Regular yogurt, in its natural form, is highly nutritious because it contains calcium, proteins, an assortment of vitamins and live bacteria cultures. However, in a bid to gain market share and maximize profits, some manufacturers of this dairy product include unhealthy additives, such as sugar, in their products. As a result, this creates a problem for people, such as diabetics and health conscious individuals, who may be unable to consume sugary food products due to one reason or another. Thankfully, some types of yogurt such as Greek yogurt are actually sugar free. Here is some more information on this topic:
An overview of yogurt brands
The main difference between yogurt brands is simply nutritional composition. As such, you will come across brands that claim their products have low sugar content or low fat content among other claims. This is largely to satisfy the demand for healthier yogurt.
Is there such thing as sugar free yogurt?
Although some manufacturers claim their products are sugar free, it is impossible for yogurt to be devoid of sugar content. There are various reasons why this is so. To start with, the main ingredient used to make yogurt, milk, contains natural sugars such as lactose. In addition, some manufacturers add artificial sweeteners to improve flavor and palatability of their products.
With this in mind, most manufacturers mean they have not added refined sugar or other sweeteners when they state their products are sugar free. According to Erin Hobday, senior diet and nutrition editor of Self magazine, yogurt without artificial sweeteners still has about 12 grams of natural sugar per serving. As a result, expect brands that contain refined sugar or artificial sweeteners to have higher sugar content levels.
Greek yogurt has become all the rage in recent years because companies that manufacturer it claim it is healthier and nutritionally better than regular yoghurt. This type of yogurt typically undergoes stringent straining to get rid of as much whey, sugar, and lactose as possible. As a result, it is thicker and has higher protein content. In fact, an article published in Fox News Magazine states that six ounces of Greek style yogurt contains about 15 to 20 grams of protein. In comparison, a similar serving of the latter contains about nine grams of protein. However, it is worth noting that Greek yogurt generally contains lower calcium content compared to regular yoghurt.
This nutritional content discrepancy is largely caused by differences in manufacturing processes. The good news is it contains about 50% less sugar content than regular yogurt. At the same time, higher protein content means it makes one feel fuller for longer making it the ideal choice for people interested in shedding excess weight. Besides feeling fuller for longer, you consume about 20% of the daily calcium content recommended by the federal government. A six-ounce serving of Greek yoghurt should serve you with such an amount of calcium. This is not bad considering regular yogurt contains 30% of the federal government’s recommended daily calcium intake.
Low sodium content has also contributed to the popularity of Greek yoghurt. More specifically, the aforementioned US News article states that a serving of Greek yoghurt contains about 50 milligrams of sodium. This is great news to people at risk or struggling with medical conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease because salt rich diets can wreak havoc on the health of such people. For adults, the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines recommends daily sodium intake of about 2,300 milligrams. For seniors, diabetics, people with chronic kidney disease, and those with hypertension, daily sodium intake should be capped at 1,500 grams. For these reasons, proponents of Greek style yogurt say it is by far healthier.
Yogurt and diabetes, do they mix?
Diabetics must tread carefully when choosing food products that may contain sugar to avoid spiking blood sugar levels and harming their health. In other words, diabetics should choose yogurt that has low sugar content, preferably no artificial sweeteners, and the right balance of proteins and carbohydrates. This is important because carbohydrates and proteins help stave off hunger pangs and prevent spiking of blood sugar levels.
– Yogurt sweeteners
Instead of using refined sugar, manufacturers of unsweetened yogurt generally use substitutes such as sucralose and sorbitol. In addition, they avoid ingredients such as sweetened condensed milk because it contains a lot of refined sugar.
– Carbohydrate content
An article published by US News’ Health section states that a serving of sugarless yogurt contains about five to eight grams of carbohydrates compared with 13 to 17 grams found in a similar measure of regular yogurt. To keep this product as healthy as possible, manufacturers are increasingly using Splenda as a sweetener because of its low carbohydrate content and different flavors. What’s more, the human body does not process Splenda.
Most yogurt brands in the market today contain added sugar. Thankfully, some types of yogurt, such as Greek style yogurt, only contain the sugar naturally found in milk, meaning they are safe for people who are unable to consumer sugary foods due to health reasons.