Published: Sat, September 22, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

High sugar levels in yogurt may up obesity risk

High sugar levels in yogurt may up obesity risk

Yogurt is a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamins like B2 and B12. We all know its good for us and most contain probiotics which help our digestive health.

Dr Moore explained that while yogurts contained their own naturally-occurring sugar - called lactose or milk sugar -current United Kingdom labelling laws do not require the declaration of added sugars on nutrition labels.

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. These were followed by products in the children's, flavoured, fruit, and organic categories.

"Items labelled organic are often thought of as the "healthiest" option, but they may be an unrecognised source of added sugar in many people's diet".

In these categories, total average sugars ranged from 10.8g/100 g in children's products to 13.1g/100 g in organic products. Dessert yogurts had the highest amounts of sugar, 16.4 grams, which isn't too surprising. Nevertheless, yogurt may be an unrecognised source of sugar, particularly for young children, who eat a lot of it.

There is 10.6g of sugar per 100ml of Coca-Cola. But, with the exception of natural/Greek yogurts, the average sugar content of products in all the categories was well above the recommended sugar threshold.

It is important to note, the publicly available nutritional content does not differentiate between naturally occurring sugars and added sugars. Regardless, these levels of sugar are dramatic. Dr. J. Bernadette Moore, nutrition scientist and lead author of the study, said that her concerns as a parent were the initial inspiration for the research.

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"Not all yogurts are as healthy as perhaps consumers perceive them, and reformulation for the reduction of free sugars is warranted".

Nearly all yogurts sold by supermarkets contain "well above" a healthy amount of sugar, a damning study reveals.

More than 90 percent of the surveyed products had a level of sugar which was well above the recommended threshold, the findings noted. Moore advocates for more transparent food labeling, and changes from the yogurt industry itself.

But yogurts with high amounts of added sugar can contribute to tooth decay and other health problems. This compares with an average of 5g /100 g for natural/Greek yogurts. People can also make their own yogurt at home, as some cultures have been doing for centuries.

Only natural and Greek-style yoghurts could be classed as low in sugar. Twice the level considered appropriate for a food to be labeled "low sugar".

Yogurt is often regarded as a healthy snack but a new study finds that most yogurts on store shelves are chock-full of sugar.

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