How many times have you opened the fridge looking for a snack and chosen yogurt, thinking it was healthy food, low in sugar? In fact, all yogurts contain sugar. And if a natural can have 2.9 grams of sugar per 100 grams, in the fruit mix version this value can skyrocket to 19 grams. The difference is 16 grams, equivalent to four packets of sugar.
Given this diversity, the variety on the market and the level of consumption (34% of the Portuguese eat yoghurt every day), DECO PROTESTE carried out an analysis of the sugar content of 190 products. The values refer to the amounts in each 100 grams. The study considered natural yogurt and strawberry-flavored yogurt, in solid and liquid versions. He considered the most common varieties: sugared, flavored, coarse, whipped or creamy, and the Greek type. And it focused on packages of 125 to 150 grams, excluding those of 500 grams, 750 grams and one kilo.
THE World Health Organization (WHO) advises not to consume more than 50 grams of sugar per day. However, the numbers are alarming. It is estimated that in Portugal the daily intake of this ingredient is 84 grams, ie almost double the amount recommended by the WHO. Insufficient nutrition is one of the leading preventable causes of non-communicable chronic diseases, such as obesity, cancer, cerebrovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. To make healthy choices, consult food labels and compare products, taking into account the nutritional value per 100 grams. Currently, the nutrition declaration is mandatory for the vast majority of pre-packaged products.
Natural yogurt is not always a good choice
The amount of sugar in natural yogurt depends on your type. DECO PROTESTE found no significant differences between natural non-sweetened products, which have an average content of 5 grams per 100 grams of product. But the same cannot be said of sweet treats. These contain an average of 11.8 grams of sugar per 100 grams, which is almost two and a half times more than regular yogurt of the same category. Still within this range, DECO PROTESTE compared those using refined sugar to those referring instead to containing cane sugar, a distinction manufacturers often make, distinguishing between more and less processed products, but with an unrepresentative impact. nutritional level. According to the results, a yogurt with cane sugar has slightly more sugar. on the brand Continentthe difference is, for example, 2.4 grams, where cane sugar stands out in the sweet.
In the sugary natural category, smoothies or creams stand out in the analysis. On average, they contain 12.5 grams of sugar per 100 grams, which is equivalent to about four packs in one yogurt. This is one third of the WHO recommended daily dose.
Less sugar in Greek yogurt
Unlike natural yogurt, Greek-type natural yogurts are distinguished by their creaminess and taste, as the manufacturers remove most of the whey during the manufacturing process, making them denser. Very different sugar contents were found here: while a natural Greek has an average of 3.9 grams of sugar, a sugary one has 9.7 grams and a strawberry has 13 grams. In the case of Greek strawberry yogurt from Mimosathis figure reaches 14 grams.
Yogurt of the Greek type, compared to the classic, contains less sugar on average. This is how it is in the variants natural, sugared natural and strawberry. On average, of course, Greek is the one with the least sugar content in the range of categories analyzed in the study.
Strawberry: liquid or solid?
Of the flavored yoghurts, DECO PROTESTE has chosen to analyze the strawberry yoghurts, as this is one of the most popular flavours. Here, liquids and solids were assessed, in the flavored and pulped versions, also taking into account the pieces, in the group eaten with a spoon.
For those who like liquids, the less sweetened options are the slim flavors, with 3.97 grams of sugar per 100 grams. Because they contain sweetener, these yogurts can contain up to 60% less sugar. On the other hand, those with a semi-fatty aroma stand out, with an average of 11.76 grams. For some brands, such as Milbona, the amount even exceeds 23 grams, in a bottle of 170 grams, that is more than six packs. More: DECO PROTESTE found no significant differences between those with flavor and those with pulp in this category of liquids.
For those who prefer firm yogurt, extra attention is recommended. By choosing one with pulp and pieces, you consume 36% more sugar than if you chose one with flavor. Among the most high-calorie and sugary in this group are smoothies and creams. It was in this group that the yogurt with the highest sugar content was identified in the study: the strawberry fruit smoothie, from the brand Auchan, sold in a glass cup. By eating a single yogurt, you get half of the WHO recommended daily dose, the same as six packets of sugar.
Among solids, on the other hand, the least sweetened are low-fat sweetened, either flavored, with an average of 5.33 grams of sugar, or chunks, with 5.88 grams. But beware: it is necessary to spend some time reading the label to understand what the designation “0%” refers to. Is it fat or sugar? Some yogurts that claim to be 0% fat contain high doses of sugar, as is the case with Milbona Fruits linewith 15 grams per 100 grams (or 18.8 grams in a 125 gram cup).
Promote the reduction of sugar content
In 2019, several industry and food distribution partners signed a commitment to significantly reduce the sugar content of some products. In yogurt and fermented milk, the target for 2022 sets a 10% reduction in added sugars. By 2027, the National program to promote healthy nutritionin the public discussion, intends to go further and aims for a reduction of at least 10% in salt content and 20% in foods that contribute most to the intake of salt and sugar in the Portuguese population.
This research shows that many yogurts contain too much sugar. That is why DECO PROTESTE wrote to the brands to schedule appointments. We want to share the results and get to know the goals you have set. We are ready to work together to promote healthy eating and educate consumers.
Which yogurts contain the least sugar?