Archive for the tag - added sugar

Is Greek Yogurt Healthier?

Dear Davey,

I’ve seen a lot about Greek yogurt being very healthy. Is it all marketing hype or is Greek yogurt really better for you than regular yogurt?

From,
Sean

greek yogurt vs fruit yogurtHey Sean,

For the most part, people think of yogurt as a healthy option. But the truth is, not all yogurts are created equal.

For illustrative purposes, let’s compare 100 grams of nonfat fruit yogurt to 100 grams of nonfat plain Greek yogurt (see click-able chart).

As it turns out, the nutritional differences are substantial. With 95 calories, fruit yogurt is far more energy-dense than nonfat plain Greek yogurt. Even more shocking is the amount of sugar. The 19 grams of sugar in fruit yogurt converts to nearly 5 teaspoons! Compare that to the 2.3 grams of sugar in plain Greek yogurt. There’s also a substantial difference in protein content. While the 4.4 grams of protein in fruit yogurt isn’t shabby, plain Greek yogurt has a solid 10 grams.

Hands down, nonfat plain Greek yogurt is the healthiest yogurt option. From a nutritional standpoint, it’s a huge improvement over other yogurt variations – especially when it comes to calories, added sugar and protein.

As a general rule, only buy plain yogurt – regardless of your preference for regular or Greek yogurt. Fruit yogurts almost always have added sugar. In fact, the second ingredient listed in Dannon Fruit on the Bottom yogurt is sugar. If you want some sweetness in your yogurt, add a few berries or a slice or two of fruit.

The bottom line is that nonfat plain Greek yogurt is, in fact, healthier than the other yogurt variations.

Love,
Davey

P.S. For more information about improving the way you look and feel through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter!

Difference Between Sugar and Added Sugar!

sugarIf you look at the nutrition information for a banana and a serving of Starburst candies, you might be surprised to notice a few similarities – including the amount of sugar. Both foods have about 28 grams of sugar.

Of course, there’s a difference: A banana has naturally occurring sugar while the candies have added sugar. What’s the difference? And is one for of sugar healthier than the other?

All sugars are a form of carbohydrate. According to Calorie Count:

Naturally occurring sugars include lactose in milk, fructose in fruit, honey and vegetables and maltose in beer. Added sugars originate from corn, beets, grapes, and sugar cane, which are processed before being added to foods. The body cannot tell the difference between naturally occurring and added sugars because they are identical chemically.

Sugar is sugar, and we know that all of us get way too much of it. In fact, the average American eats 130 pounds of sugar per year. But the story doesn’t end there.

In our above example of a banana versus Starburst candies, no one would argue that the candy is a healthier choice. That’s because the banana comes loaded with essential nutrients that our bodies need. The candies, on the other hand, don’t.

Here’s the deal: Many foods that contain naturally occurring sugar also contain some really great stuff – so you need to pay attention to other things like vitamins, minerals and fiber to get a more complete picture. Foods with added sugar are often nutritionally devoid. Think donuts, cake and soda.

And it’s worth noting that a nutrition label doesn’t distinguish between naturally occurring sugar and added sugar. You’ll have to read the ingredients carefully to see if sugar is added. If ingredients like barley malt, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, maltose, molasses, etc., are listed, then you’ll know there is added sugar in the food product.

Having said that, it’s still wise to minimize all forms of sugar. Naturally occurring sugar is still sugar, and there are plenty of ways to get nutrients without the sweet stuff – added or otherwise.