White Chocolate Milk: Why Is It Unhealthy?

White Chocolate Milk: Why Is It Unhealthy?

With all the talk of the health benefits of chocolate, you may have wondered if white chocolate milk would be a healthy beverage choice. Unfortunately, white chocolate does not have the health benefits of dark chocolate.

The Truth about White Chocolate Milk

White chocolate does not contain any coco beans, and is, therefore, not technically a chocolate at all. White chocolate milk is essentially milk with added coco butter and sugar. It contains none of the antioxidant benefits of real chocolate. Now that you realize that white chocolate milk is not a healthy pick, you may be wondering about the other types of chocolate beverages.

Milk with Chocolate Syrup

Squeezing chocolate syrup into a glass of milk may be a quick and easy way to satisfy your chocolate craving, but it is really not that healthy a choice either. You will find that high fructose corn syrup is usually the first ingredient listed on the bottle, followed by water, coco, sugar and preservatives. Although these syrups do not contain the fat of white chocolate, and may have some antioxidant benefit from the use of coco, the added sugars far outweigh any nutritional benefit they may contain. Hershey does make a sugar free variety that you may want to consider.

Chocolate Milk from the Carton

Pouring chocolate milk right from the carton is about as convenient as it gets. However, chocolate milk from a carton contains many of the same ingredients as chocolate syrup. Most are high in corn sweeteners, which is an ingredient that is best to avoid while dieting. Some do come in low fat varieties, which is something to keep in mind while calorie counting.

Hot Chocolate Mixes

There are a variety of hot chocolate mixes on the market. Some are better than others. Look for natural ingredients without a lot of preservatives. Those that contain Dutch Chocolate (coco that is processed with alkaline salts) have fewer antioxidants than natural coco because the treatment destroys some of the natural flavonoids. With some mixes you just add water, and with others, you add the powder to milk. Using your own milk allows more control over the total calorie count, substituting low fat or skim milk, for whole milk, saves on fat calories. This also helps for those that have an allergy to cow's milk or are lactose intolerant. Try substituting lactose free or soy milk for regular milk.

Homemade Chocolate Milk

Taking the time to make your own chocolate milk is probably the best way to ensure that you are drinking the healthiest choice possible. You can choose your own coco powder, sweetener and milk base. There are many recipes for homemade hot chocolate available. For cold chocolate milk, you might want to try making your own syrup with the best coco that you can find and storing it in the fridge. This gives you maximum control over what you are consuming.

No matter which type of chocolate milk you choose, do keep in mind that moderation is the key to weight loss. You will want to save the majority of your calorie allotment for food, but a little bit of a rich, chocolaty beverage can be a satisfying treat.  Enjoy!