Hood Calorie Countdown Dairy Beverage

Ha! They can’t even call this product “milk” – it’s a “dairy beverage” – that should tell you right there that there’s a problem. Sort of like American Cheese is not really a cheese, but a “cheese product”.

So, I hadn’t even heard of this product, but I just read a post on a forum about it, so of course I had to google.

First, let’s look at the ingredients of Hood real non-fat milk:


And the Nutritional Data:
Serving Size 1 cup (240mL)
Amount per Serving
Calories 80 Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Values
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol <5mg 1% Sodium 125mg 5% Total Carbohydrate 13g 4% Fiber 0g 0% Sugar 12g Protein 8g 17% Vitamin A 10% Vitamin C 10% Calcium 30% Iron 0% Vitamin D 25% Now here's the ingredients for the Hood Calorie Countdown Fat Free Dairy Beverage: WATER, ULTRAFILTERED FAT FREE MILK, CREAM*, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SALT, DISODIUM PHOSPHATE, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, CARRAGEENAN, LOCUST BEAN GUM, SUCRALOSE (SPLENDA® BRAND), ACESULFAME POTASSIUM, VITAMIN A PALMITATE AND VITAMIN D3. *ADDS A TRIVIAL AMOUNT OF FAT Nutritional Data: Serving Size 1 cup (240mL) Amount per Serving Calories 45 Calories from Fat 0 % Daily Values Total Fat 0g 1% Saturated Fat 0g 1% Trans Fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 160mg 7% Total Carbohydrate 3g 1% Fiber 0g 1% Sugar 3g Protein 8g 16% Vitamin A 10% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 30% Iron 0% Vitamin D 25% Pretty disgusting, huh? It looks like they watered down real milk to help lower the natural sugars (milk sugar, by the way, isn't bad sugar like refined sugar), and then because the watered-down milk obviously tastes flavorless, they had to add salt, artificial sweeteners, and other chemicals and thickeners to give it texture and flavor. This is their claim to fame:

Hood® Calorie Countdown® is a line of rich and creamy dairy beverages that provide the wholesome, delicious nutrition of milk without all the sugar, calories and carbohydrates.

Wouldn’t it still be better to just drink non-fat milk? You’re not consuming that many more calories, (actually the calories are higher for the Hood Calorie Countdown 2% and chocolate versions at 90 calories each) and you can actually drink something real! But consumers believe the hype that Big Food companies dish out to them without even bothering to glance at the list of ingredients. Very sad.

13 thoughts on “Hood Calorie Countdown Dairy Beverage”

  1. I don’t agree. The product is milk with the milk sugar removed. Obviously the de watered it to remove the unwanted ingredients. Then you add back the water. Milk powder never tastes like the real thing so they are making it taste better. At least you don’t get all the hormones found in normal milk.

    Another error. Non fat hood milke is only 45 calories and not 90 as you stated. So the calorie reduction is significant. Milk sugar is as harmful to your wasteline as regular sugar. It is fully hyper glycycemic triggering an ensulin surge..

  2. Jim, read my post carefully.

    quote: actually the calories are higher for the Hood Calorie Countdown 2% and chocolate versions at 90 calories each

    I never said the non fat was 90, in fact, I clearly list the whole nutritional data including the 45 calories. And no, 45 calories is not enough of a difference for me to be drinking such gross chemicals.

    But go ahead and drink it yourself if that is what you’re into.

    Personally, I don’t drink much milk anyway, and when and if I do, I won’t be purchasing the Hood brand anyway. I’d rather buy something local, and not from some big food company that’s just in it for the profits. Then I won’t have to worry about hormones and anti-biotics.

  3. Debbie, I think you are the one being fooled by messages that companies send.

    1) “Big food company that’s just in it for the profits.” — What do you think, that small food company is not in it for the profits? Private businesses exist to make profits. EVERYTHING else is a means to that end. So if the only way small food company can sell you food is by making you think you are special, that is what it is going to do. Big food company will sell whatever food people demand. Go on their website and suggest the products you like. Big food used to be small, local farmer — except that it was more efficient, and that is why it grew to what it is today.

    2) Your comparison of milk and Hood needs some serious fact-checking, and this article can subject you to defamation claims by the company. Somewhat related is your comparison of calorie countdown chocolate milk to skimmed milk. Sure, they both have 90 calories per serving, but regular chocolate milk has over 200 calories (and don’t get me started on the sugar or fat content).

    3) For those who consume several servings of milk per day, the annual calorie difference is substantial. The Calorie Countdown in stores today has 35 calories per serving, versus the most organic skimmed milk you can find, at 90 calories. That is 55 calories per serving. Even two to three cups of milk per day would amount to a reduction of 110 – 165 calories per day, or 40,150 – 60,225 calories per year. That is about 10 – 20 lbs. Of course, people wishing to lose weight normally consume a lot more than three cups of milk per day.

    4) The fact that they call it a dairy beverage means that they are not trying to deceive anyone. That is something to be respected, not mocked. It is a low-calorie alternative to milk. And it’s even more expensive than organic milk. Take it or leave it, they say.

    5) If you don’t drink much milk, then why are you complaining? Clearly, you are not their target customer (and not just because you are a victim of green marketing).

    What I am trying to say is, not everyone has the same needs and wants as you do. For most people, the lowered calories more than makes up for the lost benefits of all-natural milk.

    I am not at all affiliated with the company, which may or may not be as horrible as you suggest. I am just a dairy enthusiast trying to keep my calories down so I can stay healthy.

  4. Wonderful chocolate drink, I have told several friends about it that are diabetics and even put a picture of it on my facebook page. The only thing that I am worried about it the shelves being empty before I get my share.

  5. The 2% milk and chocolate milk are both excellent products. It used to go by “Carb Countdown” til carbs weren’t a hot buzzword. For those who want to or can drop weight via calorie reduction OR for many who low carb or are diabetic, these milk beverages are godsends.

  6. I have bought Hoods dairy drink product, and loved it. My husband and I both are diabetic and I cannot remember where I purchased it in Paragould, Ar. Where in this area can I get it?.

  7. Tonia, Hood dairy products are in most of my local Wal-Marts. Living in Arkansas, you likely have a WM about every half mile, right? :-) I realize your post is over 2 years old and it’s unlikely you’ll even see my response, but I wanted to give my thoughts on this product, anyway.
    The chocolate Calorie Countdown is freakin’ awesome. Even if I calories and carbs weren’t a factor, I’d choose it over standard chocolate milk. To me, it’s a much smoother, lighter, and cleaner taste, whereas standard chocolate milk is more like drinking a light grade glue that leaves behind residue, and has a less convincing chocolate flavor.

  8. Having been a consumer of this product for years, I’d have to assume this review was written without the benefit of having actually tasted the product. While my preference is clearly to the 2% , every person I’ve given the chocolate to preferred it to whole or low fat chocolate milk. Being diabetic, the 75% carb reduction is what drew me in, but the taste is what kept me. When it was tough to find a few years back, I would drive 20 miles out of my way to get it at the only Walmart Superstore I could find that carried it.

  9. Where can u boyhood calorie count down in Texas none Wal-Mart’s carry it so where ?????

  10. I have not seen hoods Caroline co in down for years when I drove truck cross country I used fond it now I am retired I can’t find it I live in Manama txt her 4 Wall Mart with in 30 miles of each Minecraft it I CKO several times I wish I could find it vaudeville oatmeal and certain cereals but can’t afford extra sugar in regular milk

  11. Hood calorie countdown is by far the best substitute to milk, bar none. I have tried many of the so called substitutes and they are junk. Apparently the writer of this piece likes t0 buy milk that loses its taste in a couple of days and has to be discarded and she has not really tried Hoods. It does not lose its taste for many weeks. And it has less sugar for those of us who need to reduce our sugar intake. When Walmart carried it, it was nearly sold out most of the time, but Walmart has stopped carrying it several times and just did so again is the last weeks in my area. I guess they are trying to save money by not having to restock the shelves. WM is great at not selling items that are good and sell well. Hey Walmart, put it back in the store in zip 29212. Don’t listen to the writer, try it if you can find it, it is the best.

  12. Why don’t Walmart is not selling calorie count down any more?
    Where can I buy it now? 34950
    Thank you!

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