For many people, a tall glass of chocolate milk conjures memories of childhood. However, if you're trying to lose weight, you may have wondered if this sweet, creamy beverage should have a place in your kitchen. No need to worry; with a little information, you can make the best choice for yourself, your overall health and your weight-loss plan.
Humans have consumed the milk of other animals since at least 5000 B.C., according to Harold McGee's book “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen.” Nobody is really sure how long humans have been consuming chocolate, but Aztec ruler Montezuma is reported to have consumed 50 golden goblets of chocolate mixed with water and chili peppers, according to professional chef and food researcher James Ehler. Today, chocolate and milk have come together, and there's a chocolate version of just about every type of dairy milk, as well as a chocolate version of milk substitutes such as soy and rice-based milks.
Nutrition information for chocolate milk varies based on the product you select. A 1 cup serving of whole chocolate milk has 208 calories and 8.4 g of fat, while the same amount of reduced-fat chocolate milk has 190 calories and 4.7 g of fat, according to the Fat Secret food and nutrition information database. If that's too much fat for you, consider skim milk, which has 140 calories and only .7 g of fat.
Chocolate milk has more nutrition than other sweet beverages; a 1 cup serving provides 11 percent of the RDA of vitamin A, 27 percent of the RDA for calcium and 3 percent of the RDA for iron, according to Fat Secret. Sugary soda has none of these nutrients. Also, the calcium in chocolate milk may help you loose weight. An Israeli study, conducted by researchers at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and reported by EurekAlert in 2010, found people that consumed more diary-based calcium lost more weight than those that consumed few dairy products.
Chocolate milk is high in sugar. One cup of chocolate milk has between 23 and 25 g of sugar, twice the sugar in a cup of regular milk, according to the Fat Secret database. Chocolate milk is also higher in calories. Chocolate skim milk has 140 calories per 1 cup serving, while regular skim milk has 86 calories. Also, if you're a chocoholic, you may not be able to limit yourself to a single 1 cup serving. If chocolate milk is a trigger food for you, keep it out of your home, so you won't be tempted.
Milk is one of eight top allergenic foods, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These eight foods are responsible for 90 percent of food allergies. If you are having guests over, make sure to ask about food allergies before serving chocolate milk or anything containing it, and see an allergist if you have any reason to believe you might be allergic to milk.
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- “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen”; Harold McGee; 2004
- Food Reference: Chocolate
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Food Allergies: What You Need to Know
Melanie Greenwood has been a freelance writer since 2010. Her work has appeared in "The Denver Post" as well as various online publications. She resides in northern Colorado and she works helping to care for elderly and at-risk individuals. Greenwood holds a Bachelor of Arts in pastoral leadership from Bethany University in California.
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