Health Care

Yoghurts 'contain more sugar than cola'

Yoghurts 'contain more sugar than cola'”

A study by researchers from Leeds and Surrey universities said only natural, plain and Greek-style yoghurts had a low sugar content, with an average of 5g per 100g, largely naturally occurring. We all know its good for us and most contain probiotics which help our digestive health. The median sugar content for organic yogurts was 13.1 grams per 100 gram serving, and some brands had nearly 17 grams of sugar per 100 gram serving.

United Kingdom and U.S. dietary guidelines recommend low fat and low sugar dairy products, and the researchers wanted to assess how far yogurt products, particularly those marketed to children, meet these guidelines. For a small 85g pot that equates to 9g of sugar - more than two teaspoons and almost half the NHS recommended daily allowance of 19g for four- to six-year-olds.

The study, published today in BMJ Open, found that across all categories of yogurt products the average sugar levels were well above the five grams of sugar per 100 grams threshold required to be classed "low sugar" and carry a green "traffic light" nutritional label in the UK.

The researchers wrote, "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".

Researchers warn that customers may think they're making a healthy choice when choosing those organic yogurts, when in fact they're making an unhealthy decision.

The nutritional content of the yogurts varied widely, but one thing was clear: majority had lots of sugar.

Yogurts marked as "desserts" contained the most sugar, with an average of 16.4 grams per 100 grams. The authors of the study calculated the median amount of sugar per 100 grams for each category of yogurt that they studied, and compared sugar averages.

Researchers from the Universities of Leeds and Surrey examined ingredients in 921 yogurts available in major United Kingdom supermarkets.

Just One 125g pot of low-fat fruit yogurt can provide a 4-6 year old with 39 per cent of their recommended daily calcium and 60 per cent of their iodine intake.

All the products were grouped into eight categories: children's, which included fromage frais; dairy alternatives, such as soy; desserts; drinks; flavoured; fruit; natural/Greek; and organic. Although yogurt, cereals, and candies did manage to reduce overall sugar levels by 5%.

A new study shows that added sugars in yogurt are contributing to the obesity epidemic.

Natural/Greek yogurts had a dramatically different macronutrient profile from all other categories, containing much higher protein (32.4% vs range of 10.8-20%) and much lower carbohydrate (34.7% vs 48.5-60.4%) contents than all other categories.

The paper, "An evaluation of the nutrient contents of yogurts: a comprehensive survey of yogurt products in the major United Kingdom supermarkets" is published in BMJ Open 18 September 2018.

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