your current situation, I encourage you to speak to a qualified health professional to help you navigate the challenges you face. Intolerances are very different to allergies – they aren’t a life sentence; instead they are often the sign of an imbalance in the gut itself and something I would recommend addressing ASAP.

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Meet Alyse

I’m a qualified Nutritionist who believes an evidence-based approach to modern nutrition is severely under-rated. Patients are so often left in the dark when it comes to health-care and as a firm believer in the old saying “knowledge is power”, my ultimate goal is to provide my readers, students and patients with clear and actionable advice that ultimately helps you reach your full potential.