Yogurt please! That’ll be four teaspoons of sugar…

As the modern world discusses the benefits of Meat free Monday (of which there are many), and the fight against obesity seeming to be solely focussing on the sugar in soft drinks, one very dangerous oversight is being made by the public in the mission to be more healthy…yogurts!

Yogurts you ask? But they are part of my healthy breakfast you say.

In some cases you will be correct, however little do you know that the delicious ‘healthy’ yogurt you have in the morning could have as much sugar in as the chocolate bar you wouldn’t even consider for breakfast!

Don’t get me wrong; ‘un-sweetened’ yogurts make an extremely healthy snack. They are overflowing with calcium, protein and vitamins. If you choose a natural yogurt then the benefits are vast. The lactic bacteria in yoghurt can boost the immune system, lower body fat; protect against food poisoning and build stronger bones. Furthermore, We at MetMUnch can’t claim that all sugars in yogurts are bad, however, scratch beneath the surface of some of your favourite brands and you’ll find similar levels to junk food lurking in that tub.

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One problem lies with the fact that brands don’t differentiate between naturally occurring sugars and those that have been added, merely marking it ‘carbohydrates – of which sugars’. This is a sneaky way of deceiving the customer into not knowing exactly what they are consuming.

Not too surprising is the fact that the Muller Corner range can contain 90% of a child’s daily allowance of sugar. That’s over four and a half teaspoons in one 100g serving!!

The biggest shock though will come from two that you might have considered to be healthy; Onken Greek style apple and cinnamon yogurt and the Yeo Valley 0% fat vanilla yogurt.

Let’s start with Onken. Greek yogurt gets an amazing write up and the health benefits can be great, the deception here lies in its name though, it’s a ‘Greek style yogurt’, which enables Onken to add four teaspoons of sugar to it. Crazy right?!

Now for the one people would consider being healthiest…Yeo Valley and its 0% fat vanilla yogurt, surely 0% fat means it’s healthy? Nope! They’ve still managed to cram in 15.5g of sugar into a 100g serving, which is just a bit less than four teaspoons.

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Some of the main reasons for this are that, although dairy prices have been falling, sugar is still the cheaper alternative to bulk up that pot. That combined with the fact that natural yogurt tastes quite sour, means that the sugar makes tastier, and more addictive and generally more fun for the sugar beasts we have become in the last few decades.

The UK government is at least making some headway into this issue, with its Childhood Obesity Plan tasking the sector to reduce sugar by 20% by 2020. However, it is public opinion on yogurt that needs to change to have a bigger impact.

Obviously, it will still come down to have a healthy balanced lifestyle, but more care needs to be taken with all processed food. Take the time to read the label to see what you’re actually eating. Alternatively, why not make yourself some overnight oats to give yourself the brain food that you need, as well as keeping you fuller for longer.

For recipe ideas or for more tips, visit metmunch.com  or see our social media feeds on Twitter and Instagram at @metmunch.