It’s Getting Colder, Hot Chocolate May Not Be The Answer
The chill of winter is in the air. As the temperatures drop, the thought of Hot Chocolate and marshmallows start to build in our minds. This may not be a good thing.
There have been studies that show chocolate can be good for you. Rich dark chocolate is chock-full of health-promoting nutrients and antioxidants. However, most of us do not have the time to make from scratch Hot Chocolate. This is where it starts to become bad for you.
Fox News reports that Jennifer Glockner, RD states:
"When I reviewed the nutritional information for hot chocolate at popular coffee house chains across the country, it was hard to find a healthy, clean version," . "The same is true for most powders you see at the supermarket. Almost all are made from processed cocoa powders and have mile-long ingredients lists."
So what exactly is it, that makes Hot Chocolate bad for you?
1. They have too many calories- Most hot chocolates range anywhere from 200 to 400 calories, depending on what type of milk you use or order.
2. They have silly amounts of sugar- Sugars in Hot Chocolate in a simple 12 ounce serving can have 34 to 41 grams of sugar. This is more that one person normally should have in a day.
3. They have sky-high sodium- The last thing you would think would be in a cup of cocoa would be salt, but boy howdy there is a ton. 370 mg of sodium is what is normally in a 12 oz cup. This is not good if you suffer from high blood pressure, heart or kidney disease. It is something you must be aware of for sure.
4. They use heavily processed cocoa- Most coffee houses and boxed mixes you can buy at the grocery store use processed cocoa powders which mean the cocoa has been treated to neutralize its acidity and make it taste less bitter.
According to Dr. Glockner:
"Unfortunately, this also significantly removes the flavonoids and antioxidants, which give cocoa all of its health benefits," If you can't resist… Choose hot chocolate made with dark chocolate if it's available. It's generally the least likely to be processed. If you're making hot chocolate from scratch, choose an unsweetened, non-alkalized cocoa powder.
5. They're filled with surprise ingredients- Corn syrup, several emulsifiers, anti-caking agents, stabilizers, and artificial flavors, are just a few items that are found in most Hot Chocolate.
There is a positive spin to this, however. If you would like to have a Clean Hot Chocolate...try this recipe.
2 teaspoons unsweetened, non-alkalized cocoa powder
1 cup of milk,
1 teaspoon of sugar (or a natural sweetener of your choice)
You can add spices like ¼ teaspoon each vanilla and cinnamon.
If you crave different flavors, try cayenne pepper, chili powder, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, or fresh mint,"
It will give your Hot Chocolate a kick of flavor.