Yogurt Myths

Not all yogurts are created equal.   I suppose I knew this, but on some level didn’t fully believe it to be true.  Well folks, I came across an astonishing statistic yesterday.  I was reading an interview with the super-smart Michael Pollan.  He’s the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and has a new book coming out called Cooked.

In this interview, Pollan was asked about Go-Gurt.  Granted, I wouldn’t pick Go-Gurt up for myself because I assumed it was sugary, but listen to the stat that followed.  He said, “Unless you’re buying plain, there is more sugar per ounce in the typical flavored yogurt than there is in a soda”. Isn’t that shocking?!  That is incredibly sugared yogurt!  Basically flavored yogurt is candy.  What a mean trick.   It shouldn’t be this hard to eat healthy.   But that’s a rant for another day.

I got totally freaked out that I was consuming grams upon grams of sugars in my yogurt, unknowingly.  But what I found was reassuring. 

Corn starch! Noooo…

This is the list of ingredients for Low Fat Plain Stonyfield yogurt.  There are 15g carbs in 1 cup.

CULTURED PASTEURIZED ORGANIC NONFAT MILK, PECTIN, VITAMIN D3. CULTURES: S. THERMOPHILUS, L. BULGARICUS, L. ACIDOPHILUS, BIFIDUS, L. CASEI, AND L. RHAMNOSUS

 And for their Strawberry Low Fat, which contains 36g carbs in 1 cup; the increased carbs comes from both sugar (note, it’s the 2nd ingredient) and flavoring. 

CULTURED PASTEURIZED ORGANIC LOW FAT MILK, ORGANIC SUGAR, ORGANIC STRAWBERRY JUICE FROM CONCENTRATE, NATURAL FLAVOR, ORGANIC NATURAL VANILLA FLAVOR, ORGANIC BEET JUICE CONCENTRATE (FOR COLOR), PECTIN, VITAMIN D3. CULTURES: S. THERMOPHILUS, L. BULGARICUS, L. ACIDOPHILUS, BIFIDUS, L. CASEI, AND L. RHAMNOSUS

Lastly, I looked at Pomegranate Chiobani because that’s what I eat when I’m lazy; 21g of carbs and 19g of those are sugar.

Lowfat Yogurt (cultured Pasteurized Nonfat Milk, Cream, Live And Active Cultures: S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus And L. Casei), Passion Fruit Puree, Evaporated Cane Juice, Pectin, Natural Flavor, Locust Bean Gum.


I did not realize that Stonyfield flavored yogurt has so much sugar. I very easily trusted that Stonyfield wouldn’t steer me wrong…trust no one.  Chiobani seems less bad as far as sugar content, which I’m glad to read.  I will be transitioning back to plain yogurt with my own toppings: fruit, honey, maple syrup, nuts, seeds.  The possibilities are endless!

And lesson learned: always look at what you’re eating.  After all, you only get one body.

Go forth, eat healthy yogurt, and be happy!

AQ. 

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6 thoughts on “Yogurt Myths

  1. I've made a huge effort to limit added sugars in my food (except when I have Ben and Jerry's for dessert!). Cottage cheese is a good protein-rich, low-sugar substitute for yogurt. I recommend Friendship – it's the only brand I buy!

  2. It took a couple of years to fully change my eating habits, but now it's pretty easy to limit sugars in my three main meals. Staples of my diet are eggs, cheese, nuts, meat, fruits and vegetables (kale and broccoli are my favorites!). The only time it's difficult is when I want dessert, which is often because I have a huge sweet tooth, and tend to go overboard. I've been trying to have fresh fruit, a Larabar or a Kind bar instead of more decadent things. Do you have any relatively healthy favorite desserts?

  3. Those are mostly my staples, too. Apparently mostly my breakfast needs adjusting! If I'm going to have dessert, I usually don't mind just having the sugar (I have more of a salt tooth). But, if I'm on a dessert kick, I like to go for berries in milk. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries…all delicious in cow milk, soy milk, almond milk. It's sweet, but healthy. I have also come across some pretty good cookie recipes that don't call for sugar. Have you ever used coconut oil? I'm dying to try it out. Apparently a small amount works great as a sweetener; you can use it in things from coffee to baking.

  4. Every Sunday we roast 10 lbs. of carrots in coconut oil to eat throughout the week! The carrots take on this amazing flavor. Definitely try it sometime! We normally use it for savory things, like roasting vegetables or frying eggs, but I did grease cake pans with it once and it gave a nice subtle coconut flavor to the cake! CO can be a little expensive, but you can get a reasonably priced jar at Trader Joe's to try it out. It's also available at Amazon at an even better price, if you need to bump your purchase up to $25 :)Thanks for the berries-in-milk suggestion. I love berries and have a couple of boxes of coconut milk that I don't know what to do with!

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