These are the yogurts that contain the most sugar: the organic ones and those intended for children

Desserts

Healthy is trending, and the food industry knows how to take advantage of fads. We are not surprised that lately we see yogurt everywhere, a traditional product now rediscovered for its benefits, but that is not always what it seems. Behind many of the labels are other ingredients that can sometimes defeat their claimed health properties. And which are the yogurts that contain the most sugar? According to a recent study, ecological and children's.

With the objective of knowing the nutritional content and the amount of sugar present in the yogurts of greater consumption, the researchers analyzed almost 900 supermarket products. Their conclusions, although they are focused on the British market, should not surprise anyone: most yogurts contain an excess of sugars, the figures for dairy products intended for children being of particular concern.

The hidden sugar in yogurts and dairy desserts, a great risk for children

Excess sugar in the diet is one of the great evils of the western population that is affecting children alarmingly. Experts do not tire of repeating that we take much more sugar than we should, and the great threat is in the added and "hidden" sugars in processed foods so present in the diet.

In the case of children, it is especially worrying, since from a very young age they are used to taking products loaded with sugars that can cause problems of overweight, obesity, cavities and other diseases, both in their childhood and in the future.

Yogurt has been recovering in recent years as a healthy "natural" product, low in fat and rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals, good for the microbiota and highly nutritious. But, are the yogurts that are presented to us in supermarkets really healthy?

This is the question posed by the British study, published in the BMJ Open magazine, and which has raised all the media alarms. Although any responsible consumer could already intuit that the results were not going to be very positive.

Only 100% natural yogurts are low in sugar

In the investigation, some 900 products classified as yogurt or derivatives were analyzed -dairy desserts, fresh cheeses style petit, liquid yogurts, etc. - available in the main British supermarkets during the month of November 2016. The objective was to unravel the nutritional content and analyze if they correspond to the guidelines given in the United Kingdom on healthy eating, which to a large extent those of the European Union follow.

However, only 100% natural yogurts and those labeled as Greek - also natural - met the maximum amount of 5 g of sugar per 100 g of product. Remember that yogurt contains sugars naturally present in milk, so the total content can skyrocket when extra sugar is added.

And this is what happens with a wide range of dairy products that are sweetened or enriched with flavors. Less than 9% of the total could be considered "low in sugars", and none corresponded to infant yogurts.

It will not surprise anyone to know that those classified as "dairy desserts" are those with the highest amount of sugars and fats, but it is more worrying to note that the average of yogurts for children was around 10.8 g of sugar per 100 g, and about 13.1 g in the case of organic ones. Excessive amounts considering that the WHO recommends a maximum of 25 g of sugar per day in adults.

The best yogurt, the natural one of all life

Yes, yogurt is a very healthy product, but it was that decades ago and does not need to be improved. Not low in fat, not sweetened, not rich in protein, not enriched with superfoods, nor with "invisible pieces of fruit". Everything is pure marketing. As the nutritionist Aitor Sánchez says, we do not need better yogurts: we must recover foods that are healthy by themselves.

Although the study refers to the British market, it is enough to take a look at the shelf of any of our supermarkets to see the excess supply that saturates the consumer, sending confusing messages unless we start to analyze the nutritional content, one by one. We can also re-prepare our own homemade yogurt.

PRODUCTS intended for children are NOT RECOMMENDED for children -> #ActimelKids #MiprimerDanone #HeroNanos #Juices #Danonino and a long etc

- Sílvia Romero (@ Silvia28282) September 20, 2016

A child, when he is old enough to eat yogurt, does not need any special products for infants. And organic products don't have to be healthier either; many, in fact, are just as loaded with sugars and fats as those that are not. The tags bio and the like only comply with the legislation that allows them to be used, and refer only to production methods, not their supposed healthy properties.

A reformulation of these products is urgently required in accordance with the sugar consumption recommendations

The research concludes that products are perceived as healthy that could actually be more harmful than beneficial, and therefore a reformulation and more consumer education would be urgent. In a society with high figures of overweight that abuses ultra-processed products, perceiving products loaded with sugar as supposedly healthy puts the health of the population at risk, especially the smallest ones.

Photos | iStock - Pixabay - Anthony Easton
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