Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Yogurt Isn’t Necessarily Good, High Levels Of Sugar Found In Numerous Samples

Many yoghurts are full of sugar and the public should not be lulled into thinking they are eating healthy products. /AGENCIES Many yoghurts are full of sugar and the public should not be lulled into thinking they are eating healthy products. /AGENCIES
Melissa Porter | 21 September, 2018, 14:40

What is surprising is that yogurts marketed as organic had the next highest median amount of sugar, 13.1 grams.

"However, we found that in numerous yoghurt products marketed towards children, a single serving could contain close to half of a child's recommended daily maximum sugar intake".

The researchers surveyed the sugar content of over 900 yogurts in United Kingdom supermarkets and found that the average amount of sugar across yogurt categories (children's, organic, flavored, etc.) was well above 10 grams per 100 gram serving. Experts tested over thousands of the most popular types of yogurt and found that the most risky are the dessert Goodies.

Dessert yogurts contained the most sugar, not surprisingly, but children's yogurts and organic yogurts had nearly as much.

We categorised the products as shown in the figure below and found that they varied enormously in sugar content, with clear differences within and between the chosen groups.

While yogurt may be less of a concern than soft drinks and fruit juices, the chief sources of free sugars in both children and adults" diets, what is worrisome is that yogurt, as a perceived "healthy food, ' may be an unrecognised source of free/added sugars in the diet.

Children's yoghurts typically contained 10.8g per 100g, the equivalent of more than two sugar cubes, the study found. This is "concerning", given the rise in childhood obesity and the prevalence of tooth decay among young children, say the researchers.

The threshold for a low sugar product is 5g of total sugars per 100g.

"In the United Kingdom, on average, children eat more yogurt than adults, with children under three years old eating the most".

The second most sugary product was organic yoghurts with a typical 13.1g per 100g.

Most hazardous was the dessert yogurts.

As part of a plan to combat childhood obesity, the United Kingdom government implemented a soft drinks sugar levy in May and has commissioned a structured programme of monitored sugar reduction as part of a wider plan to tackle calories, salt and saturated fat.

Lead author Dr Bernadette Moore, from the School of Food Science and Nutrition at Leeds, said natural, unsweetened yogurt is a healthy snack for children, packed with protein and calcium.

So unless it's using artificial sweeteners, if your yogurt tastes sweet, it's probably because there's sugar in it.

Dietary guidelines recommend low-fat and low-sugar dairy products. There was some heterogeneity within categories, for example organic yogurts included natural/Greek, fruit and flavoured style yogurts provided they were organic. Desserts had the highest fat content and the broadest range, averaging 5.2 g/100 g.

Only 9% of products surveyed were below this threshold.