You may never look at your favourite breakfast spread the same way again

Nutella's a favourite with kids and adult alike.

If you love Nutella on your toast, or just spoonfuls of it straight from the jar, this image may be disturbing.

Originally posted on Reddit and now going viral on social media, the picture shows the ingredients of the yummy hazelnut-based spread as they appear in quantity in a jar.

It doesn’t make pretty viewing; Nutella is, as you probably guessed but preferred not to think about, largely sugar. A hefty amount of palm oil – the environment-destroying edible oil – is also in there, along with much smaller amounts of hazelnuts, cocoa and palm oil.

The picture appears to have originally come from the Consumer Centre of Hamburg, Germany, and was published in a story by Germany’s Welt about an advertising push by Nutella-maker Ferrero to defend the use of palm oil.

Ad. Article continues below.

The production of palm oil, which comes from the palm fruit and is widely used in packaged foods, has been blamed for rampant deforestation in many countries, as well as for damaging the environment needed by orang utans and committing human rights abuses.

But Welt reports that Italy’s Ferrero has argued that it if produced Nutella without palm oil, the spread would be less tasty.

“If we were to produce Nutella without palm oil, we would produce a poorer substitute for the real product, which would be a step back,” it quotes Ferrero purchasing manager Vincenzo Tapella.

A spokesperson for Ferrero Australia said in a statement issued to Starts at 60 that the company had never disclosed the proportions of ingredients in Nutella because it wanted to protect the unique recipe from counterfeiters, but said that Ferrero used only sustainable palm oil.

“This type of palm oil does not contribute to deforestation, species extinction, high greenhouse gas emissions or violate human rights,” the statement said.

The spokesperson added that there was 8.6 grams of sugars in every 15 grams of Nutella and that “small portion sizes help people enjoy their favourite foods in moderation.”

Would this, or indeed anything, put you off Nutella? Or do you shun it as unhealthy? What’s a healthier alternative?