Has anyone noticed how many different types of yogurt are in the grocery store nowadays? Even nutrition experts find it confusing. Yogurt is a great part of a healthy diet. It’s a good source of calcium, protein and some brands are fortified with vitamin D. However, if you don’t read the labels, you can be caught eating up to 20g of added sugar in one serving!
When choosing a yogurt, the first thing to look at is the nutrition facts label. A yogurt without added sugar will have about 5-6g of sugar (from lactose, the natural sugar in dairy). Sweetened yogurt can have an additional 10-15g of added sugars.
Check out this comparison between Liberte plain 0% (left) and Liberte vanilla 0% (right). The vanilla yogurt has double the calories, triple the sugar, less protein and less calcium!
Your best option is a plain, 0-2% M.F, unsweetened yogurt. This can be regular, Greek, lactose-free or probiotic (depending on your needs and preference).
To find this in your grocery store you MUST read the nutrition labels. If you see a sugar content higher than 5-7g it likely has added sugar. Be careful with yogurt that has “fruit on the bottom”. These types also have sugar added to them. Make sure you read the ingredient list for ingredients such as flavoured syrup, sugar or fructose.
If you really dislike the flavour of plain yogurt or find it too sour, you can sweeten it with some honey, fruit, or cinnamon. When you add the sweetness yourself you can control it! Aim for 1 tsp of honey or maple syrup contributing about 15-20 calories. When you sweeten with fresh or frozen fruit, you get the benefit of added fibre and vitamins. Cinnamon is a great way to add some sweetness and flavour without added calories!
Happy yogurt shopping! ????
Gillian Bennett is an RD2B who is passionate about making healthy eating simple by advocating for the power of whole foods.