I always thought I was doing a healthy thing by eating yogurt—after all, it’s loaded with protein and calcium. Until one day when I turned the container around and examined the label. “Oh my God!”, I yelled. “There is SO much sugar in here!” Horrified, I tossed it out and went on a quest to find a less-sugary but still tasty yogurt.
My best discovery was Greek yogurt. It doesn’t have added sugar (although some brands are trying to capture the American market’s sweet tooth by adding syrupy fruit toppings on the side) and it’s thicker and richer than other yogurts. Word is spreading about this healthier dairy product in the U.S., so much so that sales are predicted to double this year to $1.5 billion.
Here are some of the yogurts I examined on my search and the amount of sugar in a 6-ounce serving:
- Fage Plain Greek Yogurt: 7 grams sugar
- Dannon Light & Fit: 11 grams sugar
- Dannon All Natural Nonfat Plain Yogurt: 12 grams sugar
- Ronnybrook Peach Creamline Yogurt: 17 grams sugar
- Stonyfield Farm Fat Free French Vanilla Yogurt: 24 grams sugar
- Yoplait Original Blueberry Yogurt: 27 grams sugar
- Dannon Fruit on the Bottom: 27 grams
- Breyer’s YoCrunch Vanilla Yogurt with M&M’s: 30 grams sugar (Seriously? M&M’s in yogurt?)
- Stonyfield Farm Fat Free Chocolate Underground Yogurt: 35 grams sugar
If you’re not shocked by the fact that some of these options contain as much or more sugar than a Snickers bar (which contains 30 grams of sugar), keep in mind The American Heart Association recommends no more than 20 grams of sugar a day for women and 36 grams for men. Can you imagine getting all of your allotted sugar through one small serving of yogurt? Crazy.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to avoid any yogurt that has fruit or flavor mixed in (that’s where hidden sugars lurk). Instead, opt for plain yogurt. It not only saves you from eating gobs of sugar, but allows you to get creative and add all kinds of fresh fruit, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, low-sugar granola and even dried cranberries to boost the nutrients, texture and flavor.
What kind of yogurt do you eat?