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Horlicks is a British brand which enjoys a huge following in countries that were part of the empire. Approximately 20 million cups of Horlicks are drunk in India every year making it the largest market for Horlicks in the world.
The product is very sugary at 14 gm per 20 gm serving and drinking it frequently can contribute to weight gain and the onset of lifestyle diseases linked to obesity. For this reason, we do not recommend it for those with problems like obesity and lifestyle diseases. We advise even healthy people and children to only have it in small quantities as a part of an otherwise healthy and wholesome diet.
The foodnetindia rating for this product :-Foodnetindia safety rating : 6 -(On a scale of 1 to 10 from very unsafe to very safe)
Where the product is used as a meal replacement, we would give it a much lower safety rating because of the excessive sugar and simple starches in it. However, as most people have this as a supplement in reasonably small quantities, we consider this product to be safe. The Horlicks product label mentions protein isolate as an ingredient but does not mention the source of the protein. This also forces us to reduce its safety rating.
Foodnetindia wholesomeness rating : 6 – (On a scale of 1 to 10 from very unbalanced nutrition profile to excellent nutrition profile)
The drink has a mix of protein, starches and sugars and minerals. It is an acceptable addition in small quantities to an otherwise wholesome and nutritious diet. However, it is a poor meal substitute and we discourage its use as a meal substitute for children and adults alike.
Drinks like Horlicks can be used as energy boosters in limited quantities but must not be considered a nutritional supplement because of the high quantity of sugars and starches in it. Kids and adults’ diets mustfocus on wholesome variety that includes eggs, green leafy vegetables, pulses, fruits, meats, fish and vegetables which are healthy naturally!
Ingredients in GSK Horlicks which are a concern:

  • Sugar
  • Wheat Flour

GSK Horlicks is a very sugary product as it contains 14 gm sugar per 20 gm serving of it, this food product does not specify which sugar has been used. This is important because different sugars have different metabolic effects. For example, Sucrose (Cane Sugar) is very different from Fructose (Fruit Sugar). Some foods use high fructose corn syrup which may be harmful in much lower quantities than sucrose.
We believe that it is not responsible behaviour for a brand to not clearly state what ingredients have been used.
A significant proportion of the population is gluten intolerant, either because they suffer from Celiac disease (1% of the population) or gluten sensitivity, which is quite common. Many people who suffer from gluten intolerance may be asymptomatic and may be unaware that they suffer from systemic and chronic inflammation due to their gluten intolerance.
Gluten intolerance has also been linked to autoimmune diseases, cancers, intestinal inflammation, degeneration of the intestinal lining and has even been linked to several mental illnesses (either as a cause or exacerbating factor) the most serious being cerebellar ataxia, a serious disease of the brain that involves an inability to coordinate balance, movements, problems talking, etc. Persons diagnosed with schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer’s, etc., have been known to respond well to a gluten free diet.
Other ingredients that are in the product but not a major source of concern in our opinion are:

  • Cocoa solids
  • Refined wheat flour
  • IN 500(ii) (sodium bicarbonate)
  • IN 322 (lecithins)
  • IN 503(ii) (ammonium bicarbonate)
  • Disclaimer – The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information. foodnetindia encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.The ingredients list of the products may have changed since this page was published. Consumers are encouraged to read warnings, labels, ingredient lists, etc.

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