Do you often buy packaged or flavoured yogurt from market? Turns out that some of the 'healthiest' yogurt you find in supermarkets is not necessarily good for you as it contains free or added sugars and fat -- sometimes even more than the amount you find in soft drinks and fruit juices, thus increasing the risk of obesity. According to a study was led by researchers from Britain's University of Leeds, warned that yogurt products, particularly organic yogurt and those marketed towards children, contain high sugar levels.The study was published in the journal BMJ Open.
For the study, the researchers analysed over 900 types of yogurt and yogurt products and found that fewer than one in 10 (9 per cent) qualified as low sugar -- almost none of which were in the children's category.
The scientists believe that in the time when childhood obesity and the prevalence of tooth decay among young children is so high, the trend is "concerning".
"While yogurt may be less of a concern than soft drinks and fruit juices, the chief sources of free sugars in both children and adults' diets, what is worrisome is that yogurt, as a perceived 'healthy food' may be an unrecognised source of free/added sugars in the diet," said J. Bernadette Moore from the varsity.
Apart from products in the dessert category, organic yogurts were found to have the highest average sugar content -- roughly 13.1 grams per 100 grams.
"Not all yogurts are as healthy as perhaps consumers perceive them, and reformulation for the reduction of free sugars is warranted," the researchers said.
According to co-author Annabelle Horti from the varsity: "Changing the public desire for 'sweeter' yogurts may be a real challenge when it comes to reducing its sugar content. In general, consumers' liking for yogurt is often correlated with sweetness.
"Helping people to understand the quantity of sugar that is in their yogurt and its possible ill effects on health may go a long way to smoothing the road for when the sugar is reduced," she noted.
Here are some dietary tips recommended by consultant nutritionist Rupali Datta, who was not part of the study, to manage obesity.
1. Go for whole grains in place of their refined counterparts. A whole grain manages to retain all the nutrients that are processed in the refining. Load up on whole grains like bajra, ragi, maize and jowar and use them often. Try red, black and brown rice instead of white rice.
2. Rajma, and chana dals are some of the healthiest dals you can fill up your shelves with. You can cook them, have them in sprouts or in soups.
3. Avoid red meat and opt for lean meat like chicken and salmon. Adding protein with every meal could prove to be a game changer for anyone trying to lose weight.
4. Load up on seasonal vegetables. They provide both soluble and insoluble fibres in addition to vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
5. Stay away from trans fats as they are one of the biggest culprits of growing instances of obesity globally. Fast food, instant food, fried junk, cookies, pasta, burger and noodles- these trans-fats are spread all across us.
(With Inputs IANS)