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  • Writer's pictureJanice Tracey

Yogurt and the Sugar Saga

You can't have failed to see some of the recent media reports of the new study in the BMJ about the sugar content of supermarket yoghurts.

'Supermarket Yogurt May Contain More Sugar Than Coca Cola'

'Organic yogurts most sugary on supermarket shelves, warns study'

'Children's yogurts contain 'shocking' amounts of sugar, study finds'

And whilst the study quite accurately points out the challenge of added sugar and health halo effect of labels such as 'organic'; this serves as a timely reminder that even healthy products can have unhealthy elements, and we must be ever vigilant when processing giants are involved. Moreso when our children are consuming the products, we want to be really clear about what we are buying into.

However for yogurt lovers everywhere its worth noting a few key points:

All yogurts contain naturally occurring sugars (lactose) so comparing this to lumps of sugar is completely misleading as it belies the full nutritional value of the product.

Yogurt and other fermented dairy products aid digestive and overall health. A good source of 'friendly' bacteria, they also contain protein, calcium, iodine and vitamin A.

A natural/plain yogurt has 5.6g sugar per 100gms with milk as the only ingredient.

100ml of milk has 5gm naturally occuring sugar.

Yogurts, even those with added sugar, are still less of a concern than fizzy drinks and juices.

Ideally we should be looking for yogurts with around 5gm sugar/100gms if you are looking for low sugar and no more than 10gm per 100gms (which means no more than 5gms of added sugar).

Check the caloric value and sugar content rather than being swayed by healthy terms such as ‘organic’ or 'low fat'.

if you choose low fat/no added sugar (Diet) flavoured yogurts be aware that you will be consuming artifical sweeteners which many emerging studies shows as detrimental to health.

Context is everything and balance and variety is key. Sometimes my granddaughter likes to mash raspberries and make her own 'jam' for her porridge or sometimes we get away with just cinnamon and maybe a drizzle of honey but sometimes she's partial to putting a couple of spoonfuls of Granda's blueberry yogurt in. I have to say I'm happy enough with that.

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