It is commonly viewed as a healthy, tasty, snack, enjoyed daily by young and old. We put it in smoothies, enjoy it with fruit, add it to cereal and even devour it straight out of the pot. But is this snack really healthy? Or are we simply ignoring the facts because we love the creamy taste?
Looking at the yogurt section of the grocery store, you will be met with many different, confusing labels; low fat, sugar free, all natural, high in protein, no additives. Thus adding to the confusion when trying to pick a healthy yoghurt for your family. Here are a few things to be mindful of:
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is… With flavours like, apple pie, red velvet cheese cake, boysenberry magic and creamy vanilla bean, you will be forgiven for thinking you were looking at a dessert menu. These deliciously sweet and creamy yoghurts are generally jam-packed with added sugars. Some yoghurts can contain 30g of sugar per serve and when the recommended intake is to not exceed 50g in a day, this is over half of your sugar intake in one hit.
A yoghurt family favourite has always been the strawberry or mixed berry yoghurt. Seems like a healthy option… However, all to often the fruit part of the yoghurt actually has very little actual fruit in it. It is simply a flavour that has been added, with the occasional fruit chunk thrown in there. This is again adding to the already high sugar levels in the yoghurt.
Have a look on the pot and find out how much yoghurt they actually consider to be one serve. It’s generally not much. You may find that your average serve of yogurt is double the recommended serve, so you are actually consuming much high levels of sugars and fats.
Have you ever enjoyed a fat or sugar free yoghurt and thought, ‘wow this is delicious?’ That’s probably because they have added artificial flavours and sweeteners to enhance the flavour. Again, if you think it’s to good to be true, it probably is!
What do I recommend and eat?
Simple… Full fat, plain Greek yoghurt. Greek yoghurt usually has the highest amount of protein per serve, when compared to other yoghurts. Ensure it is plain and unsweetened, to avoid any nasty additives. I find the low fat yogurts actually have a high sugar content, so that’s certainly something to check before purchasing, I suggest something with less than 15g of sugar per serve. In saying that, occasionally I will buy the Greek yoghurt with some strawberry in it, because its delicious! However, I am aware that its not a super healthy choice and it has additional sugars.
Look for yoghurts without any foreign additives, that are high in probiotics and have no additional flavours.