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Yogurt May Not Be So Healthy If It's Pumped Full Of Sugar

21 September 2018

They therefore assessed the nutrient content of nearly 900 yogurts and yogurt products, which were available from five major United Kingdom online supermarket chains in October/November 2016.

Natural, Greek and Greek-style yoghurts proved to have the lowest sugar, averaging 5g per 100g. "With the exception of Greek yogurt, the average sugar levels were found to be well above the five grams per 100-gram servings of yogurt required by the European Union to be considered a product entitled to have a" green" labeling as a low-fat food.

High sugar levels in yogurt are particularly problematic due to their reputation as a healthy food.

One finding of the study that might come as a surprise to consumers is that organic yogurts were some of the sweetest of all.

Yogurt contains the natural sugar lactose sometimes alongside added sugars, which are combined to give a "total sugar" figure on food labels. Greek yogurt is also high in good bacteria, calcium, iodine and vitamin B.

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The evidence suggests that yogurt and other fermented dairy products aid digestive and overall health. 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.

There is 10.6g of sugar per 100ml of Coca-Cola.

This information is significant when considering that obesity, even among children, is on the rise around the world. Children's yogurts did not lag too far behind as they were estimated to contain 10.8g per 100g.

Less than 10 percent of the yoghurt sold in major British supermarkets is low in sugar, meaning it contains less than 5g sugar per 100g.

Yet, the halo effect of yogurt is powerful, and for Moore, this is perhaps the most significant implication of the study.

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And beware organic yoghurts: while the O-word makes consumers perceive these as healthier and lower-calorie, the report found these to have 13g sugar per 100g - the second highest average sugar content after dessert yoghurts (16g sugar per 100g).

This research was undertaken shortly after the launch of the sugar-reduction programme.

Public Health England has challenged the food industry to reduce the sugar content of yogurts and fromage frais - along with other products - by 20 per cent by 2020. And experts say those sugars can add up quickly.

The survey was conducted across eight categories of yogurt and fromage frais: children's, dairy alternative, dessert, drinks, flavoured, natural/Greek, organic, fruit.

We know that working out the sugar content of food can be confusing because government sugar recommendations for a healthy diet only refer to "free" (also called "added") sugars, and food labels don't distinguish between free and total sugars.

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Yogurt May Not Be So Healthy If It's Pumped Full Of Sugar