Monday, January 02, 2012

The Chocolate Milk Dilemma

Happy New Year! I am sure by now, many of you dear readers would had made the resolution to lose that extra pounds, that bad habit, sign up for gym even consider to change your job since the bonus is paid. If your drive is towards a healthier 2012 and watching what you eat, well done! There is no better way to treat yourself better than stopping to put rubbish into your tummy!
Today's entry is difficult to write. I am about to tell all of you NOT, i repeat, NOT to drink CHOCOLATE MILK anymore. While i have mentioned that MILK is good (except condensed, sweetened, skim milk of course), unfortunately flavoured milk be it Chocolate or Strawberry (these two are the very popular variant) should be avoid if you are able to. Before i go on, here is a comparison of nutrition of a FULL CREAM UHT milk vs. a LOW FAT UHT milk, both from Dutch Lady Malaysia. The purpose of this is to educate and to learn to read, and understand the nutritional label available on any food item (that is in compliance ;-))
Left is FULL CREAM. Right is Low Fat.
Both the fullcream (FC) and low fat (LF) milk has the same ingredient and only differs greatly with the amount of fat (8.5gram vs 3.8gram). The energy from the FC is 33kcal more (or roughly half an avocado more) compared to the LF. The other nutritional content are more or less the same with the minerals and vitamins to be exactly the same except for Calcium. As a LF milk has reduced fat content (duh!), that would meant the milk is less stable and will form two-layer of liquid (i.e. not homogeneous) if left sitting idle (hence the need to "shake"). However, with added emulsifier (or in this case, known as the stabilizer per the ingredient), the milk could hold it's own and appear to be homogeneous. As with the scale of economy and mass production, whole milk would be expensive that even full cream milk would had some fat (lipid) removed, partly to help preserve the milk a bit longer or to extract the lipid for other usage (such as butter making). Hence, the presence of "stabilizer" in both the milk ingredient. The stabilizer or emulsifier in this case would highly be soy lecithin (which is plant origin), which is a high protein food content. That would had explained the higher level of available protein in the LF milk - 8.5gram vs 7.5gram.
There is an extra ingredient in the LF milk -flavouring.
LF milk undergo more processes than a FC milk. The process of removing the milk lipid reduced the amount of milk solid (lactose and protein), and introduction of equal or proportioned amount of water to the milk. In the process, the milk losses some flavour - it will taste diluted. Hence, the need to "replenish" some of the taste with flavouring. It is most likely vanilin (or vanila) and that has given the slightly sweeter and lighter taste to the LF milk. Vanilla has nutritional values too - and that added the slightly more carbohydrate number in the LF milk.
How is the Cow's Milk 101 so far? I hope i make myself easily understood with the explanation above. Now that you know what you are drinking, what will be your choice? My personal choice would be FULL CREAM milk - as technically, i get more MILK for the money i am paying - rather than reduced or skimmed milk - which has a content of water equivalent to the milk that is left. Often, skim milk or low fat milk has higher level of Vitamin A, as the process will also remove the Vitamin A from the whole milk. Also, the motivation with full cream is the fact that they are less processed.
The fat? Well, lets just say you will need them for energy, and they are a good source of it.
Before I go on with the next comparison between a LF and Chocolate milk, let me put it in writing that i do take chocolate milk as a recovery drink. They taste good and they provides all that is needed to repair my body after a strenuous workout. However, things will change from now on.
Left is Chocolate Milk. Right is Low Fat Milk
We often think that flavoured milk will gives better nutrition to the kids that are drinking it. Who would not love anything chocolate? With your newly acquired skill in reading nutritional label, can you tell me, by reading the label above, what are the differences between the Chocolate Milk (CM) and LF milk?
To start with, if you noticed, the fat and protein content is surprisingly lower compared to LC. Then you will see that the energy value is 65kcal higher compared to LC and a good 32kcal to FC milk. This placed the CM to be the highest energy provider - and that got to be good, right?
I am sorry to inform that more energy in this sense is bad; especially when the extra energy comes from SUCROSE (highly possible from Corn Syrup) that is up to 15.8gram! That essentially bumped the carbohydrate content of CM to be 14.7gram more compared to LC and 15.7gram compared to FC! If you think sucrose is a highly nutritional add-on, you are probably just ignorant. Sucrose is simple sugar. If you are not sure what this sweet sinful ingredient can do to you, read this here.
The chocolate milk has lactose too, highly possible being added from the re-addition of constituent of the cocoa powder. Again, with milk lipid being removed d reduced fat milk being used, the need for flavouring is the common theme here again.
The addtion of sucrose is the biggest evil here that has skewed the healthy drink into a hidden devil that will make you gain those weight without you ever realising it. That too, has explained why some toddler or children, who drinks milk, likely the flavoured or "sweetened" (like with honey, some milk powder has it even), are obese from small.
And all the while, the parents thought they are doing the kids a big favour!
Now that you are triply-informed (by the comparison of Full Cream, Low Fat and Chocolate Milk), n you see why this blog entry is called The Chocolate Milk Dilemma?
I will stick to my FULL CREAM, thank you!
Make the informed choice and your health will turns towards the better while your weight will start to shed fast!


  1. Aiks. And I starting to drink Milk again, this time strawberry flavoured pulak....

    Methinks must add Bailey's for the FULL CREAM....

  2. Totally agree with you on the Full Cream milk. IMO, even better is fresh milk that hasn't been homogenized (see

  3. CFC - lol. With Bailey, any milk will do!

    Grace - right on. But fresh milk is expensive and cost twice as much, but last half the time. If they are less than RM10, i usually will buy!

  4. "We often think that flavoured milk will gives better nutrition to the kids that are drinking it." <---Really???!!! Aku yg memamg tak jaga makan pun have no pretensions that anything have added flavoring and added sweetener is not better for you than its plain counterpart. Sapa yg ajar nie?
    Anyways, spot on about the Full Cream vs Reduced Fat. When my kids were old enough to switch from Baby Formula to susu lembu, both their pediatricians recommended Full Cream over Reduced Fat as the extra fat from Full Cream helps with brain development.

  5. Nasrun - You be suprised how ignorant some are, including myself. :)

    And for the fullcream version. I agree, that was what the Paed ordered as well, once old enough to go off formula, it's fullcream all the way. :)

  6. About Milk, after reading your blog, I am starting to take some at least once a day if I can.

    Used to think that Dairy products affects my Gout, but recent search through the Internet says otherwise, esp on the Milk and cheese....hmmm....