Dieters beware: Sugar in many types of yogurt is not so good

Woman checks nutritional information on yogurt cup

Woman checks nutritional information on yogurt cup

DENVER -  Yogurt is considered to be a healthy choice, but experts say the label should come with a warning that says “beware of the sugar”.

The creamy, filling food is a mainstay for dieters, but its sugar content can soar to as many as 20 grams.   That’s about the same as a couple of handfuls of candy.

During the production process, many brands add syrupy fruit and added sugar to improve the bitter taste of plain yogurt, which accounts for most of the carbohydrates.

The milk in yogurt has natural sugar, but if you want to avoid the added calories experts say you should stick to Greek yogurt.

Registered dietician Mary Lee Chin says, “It is higher in protein content so you get good protein, then choose the lower fat kind so you get fewer calories.”   Adding your own fresh fruit is a great idea, even a dab of natural honey can improve the taste without an overload of calories.

Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and brands with live cultures have probiotics, which are essential in healthy digestion and can even boost your immune system.   Experts say you shouldn’t avoid yogurt altogether, just watch your portion sizes and read labels in grocery stores to make sure you know how much sugar you’re really getting.