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:
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 🙂
- 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.