Friday 19 July 2019

The shocking amount of sugar in your favourite yoghurts and the worst culprit of them all

Little boy eating a yoghurt for breakfast
Little boy eating a yoghurt for breakfast

Patricia Murphy

Many of the flavoured yoghurts available in supermarkets contain more sugar than chocolate biscuits and other junk food favourites, a new study has pinpointed.

Consumers might think that they are making a healthy choice when reaching for a yoghurt, but many contain more sugar than three chocolate digestives as they are loaded with syrups, fruit and crunchy add-ins including granola.

The British study, published by the Food Foundation, found that Muller Corner yoghurts are one of the top offenders on the market, often containing between 21g and 30g of sugar per yoghurt. The strawberry shortcake flavour Muller Yoghurt contained 17g of added sugar, which is 90pc of the recommended daily intake for children.

The report suggested that large amounts of sugar were included in the products to keep costs down.

“Moreover sugar plays a key role in defining the bulk (volume) and texture of food, as well as being able to bind water, which is important in food preservation.” In other words, sugar is a cheap way to bulk yoghurt out, to make it creamier and extend its shelf life,” the report suggests.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Nutritionist Dr Sarah Schenker revealed that there should be naturally occurring sugars in yoghurt, but anything more than 5g has been added.

“If all you can taste is sweetness, and the flavour of the fruit or yogurt doesn’t come through, it contains too much sugar,” she says.

“Those corners are the worst offenders, especially the ones with crispy bits or chocolate balls. They really do undermine the healthiness of yogurt. If you want to have a bit of chocolate or fudge, have a scoop of ice cream.”

The report suggested that consumers are often misled by ‘low-fat’ labels, which can in fact be extremely high when it comes to added sugar.

The nutritionist suggested that the dairy lovers should make the switch to natural Greek yoghurt, and add fruit and small amounts of honey should they need a sweetness hit.

“Because of the way it’s strained, Greek yogurt contains less natural sugar and more protein than regular yoghurt,” she says. “And it will keep you fuller for longer.”

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