Yogurt: Healthy Boost of Calcium and Protein or Infusion of Added Sugars?
The following is an archived post
Yogurt has exploded in the dairy aisle in recent years, especially the Greek variety, and there is a lot of confusing health terminology and marketing around this seemingly healthy food item. Regardless of which brand or style of yogurt you might prefer, it’s important to take note of the sugar content in those containers.
Yogurt has naturally containing sugars called lactose which is why you will see around 12 grams of sugar in a plain yogurt Nutrition Facts panel. The majority of Americans—kids as well as adults—don’t tend eat plain yogurt – and gravitate toward flavored yogurts.
This means we need to aware of the amount of added sugars in those flavored yogurt cups or gulp, squeeze pouches. Some of them can have up to 26 grams of total sugar or 14 grams of added sugar (less the 12 grams of naturally-occurring sugars) in a small 6-ounce container.
In addition, those yogurt-to-go pouches or other yogurts marketed to children may have additional additives like dyes and artificial colors lurking in there. While electric blue yogurt may seem exciting, it’s probably a safer bet to get a plainer version. Also shy away from those yogurts that come with mix-ins like granola, chocolate chips or sprinkles. These add even further amounts of sugar and take away from the natural flavor of the yogurt.
Some tips to cut the sugar without losing the flavor in your yogurt:
Mix in some fresh fruit
Add whole grain cereal or granola low in sugar
Try mixing in your own teaspoon of honey or agave
Try adding a teaspoon of your favorite jam or preserves
Sprinkle in some flax seeds or chia seeds to get a boost of omega-3s