Experts share warning over supposedly healthy yoghurts

For many of us, when reaching in to the fridge to find a healthy snack, a guaranteed winner would be a tasty yoghurt.

Over the years, we’ve been lead to believe that the humble yoghurt is a solid snack choice – offering a low-calorie, low-fat treat when we’re feeling the need for something sweet.

But it seems that that assumption may not be entirely correct, according to a new study out of Leeds University.

The BBC have reported that researchers at the uni have concluded that many yoghurts on sale in supermarkets are actually full of sugar, meaning they aren’t as healthy as we might have hoped.

In 2016, researchers studied over 900 yoghurts available in supermarkets across the UK. And they found that many contained more sugar than a can of cola.

Scientists surprisingly discovered that organic yoghurts are among some of the worst, with many of them containing huge amounts of sugar.

But which was the worst? According to the BBC, yoghurt desserts held within them an average of 16.4g of sugar per 100g. According to the American Heart Association, you should eat a maximum of 25 grams a day of sugar.

Then, organic yoghurts came in second, with there being on average 13.1g of sugar per 100g. Worryingly, plenty of children’s yoghurts also contained a lot of sugar, typically 10.8 per 100g.

Flavoured and fruit yoghurts came in third and fourth, with 12g and 11.9g of sugar per 100g respectively.

To compare, a can of cola has roughly 9g of sugar per 100g.

The NHS states that if a product is to be classed as low sugar, there should be no more than 5g of it per 100g – but unfortunately, only 9% of yoghurts fitted in to this threshold.

Since this research was conducted in 2016, work has been done to reduce sugar in yoghurts in supermarkets, and we should see a 20% reduction by 2020.

However, lead researcher of this study Dr Bernadette Moore, stated that it’s still not quite enough.

MORE: 10 ways to cut sugar from your diet

She said, “Even if we take the reduction into account, most of these yoghurts will still not be low in sugar. I think people, including parents, will be surprised to know just how much sugar there is in yoghurt.

“My advice would be to buy natural yoghurt and mix in your own fruit.”

The news comes after popular weight loss group Slimming World revealed that their Muller Light yoghurts, which are normally considered to be a ‘free’ food on the plan, and therefore do not have to be limited or weighed, will now have a small Syn value.

A Slimming World spokesperson explained, “A number of products – fat-free flavoured yogurts, tinned pasta shapes in tomato sauce and instant mashed potato – that were previously Free on our plan, meaning they could be eaten without weighing, counting or measuring, will now have a small Syn value (all food and drink that isn’t Free has a Syn value and members enjoy between five and 15 Syns daily).

“This is because some of these foods are often eaten in large amounts, as a ‘snack’ rather than being enjoyed as part of a meal, or because they’re less satisfying than alternatives, such as mashed potato made with fresh potatoes.”

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