Most yogurts full of sugars
Many consumers consider yogurts to be healthy, but most yogurts are not healthy at all. They contain too much sugars. Natural yogurts and Greek yogurts are the exception to this rule, British food scientists discovered. Even most organic yogurts and products for children can better be avoided, write British nutritional scientists in BMJ Open.
The researchers, who were affiliated with the universities of Leeds and Surrey, gathered nutritional data from 921 yogurts from five large supermarkets.
They used the information on the labels of the products. Then they categorized the products. The figure below explains how.
Most of the products collected by the researchers were packed with sugars. The natural yogurts and Greek yogurts still contain the least sugars. In this product category, the researchers found an average of 5 grams of sugars per 100 grams.
The other products contained 10-15 grams of sugers per 100 grams.
The natural yogurts, together with the yogurt drinks yogurts, also contained the smallest number of kilocalories per 100 grams.
Athletes and health enthusiasts appreciate yogurts because they supply proteins and calcium. The natural yogurts were also among the best sources for those nutrients, though they had to share this qualification with the products that were formulated for children.
"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", write the researchers.
And that is especially true for organic yoghurts. "While the organic label refers to production, the well documented 'health-halo effect' means that consumers most often underestimate the caloric content and perceive the nutritional contents of organic products, including yogurts, more favourably."
"Not all yogurts are as healthy as perhaps consumers perceive them, and reformulation for the reduction of free sugars is warranted."
BMJ Open, 2018;8 8):e021387.
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