Winter is one of the most indulgent seasons thanks to major holidays that are filled with decadent sweets and treats. Plus, the dropping temperatures make you want to stay in and snack instead of braving the cold weather.
There are plenty of seasonal foods and drinks that we all enjoy this time of year, but experts say that there’s one, in particular, that is awful for your waistline–it’s hot chocolate!
Hot chocolate is one of the most popular winter drinks for its rich and creamy chocolatey flavor. Though it's no secret that a cup of cocoa makes for a sweet treat, Dr. Mehmet Oz says that most people aren't aware of the hidden preservatives and oils that are lurking in their favorite hot chocolate packets.
Dr. Oz spoke with chef Danny Boome, who outlined the harmful additives, preservatives, and ingredients that are often found in traditional hot chocolate packets.
"It’s basically a drink that’s been created for you chemically to make you want it more,” Boome explained on the Dr. Oz show. “They’re engineered to make you want more.”
Dr. Oz noted that hydrogenated oil was one of the worst ingredients in store-bought hot chocolate packets. It’s added as an emulsifier to gives hot chocolate its creamy texture and Boome says that it also allows manufacturers to sneak more calories into the seasonal drink.
“The thing is, it doesn’t matter if it’s low-fat, low-calorie, or anything like that,” he explains. “There’s always calories hidden in every packet.”
Still planning to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa this winter? Boome says it's best to make your own hot chocolate using dark cocoa powder, which is known for its antioxidant properties, and adding warm milk and a dash of vanilla to give it a sweeter flavor.
If you're looking for a healthier hot drink to have, we recommend swapping your cocoa for a cup of green tea. It's fortified with metabolism-boosting antioxidants that will boost your metabolism and help you stay on track with your weight loss goals this winter.