Monday, January 10, 2011

Not All Yogurt is Created Equal

   I honestly have no idea how yogurt became America's "ideal" of a healthy snack.  I blame really good marketing campaigns.  For the most part, yogurt really isn't that great for you.  Sure it has calcium and milk proteins, sometimes added vitamins and minerals, but the amount of sugar (most of it being extremely processed, refined sugar) totally cancels out all the benefits!  Have you actually read the yogurt labels?  I have.  I actually spent about 20 minutes reading the labels on all the brands that my Kroger carries.  (I know, I am that person.  But I was doing it for you.)  Regular yogurt can have up to 32g of sugar in 6 oz!  That is more than 20 g of added sugar.  (**Stay tuned for cute stuff at the end!!!)

"There is no official Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) or Daily Values for sugar. However, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises adults who eat a 2,000-calorie diet to limit consumption of sugar to about 40 grams (10 teaspoons) of added sugars per day."

   That's kind of scary, huh?  (Added sugar means the processed sugars that are... well, added to foods.  This statement does not apply to sugars found naturally in products like milk and fruit.  Plain yogurt, 6 oz, generally has 7-12 g sugar, all natural.) 

   Don't misread my caution.  I love yogurt.  It is creamy, sweet, filling and gives you a boost of energy that doesn't let you down.  It can be a great source of calcium, vitamin D, and protein (sometimes other vitamins and minerals as well.)  But I urge you to read the labels.  Even the "light" yogurts aren't always good for you.  Companies skim off about 0.5 g of fat (regular usually only has about 2g.) but keep most of the sugar.  That, or, they use chemical sweeteners.  If people did the research, they would realize that chemical sweeteners in moderation are A-Okay.  I say use caution on the basis that they can cause severe headaches in some people.  Plain Greek yogurt I think is always the way to go.  It has a distinct but mild flavor that is mellower than regular plain yogurts.  It is rich, creamy, and packed with protein!  Add some fresh fruit, little drizzle of honey, and you have breakfast!  As Greek Yogurts become more popular, more and more companies are emerging.  That means prices are coming down a little.  Even many grocery stores have their own brands.
Here are the best yogurt options I found in my grocery stores: 
  • Yoplait Light Very Vanilla:  110 Calories, 0g Fat, 15g Sugar, 6g Protein  (Contains chemical sweeteners including aspartame; reasonably priced and often on sale.)
  • Kroger Carb Masters (not shown):  80 Calories, 1 g Fat, 3g Sugar, 12g Sugar  (No chemical sweeteners.)
  • Great Value Light Vanilla:  exactly the same as Yoplait light (May even be the same yogurt just packaged differently!  About 2/3 the cost of Yoplait, cheaper whole price than many sale items.)
  • Dannon Light and Fit (not shown):  80 Calories, 0g Fat, 11g Sugar, 5g Protein (Chemical sweeteners and expensive as far a yogurt goes.)
  • Publix No Sugar Added Peach:  90 Calories, 1g Fat, 8g Sugar, 6g Protein (Uses Splenda; reasonably priced and often on sale.) 
  • Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt:  100 Calories, 0g Fat, 7g Sugar, 18g Protein (All sugars are natural milk sugars.  Considerably more expensive, but reasonably priced when purchased in large tubs instead of individual cups.  Also, check online for great coupons.) 

  **My cat loves yogurt.  Really any dairy... yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, you name it.  He will follow us around if he sees us even holding a small plastic container.  With total lack of concern for personal space, he will crawl all up in your business if you sit down to enjoy your dairy.  So after reading this boring post here is some cute stuff for you as promised!
He will lick the cup for ever.  Even well after the yogurt is gone.  And, yeah, that is Giada at Home on the background.

1 comment:

  1. I tried the Kroger carbmaster variety and I HATE it. I think it tastes disgusting...I don't know why, just something about it is WAY more gross than any yogurt I've ever tasted.
    However, I LOVE Publix's no sugar added and Yoplait. Peach and raspberry being the best. Oh, and if there's a lemon flavor, that also kicks ass.


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