Do you know people who drink chocolate daily are recognized for good health and can battle all kinds of minor illnesses that disturb the calmness of life?
Hot chocolate (Aka cocoa or drinking chocolate) mainly consists of melted chocolate (or cocoa powder), shaved chocolate, heated milk, water, and mostly a sweetener. Mostly topped with marshmallows and whipped cream, hot chocolate is the perfect drink to keep you cozy and warm in winter.
Interestingly, hot chocolate has several health benefits due to the availability of antioxidants in cocoa. A recent research study found that drinking hot chocolate can boost your intelligence.
- Hot chocolate may be considered healthy as it contains antioxidants.
- According to United States NLM, hot chocolate can preserve the heart’s health.
- You can drink hot chocolate to boost your brain power.
- Choose low-fat milk or water instead of full creamy milk to avoid weight gain.
- Hot chocolate contains 80 to 200 calories per cup, depending on the ingredients.
- A hot chocolate cup with 2% milk contains around 250 calories.
- Avoid sugary toppings to enjoy more health benefits of hot chocolate.
- Limit your hot chocolate intake, as drinking excess hot chocolate can make you gain weight.
Let’s explore the health benefits of hot chocolate and how not to gain weight after drinking hot chocolate.
What is Hot Chocolate?
No doubt, nothing feels better than drinking hot chocolate. Nevertheless, it is essential to know what’s inside it to enjoy the taste and benefits of hot chocolate. Hot chocolate is a mixture of different ingredients, including sugar, cocoa, and milk (which can contain high-fat levels, calories, and sugar).
Knowing what’s inside the hot chocolate and the quantity you must take to make informed decisions regarding your weight and health.
Does Drinking Hot Chocolate Cause Weight Gain?
Drinking hot chocolate alone is advantageous for you as it contains antioxidants. However, excess consumption and adding unhealthy ingredients can lead to weight gain. Avoid it by replacing cream or whole milk with low-fat or water. Besides, adding toppings (including sprinkles and marshmallows) can also cause weight gain.
Add a scoop of protein powder or nut butter to make your hot chocolate more nutritious and healthier. You can also control your portion using a small mug or limiting your intake to one or two daily servings. It is an amazing way to enjoy the taste and benefits of hot chocolate without worrying about gaining excess weight.
What Are Some Unhealthy Ingredients in Hot Chocolate?
If you are a hot chocolate lover, you must know all its ingredients without consuming it. Most of the hot chocolate mixes in the market contain high sugar, and their excess consumption is not good for your health.
Therefore, you must know the amount of cream or fat available in hot chocolate. These ingredients can add extra calories, leading to weight gain if you don’t monitor them properly.
Usually, people add toppings like sprinkles or syrups to make hot chocolate more delicious. But you must know that these syrups contain fat and sugar. So, you should add them carefully, especially if you are weight conscious.
It is evident that consuming beverages with excess sugar damages health. Therefore, drinking hot chocolate without adding too much sugar is better.
Several substitutes are available to keep your drink sweet and full of nutrition. For example, you can replace white sugar with a low-sugar mix or unsweetened cocoa powder to enjoy a flavorsome healthier drink.
Don’t add milky chocolate chips to your hot chocolate as they don’t provide nutritional value and make you gain extra weight. Also, you must know the portion size before drinking it if you are on a diet.
Total Calories in Hot Chocolate
There is no denying that hot chocolate is equally famous among kids and adults. But, if you are on a diet and want to consume hot chocolate without gaining weight, you must know the calories that can come with it.
Although it depends on the ingredients, hot chocolate contains 80 to 120 calories per cup. A hot chocolate cup with semi-sweet, melted chocolate chips contains around 140 calories. Thus, if you want to control or lose weight, limit your hot chocolate intake.
Here are some key steps you can take to reduce the calorie intake of hot chocolate.
- Use low-fat milk or replace whole milk with water.
- Don’t add caramel sauce, whipped cream, or sugar-filled topping.
- Control your portion size.
- Add a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa powder to make your drink tastier.
- Reduce your hot chocolate intake from 2 cups to 1 cup, which can help you save some calories.
These simple adjustments can help you enjoy your favorite drink without worrying about gaining weight.
So, why don’t you consider these tips if you don’t want to gain weight?
Tips to Avoid Unhealthy Weight Gain from Hot Chocolate
If you love hot chocolate and want to enjoy it without worrying about weight gain, then you must consider some effective tips.
Here are some effective ways to make your hot chocolate healthy.
- The Liquid
You can make hot chocolate in different ways.
Fat-free Milk: Fat-free milk contains many nutrients, including calcium, zinc, vitamin A and magnesium, etc. Studies have also confirmed that dairy products can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. It gives strength to bones and prevents fractures in older people.
Water: Water is one of the best options to enjoy hot chocolate without worrying about calories. Water creates thin hot chocolate, which means thick cream is not a problem.
Sacrifice some cream and make hot chocolate in skimmed or semi-skimmed milk.
Compared to cow’s milk, almond milk contains less carbs. That’s why making hot chocolate in almond milk is the best way to avoid carbs. However, it is low in protein but rich in antioxidants and vitamin E. You also have to avoid sweetened almond milk as it can gain weight.
- Oat Milk
Oat milk is a creamy but dairy-free alternative you can consider. Oat milk contains soluble fiber and slower digestion and keeps you full for longer. It also controls cholesterol levels and stable your blood sugar level.
Honey has great antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. That’s why; it is considered an effective remedy to treat sore throat and cough. Therefore, you can add honey to hot chocolate milk to enjoy a sweet taste.
The discussion above has made it evident that hot chocolate milk is healthy but should be consumed in moderation. Hot chocolate alone doesn’t make you fat, but adding caramel syrup or marshmallow topping can make you gain some extra weight.
Therefore, enjoy hot chocolate in low-fat, skimmed, or semi-skimmed milk, or you can also make hot chocolate in water.