JAN – 15: FROM THE LAB
Chocolate milk: Watch the fat and sugar !
We tested eight big brands of flavoured (chocolate) milk (including three soy varieties) in our lab to see how much sugar and fat they contain in a bid to find the best one from the health viewpoint. We also taste-tested these brands to see whether itâ€™s possible that a great-tasting product could also go easy on the fat and sugar.
The brands we tested were: Amul, Danon, Britannia, Cavins, MTR, Sofit, Soyfresh and Staeta. The last three are soymilk-based drinks. Â
We found that certain brands had more than twice the amount of fat as others. For example, while Britannia TigerZor Choco Milk had minimum fat at just 1.4%, MTR Chocolate Drink had more than double at 4.1%. And, MTR is not a great-tasting product either – scoring an average 54% in our taste test.
The brand with the most sugar, Cavins Chocolate Milk Shake, contained a whopping 22.4g per packet (200ml) â€“ thatâ€™s about five and a half teaspoons of sugar in a glass. Compare that with the RDA of about 25g and youâ€™ve consumed almost 90% of your daily allowance. Other brands such as Amul Kool KoKo, Danone Milk Shake Chocolate Flavoured and Britannia had more conservative amounts ranging from 15.8g to 17.2g per 200ml.
Nutritionally, Danone hits middle ground when compared with the other brands. Its fat and sugar content is slightly lower than the average, which make it a good choice if you want a delicious drink thatâ€™s not high in nutritional negatives.
Excess consumption of chocolate-flavoured milk means excess intake of sugar and fat, which can result in various health issues such as obesity, tooth decay, hyperactivity, among other problems, in children.
Is soymilk a good option?
Soymilk manufacturers market their drinks as a healthier alternative based on their protein content. These are also good options for those who are lactose intolerant and have trouble digesting milk products. The soy variants, on average, contained less fat than their dairy counterparts. However, not all of them go easy on the sugar.
Sofit Soya Milk Chocolate had one of the lowest fat contents at 3g per 200ml serving but its sugar content was the second highest in our tests. The other two soy chocolate milks â€“ Soyfresh Non Dairy Soya Milk Chocolate and Staeta Soya Milky Chocolate â€“ contained the lowest amounts of sugar on test but also fared the worst in the taste test.