Not all yogurt is healthy

I have witnessed the following scenario many times.  A new “healthy” food is introduced to the American market and over many years it finally obtains enough market share for large food companies to start producing the item.

Then in the interest of increasing profits,  in order to make the food more “appealing”  to a mass market, the manufacturers start adding stuff  that eventually turns a “healthy” food into one that is no longer “healthy.”  

Case in point: many yogurts in the market today.

from the Fooducate blog:


The good folks at Yoplait also conveniently provide nutrition information for each of their products. Highlights are:

Serving Size: 1 container/ 6oz / 170g

Calories: 170 (about 8% of your daily max)

Calories from Fat: 15 (less than 3% of your recommended daily max)

No fiber (shouldn’t strawberries have some though?)

Carbs – 33 grams  (11% of the recommended daily value)

Sugars – 27 grams (more than 5 teaspoons!!!)

A few vitamins and minerals to boot.

How unfortunate though, that an ingredient list is nowhere to be found. Have no fear, Fooducate is here, and so are the ingredients:

Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Low Fat Milk, Sugar, Strawberries, Modified Corn Starch, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Nonfat Milk, Kosher Gelatin, Citric Acid, Tricalcium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Pectin, Colored with Carmine, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3.

Yes, we’ve highlighted the added sugars, which we’ll get to in a minute.

The front of the yogurt label boldy claims it is  99% fat-free, leading a person to expect a very low calorie yogurt. Instead, 170 calories. Not a lot, but not close to zero either.

Note though, that 108 of these 170 calories are from sugar! In context: By weight, 17% of this product is sugar. 63% of the calories in Yoplait Strawberry Yogurt are from sugar!

Sounds more like a snack or treat than a health food.

The four sources of sugar in this yogurt (by their weight in the ingredient list) are yogurt/milk (lactose), table sugar, the strawberries themselves, and high fructose corn syrup (let’s not get into that controversy here today).

To be fair, one can purchase the Light version of this yogurt, artificially sweetened (other issues there), and with only 14 grams / 64 calories from sugar.

To summarize, here’s what we would like to know:

1. what’s the fruit content as a percentage of the ingredients in the yogurt?

2. how much  sugar was added to this product, beside the natural sugars found in the yogurt and strawberries?

3. Just what are those natural flavors?

4. It would be nice to know just what Tricalcium Phosphate and Carmine are too, but obviously there is not enough room on the nutrition label. There’s certainly enough room on the website, though, so why not educate us consumers?

What to do at the supermarket:

Read, read, read the nutrition panel and ingredient list. You’ll be surprised how much better your choices can become.

via So What’s Inside Yoplait Yogurt Anyway? | Fooducate.


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