Sweet, Organic Yogurts May Pack More Added Sugar Than You Think

Yoghurt

Of 921 yoghurts available in United Kingdom supermarkets in October and November 2016, organic ones had an average sugar content of about 13.1g per 100g, the highest content excluding those sold specifically as desserts.

Other studies have pointed out a tendency for people to believe products labeled "organic" are inherently healthier, which Moore fears is playing into consumer choices about yogurt that is actually high in sugar.

So in 2017 when the United Kingdom government announced the top nine food categories after sodas, juices, and smoothies that contribute to children's sugar intake, and yogurt made the list, it took Dr. J. Bernadette Moore, an associate professor at the University of Leeds' School of Food Science and Nutrition, aback.

If you look at the sugar content of some yogurts in the supermarket, you might mistakenly think you're in the dessert aisle. But do these benefits create a bit of a blind spot for consumers when it comes to the sugar content of yogurt?

They found that nearly all yogurts contain large amounts of sugar. It is also a good source of protein, minerals and vitamins.

Lead author Dr Bernadette Moore, from the School of Food Science and Nutrition at Leeds, said: "While there is good evidence that yogurt can be beneficial to health, products on the market vary widely in nutrient content. Items labelled "organic" are often thought of as the "healthiest" option, but they may be an unrecognised source of added sugars in many people's diet".

The fat content of yogurt is less of a worry than sugar as most products would not contribute a high proportion to the recommended daily intake of fat (on average, 97g for a man and 78g for a woman).

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The NHS recommends that children aged four to six have no more than 19g of sugar, or five sugar cubes a day, and it is advised that those aged seven to 10 years old consume less than 24g daily.

Study co-author Dr Barbara Fielding, from the University of Surrey, said: 'Diets high in added sugars are now unequivocally linked to obesity and dental problems. This compares with an average of 5g /100 g for natural/Greek yogurts.

To be classed as low sugar there needs to be no more than 5g per 100g.

As a result, it fails to take into account the sugar reduction the industry has already achieved. This may be why these products had higher amounts of added sugar to offset the sourness.

Natural sugar is the sugar naturally present in a food - in yoghurt (and other dairy products) it's mostly a type of sugar called lactose. But most of the sugar in high-sugar yogurts is free sugar, even for many fruit yogurts.

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.

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