Organic yoghurts and those marketed at children contain the most sugar out of all supermarket yoghurts, a new study reveals.
Organic foods are processed in certain ways, without the use of artificial chemicals, hormones or genetically modified organisms. It is for this reason that organic is generally perceived as ‘healthy’.
But researchers say a “health halo” effect has gripped shoppers in regards to organic products, assuming they are healthier but underestimating their sugar quantity.
Organic yoghurts typically contained 13.1g of sugar per 100g, the highest content of all eight categories studied. Flavoured yoghurts contained 12g and fruit versions 11.9g.
Children’s yoghurts typically contained 10.8g per 100g. This is the equivalent of more than two sugar cubes.
Natural and Greek varieties, which tend to be higher fat, had the lowest sugar content at around 5g.
A significant range of organic yoghurt promote their 0% fat content, and how they are ‘lite’ or ‘low fat’, but in removing the fat, manufacturers often replace it with sugar.
More and more research is revealing how it is sugar, not fat, that is responsible for record-high type 2 diabetes and obesity rates in the UK. In our Low Carb Program, we show how fat is your friend, and eating full fat yoghurt as part of a healthy diet is far more beneficial than eating low fat.
Researchers from the universities of Leeds and Surrey said efforts to remove added sugar from yoghurts was warranted following their study, which analysed products at five major supermarkets in October-November 2016.
Lead author Dr Bernadette Moore, of the University of Leeds, said: “While there is good evidence that yoghurt can be beneficial to health, products on the market vary widely in nutrient content.
“Items labelled organic are often thought of as the ‘healthiest’ option, but they may be an unrecognised source of added sugars in many people’s diet.”
Public Health England (PHE) has challenged the food industry to reduce the sugar content in a range of products by 20% by 2020, but earlier this year revealed the sugar industry is behind on these targets.
The study results appear in The BMJ.

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