Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hot Cocoa Comparison

It got cool here all of a sudden. After weeks in the high 80's and 90's, a day in the 60's is welcome! As I am sitting here sipping my Medifast Hot Cocoa, I started thinking about a comparison to regular hot cocoa and WHY this cup of chocolatey goodness can be considered a "meal replacement." (Granted, it would be a very small meal, more like a snack, but since on Medifast you get to eat 6-7 times a day, that's okay). I probably use the hot cocoa more often than just about any other Medifast food.

So I decided to do a little nutritional comparison between 1 packet (32 g) Medifast Hot Cocoa and 1 packet (28 g) Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Classics, Milk Chocolate. (I did a similar comparison awhile back between Medifast Oatmeal and Quaker Instant Oatmeal, if you're interested.) I am comparing the powdered mix for one serving (one 6-8 oz mug).

stats for Medifast / Swiss Miss:
calories: 110 / 120
fat: 0.5 g / 2.0 g
sodium: 110 mg / 160 mg
potassium: 400 mg / 350 mg
carbs: 14 g / 23 g
fiber: 4 g / less than 1 g
sugar: 10 g / 18 g
protein: 14 g / 1 g
vitamin C: 40% / 0%
calcium: 25% / 30%
iron: 20% / 4%
long list of other vitamins & minerals: 20 - 50% / 0%

So basically, the Medifast Hot Cocoa has slightly less calories and calcium, significantly less fat and sodium, and more potassium, fiber, vitamin C, iron, and other vitamins and minerals. But the most significant part is that it also has far less sugar and carbs, and 14 times the protein as the Swiss Miss.

And just because I am scientific like that, I will add that I looked up the "No Sugar Added" Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa too, even though the Medifast Hot Cocoa is not technically sugar free. Interesting that it has 60 calories, 1 g fat, but only 2 g protein, yet it also has 11 g carbs and 7 g sugar. (The sugar is probably lactose from the milk ingredients, which also contributes to Medifast's sugar count. The Medifast Hot Cocoa is soy free and whey based).

The protein and low carbs are key to keeping blood sugar levels stable, and the fiber not only helps keep you feeling full but also slows the absorption of any sugars in the product, lowering the glycemic index of the food (which slows the rise in blood sugar).

And just for kicks, here's the stats on a similar cup of hot cocoa from Starbucks! This info is for a "Short" (8 oz) size plain Hot Cocoa made with skim milk, with no whipped cream:

140 calories
1 g fat
27 g carbs
less than 1 g fiber
7 g protein

I know, I am a geek, but I love this kind of thing :)

Know your cocoa! Pay attention to what you drink. Enjoy your day!


timothy said...

i did the same thing with oatmeal and weight loss oatmeal lolol yep i love lists and comparisons! eat this not that is always good for some time killing fun, i can waste hours that way. lolol

PlumPetals said...

I find breaking down the nutritional info like that to be really helpful. The comparison always opens my eyes to how similar foods can be so different in terms of their nutritional value. Taking the time to read labels properly and really understand what they mean is important and something that I've found really helpful.

Princess Dieter said...

I make my hot cocoa with unsweetened non-alkali processed coocoa and diluted coconut milk. Comes out to about 140-160 cals, very low in sugars (I sweeten with sucralose drops), has the fat beneficial for hypothyroid folks like me (and fat satisfied me, too) and tastes like German chocolate cake. :) I can't wait until it gets cooler. I like it best on chilly days.

But hot cocoa is just one of those, 'Ah, I feel like a kid again" drinks.

Forty Pound Sack said...

I'm glad you do the legwork, LOL. I can just sit back and benefit from your research. So thank you!

Lyn said...


that is an awesome idea! I have used unsweetened almond milk to make a kind of hot cocoa before too. Does coconut milk have protein in it? I am trying to figure out a way to make something similar for future use, but I guess I would have to add whey powder or something to get the protein content up.