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What's in your pot?

According to consumer research, the UK population spends a staggering 1.7 billion a year on yogurt and fromage frais.

With an ever-increasing range of yogurt varieties on offer, it can be difficult to work out why one variety may be more or less healthy than another.

Here at Enjoy Food, we thought it was about time we took a closer look at this popular product and find out what exactly is in those pots…

The good news

Yogurt provides many health benefits. Made with milk, it contains protein and calcium needed for healthy bones and teeth. Some yogurts also have added vitamin D, which helps our body to absorb calcium. It’s also good to know that low-fat yogurts have just as much calcium as the full-fat versions.

Some research even suggests that eating yogurt can help you to feel fuller, which may make it easier to manage your weight.

As well as a useful portable snack, or instant pudding when you fancy a sweet fix, plain, natural, or greek yogurt can be used as a topping on fruit and desserts instead of cream, in smoothies, or in cooking. 


Spotlight on sugar

As with most manufactured food products, you need to take a step back from the marketing hype and take a closer look at the food label, to check whether that innocent looking pot is as healthy as it seems.

Many yogurts, particularly the ones aimed at children, are crammed full of the ‘free sugars’ we all need to cut back on.

Looking at the label, the carbohydrate ‘of which sugars’ provides useful information. An amount in grams (g) will be given.

Spotting 'free sugars'

This figure includes sugars which come naturally from the milk used to make the yogurt, known as ‘lactose’, as well as any sugar added to the yogurt, ie ‘free sugars’, and sugar that comes naturally from any fruit or fruit puree that has been used to make the product.

As a general rule, in any 100g of yogurt, the first 5g of sugar listed is the milk sugar (lactose) found naturally in the milk used to make the yogurt. Lactose is not a 'free sugar'.

If sugar is second or third on the ingredients list, you know that a lot has been added as the order of ingredients is dictated by the quantity present. Other forms of sugar that you may see added include fructose, dextrose, glucose, fructose syrup, and honey.



If you carb count, it’s the total amount of carbs that you need to count.

By looking at the ‘of which sugars,’ together with the ingredients list, you can gain a fairly accurate picture of the amount of sugar added, especially if you remember that the first 5g of any 100g of yogurt is generally a result of the lactose in milk.

Added fruit is sometimes listed as a percentage. If it is a long way down the ingredient list, it means that very little has been added. Generally, more expensive yogurts have the most fruit added.

Popular yogurts

Below is the nutritional information for 10 everyday yogurts so you can see how they perform...

*These nutritional values were accurate at the time of publication, but some of these values may have changed. Please check the food labels for the latest nutritional information.

Muller Light – Strawberry

 Per 100gPer 175g serving
Saturated fat0.10.18


Danone Light & Free – Blueberry Burst

 Per 100gPer 115g serving
Saturated fat<0.1<0.1


Liberté 0% – Natural

 Per 100gPer 125g serving
Saturated fat<0.1<0.1


Danone Activia 0% Fat – Peach

 Per 100gPer 125g serving
Saturated fat<0.1<0.1

Skyr Fat Free – Simply Natural

 Per 100gPer 150g serving
Saturated fat0.10.1


Nestle Ski Smooth – Strawberry

 Per 100gPer 120g serving
Saturated fat1.82.1


Yeo Valley – Natural

 Per 100gPer 120g serving
Saturated fat2.73.4


Alpro Soya – Simply Plain

 Per 100gPer 120g serving
Saturated fat0.40.48


Rachel's Organic Greek Style – Natural

 Per 100gPer 120g serving
Saturated fat5.26.2


Sainsbury's Low-Fat Greek Style – Natural

 Per 100gPer 120g serving
Saturated fat1.72

The findings

We’ve used the governments’ colour coding front-of-pack scheme so that you can see whether the amount in each yogurt is high (red), medium (amber) or low (green). As you can see, they are all coded green or amber for sugar, fat, and salt. One was coded red for saturated fat, probably because whole (blue top) milk  is used in the recipe. However, this brand’s range also offers lower fat and saturated alternatives.

childyog465x280.jpgThough many of the yogurts had no added sugar, a few did, with sugar and fructose listed in the ingredients list.

Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, acesulfame K, and aspartame were added to a few of the yogurts to sweeten them. These are not counted as ‘free sugars’ and provide neglible amounts of cals and carbs.

Childrens' yogurts

Yogurts can be a useful snack to pop into your kids' lunch boxes, or to enjoy at work or home as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

It pays to check the label rather than be blinded by the marketing hype, especially if you carb count. 



Kids' yogurt nutritional information

Muller Kids Corner Butterflies

Carbohydrate per 100 g = 19.8g and per 135 g pot = 26.7g

Carbohydrate ‘of which sugars’ per 100g = 17.3g and per 135g pot = 23.3g

Munch Bunch – Strawberry and Vanilla

Carbohydrate per 100 g = 13.9g and per 85g pot = 13.4g

Carbohydrate ‘of which sugars’ per 100g = 11.8g and per 85g pot = 11.4g

Petits Filous Magic Squares – Raspberry/Vanilla

Carbohydrate per 100g = 13g and per 80g pot = 10.4g

Carbohydrate ‘of which sugars’ per 100g = 12.4g and per 80g pot = 9.9g

Muller Kids Corner Blast Off

Carbohydrate per 100g = 19.8g and per 135g pot = 26.7g

Carbohydrate ‘of which sugars’ per 100g = 16.4g and per 135g pot = 22.1g

Yoplait – Strawberry and Raspberry

Carbohydrate per 100g = 13.3g and per 70g pot = 9.4g

Carbohydrate ‘of which sugars’ per 100g = 13.2 g and per 70g pot = 9.4g


Remember to check the ingredients listed above before purchasing a yogurt for your child. Different yogurts can vary considerably and some offer far healthier options than others.

And finally...

With entire supermarket aisles, and pages and pages of online shopping sites dedicated to yogurts, you’re bound to find one you enjoy. Or, why not experiment and add your own delicious toppings and fruits to natural or greek yogurt for your very own unique flavour?

Much more than yogurts…

Want to find out more about healthy eating and diabetes management? Sign up to our free, monthly Enjoy Food e-newsletter.

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