Welcome to Digesting The Label, a new series that takes a look at what exactly is in the food that we're buying and eating from a nutritional standpoint. Every two weeks, we'll examine a food and help determine whether or not it's all it's cut out to be .. or in some cases, even better for us than we thought. This week, we're looking at the sugar content in yogurt.
Yogurt is well-known for being a healthy food that packs a serious nutritional punch — after all, yogurt and granola is generally the one 'good for you' option on breakfast menus, and if you're looking to add more calcium to your diet, yogurt tends to top the list of foods to buy. There's also the probiotics naturally occurring in yogurt, which help digestive health, as well as the protein, potassium and B vitamins you can get from it.
But with recent trends towards fuller fat Greek yogurt, not to mention the flavoured options that range from a few innocent strawberries at the bottom to full-blown dessert yogurts with chocolate mousse and crumbled cookies, the nutritional benefits tend to get a little, well, muddled.
While some sugar isn't bad for you, if it's in dishes without you realizing it, the numbers can quickly add up. And that can skew how you make your nutritional choices throughout the day, including the indulgences you've been looking forward to.
We took a look at the most popular yogurt brands in Canada to determine which were the healthiest, based on the amount of sugar, as well as a few other nutritional factors. Naturally, plain yogurt fares the best, while flavoured options will pack a sugary punch. But it's not always as simple as that — when you compare the yogurts with equal serving sizes (as we did), you might see a different story.
UPDATE: As requested by readers, we've now added the type of sweetener used in each yogurt, indicating whether or not the sugar is naturally occurring or another option.
Take a look at our list, and let us know if you can't find your favourite yogurt — we'll be glad to investigate for you: