What's hiding in your yoghurt?
by Alison McAleese, LiveLighter Victoria Campaign Manager and Dietitian
- April 27, 2017
- Leave a comment
- Healthy eating
- Top Tips
- Smart Swaps
- Nutrition Facts
- Recipe Ideas
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed or confused when buying yoghurt, you’re not alone.
With more than 260 yoghurts available in Coles and Woolworths – most of which are labelled as low-fat, diet, high in probiotics, natural, no added sugar etc – it’s difficult to know which are genuinely healthy and which are desserts in disguise.
New research from LiveLighter [i] has found that more than half of the flavoured yoghurts sold in Coles and Woolworths contain more than three teaspoons of sugar per serve. Some contain as many as 7.5 teaspoons of sugar in a small 160g tub.
Shocked? So are we!
But don’t let those stats turn you off – yoghurt is a one-of-a-kind snack. You just need to know which products to look for.
Yoghurt is a nutritious filling snack and is high in calcium (which is essential for our bones). Plus, it’s delicious!
But as our research shows, not all yoghurts are created equal.
The flavoured variety (think raspberry, lemon, honey, passionfruit and vanilla) are sometimes loaded with added sugar – even those carrying low-fat, natural and probiotic claims.
Can I get a zero sugar yoghurt?
Not really. It’s worth remembering that yoghurt contains lactose, which is a naturally occurring sugar. It’s definitely the added sugar Australians need to look out for. In Australia, food manufacturers aren’t required to specify how much added sugar is in their products, so this can be tricky!
For fruit-flavoured yoghurts, check that the total sugar content is under 12g per 100g – 6g of that is likely to be lactose, while up to 6g may be fruit. Anything more is likely to be added sugar. You can also read the ingredients list. Look out for ingredients like sugar, fruit concentrate, honey, malt syrup and many more!
If you choose carefully, you can find a yoghurt that will help you reach your healthy eating goals.
Here are my top tips:
- Our favourite picks included reduced-fat Greek, plain or natural yoghurts, They have a lower energy density, are low in saturated fat and contain no added sugar.
- If you don’t like the taste of plain yoghurt, add fruit, nuts or seeds for flavour.
- If you’re looking for a healthy, flavoured yoghurt, choose reduced-fat products with less than 12g of sugar per 100g. See our recommendations below.
- While low in sugar, coconut yoghurts are extremely high in fat and energy and low in calcium.
- In addition to snacking, plain yoghurt can also be used instead of sour cream, cream or salad dressings.
- The front of the pack is fully of marketing terms, instead learn to read the nutrition information panel and ingredients list.
- Up for a fun kitchen project? Try making your own yoghurt! It's easier than you think! Instructions over here.
Need some plain yoghurt inspo?
Here are some DIY flavoured yoghurts to try:
Start with a base of 150g (½ – ¾ cup) of reduced-fat Greek, plain or natural yoghurt
Add a small handful of one or two of the following
- Nuts – chopped or flaked
- Seeds (pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds work well)
- Fruits – fresh, frozen, stewed, canned or dried
- Nutmeg or cinnamon
- Citrus zest or juice
For a flavour sensation, here are some tried and tested combos:
- Coconut cranberry crunch: A small handful of coconut, dried cranberries and pepitas
- Berrylicious: Some fresh or frozen berries and a few sunflower seeds
- Apple pie: Half an apple (grated or finely chopped) and sprinkle of cinnamon
- Mango heaven: Fresh or frozen mango and a sprinkle of coconut
- Choc cherry: A sprinkle of cocoa powder and a handful of frozen cherries
- Lemon cream: Lemon juice or zest and a little vanilla essence
- Orange passion: Orange juice or zest and a squeeze of passionfruit.
- Check out our yoghurty recipes! We've got yoghurt cups , yoghurt compote and even mousse and pannacotta made from yoghurt
Best flavoured yoghurts
Soleil 99.9% Fat Free No Added Sugar Strawberry*
Yoplait Forme Zero No Fat No Added Sugar Strawberry*
Ski D'Lite Real Yoghurt 2% Fat, 25% Less Sugar Passionfruit
Rokeby Farms Whole Protein Swedish Style Quark Yoghurt 1% Fat Coconut
Danone Activia Probiotic Yoghurt Strawberry
Tasmanian Tamar Valley Dairy Greek Style Yoghurt Passionfruit No Added Sugar Low Fat 170g*
* Yoghurt contains artificial sweeteners
Best plain yoghurts
Allure Real Yoghurt Pot Set Low Fat Natural
Jalna Pot Set Fat Free Natural Yoghurt
Tasmanian Tamar Valley Dairy Natural 99.85% Fat Free Yoghurt
Chobani Greek Yoghurt Plain
Five:am Organic Natural Yoghurt No Added Sugar
Coles Natural Pot Set Yoghurt, No Adde