Sunday, 1 July 2012

Low Calorie Fairtrade Hot Chocolate, Sainsbury's

While looking for my usual brand of low calorie hot chocolate, I spotted a new Sainsbury's own label variety called Lighter Malted drink. However, it wasn’t light enough for me.

Instead, my focus settled on the jar of Low Calorie Hot Chocolate sitting beside it. Picking up the jar to check the nutritional information, I was delighted to see each cup was worth only 36 calories.

I’ve probably seen it before, but haven’t taken much notice, perhaps because it’s right down on the bottom shelf and has quite a plain appearance (no offence intended!) It mentions it's made with Fairtrade cocoa which I like, and the price was another plus factor – just over £1.00 for a 250g jar.

I figured there was nothing to lose in trying it out and if it didn't taste good enough on its own, I'd just mix it with other flavours.

The first time I made it exactly as instructed. Two heaped teaspoons in a cup with 200ml of 'just off the boil' hot water. After giving it a good stir, I was pleased to see it had a lovely dark colour and smelt quite chocolatey.

And what a surprise. I must admit I wasn’t expecting anything great from this drink, what with the low price and all. But in fact, this has to be one of the best tasting low calorie hot chocolate drinks I've tried. The chocolate is perfectly sweet and rich tasting.

Despite the mere two teaspoons of powder added, it wasn't weak and watery as I thought it might be. Overall, I'm so pleased to have found this brand. A low calorie, great tasting hot chocolate drink with a fantastically low price. How have I not tried this before?

There is no mention as to whether it's suitable for vegetarians or not but the label does say it's not suitable for nut allergy or soya allergy sufferers due to manufacturing methods used. No hydrogenated oils are in the ingredients.

Nutrition Information per 11g (2 teaspoons) serving with 200ml hot water: 36 calories, 1.0g fat, 0.7g saturates, 3.6g sugars, 0.4g salt. High sugar, Medium fat, High salt.

Sainsbury's also sell a regular version of own brand Fairtrade instant hot chocolate so I thought I'd do a nutritional comparison between the two varieties.

As would be expected, the low calorie option has the fewest calories with 36 per serving compared with 109 for the regular hot chocolate. However, the serving sizes are different in that the low calorie hot choc only requires 2 teaspoons (11g) while the regular has 4-5 teaspoons (35g).

To get a better idea of how they compare, I looked at the dry powder information.

Here’s what I found:

Per 100g powder
Low Calorie Hot Chocolate
Regular Hot 

It's interesting to see that the fat content for the lower calorie chocolate is actually higher than the regular chocolate and the salt is more than triple that of the regular chocolate. Sugar content in the low calorie chocolate however, has been cut by more than half that found in the regular chocolate.

So, what to make of this? Choose the low calorie option if you're watching your weight or trying to lower your sugar intake. Or opt for the regular hot chocolate if you're trying to lower your salt intake.

© Diets and Calories 2012


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