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Wanted: low sugar yogurt.

I am surprised that no one has called out yogurt makers for the high sugar contents of their products. Coke and other sugary drinks, sure. But yogurt? The lowest sugar yogurt I can find has 9 gms of sugar. Some are above 20 gms of sugar, esp. the low fat ones. They make up for the low fat with high sugar.

Dannon has a carb control brand yogurt (2 gms), but it's almost impossible to find on grocer shelves. I have to drive 30 min out of my way to find a grocer that stocks these. And they only have 2 flavors.

What's up with that?

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  1. Some of that sugar naturally occurs in the milk, so I imagine it can't be easily removed. But Dannon, Yoplait and several other brands have "light" versions with artificial sweeteners.
    One cup of plain, nonfat yogurt has 16gm sugar, from the milk since this example has no other ingredients.:

    1. I know this probably isn't what you want to hear, but your best option is to start with plain Greek-style yogurt (store-bought or homemade) and flavor it yourself. That's what I do. Also, the bacteria digest some of the lactose & convert it to lactic acid, so the higher the concentration of active cultures in your yogurt and the longer you let it ferment or "age," the lower the sugar level.

      3 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Why should it matter whether it's Greek style?

        1. re: GH1618

          Because it's lower in sugar/lactose than regular yogurt.

      2. I buy plain yogurt 98% of the time.

        2 Replies
        1. Most of the popular brands with fruit contain added sugar. Plain yogurt often does not. Right now I have Pavel's nonfat Russian yogurt and Straus European style whole milk yogurt. Neither of these have added sugar. Sugars are reported as 15g/c for Pavel's and 7g/c for Straus. This is presumably lactose, which is ok.

          If I want fruit in my yogurt, I can add fresh fruit.

          1. I just buy plain unsweetened yogurt and add a dab of jam or honey if I want it sweeter. Otherwise I just add fruit or nuts.

            1. It's quite easy to make your own yogurt without any special equipment other than a thermometer. That way you control sugar content as well as any other additives. Heat milk to 185 degrees F, cool in an ice bath to 110, stir in a few tablespoons of plain yogurt (I use Stonyfield Organics plain whole milk yogurt if I don't have any of my own from my last batch) or you can buy yogurt starter cultures at health food stores. Cover and wrap the pot in a heavy blanket or couple of towels, let sit in a warm place for 8 hours, then refrigerate. You can strain it the next day if you like a thicker yogurt as homemade is thinner than store-bought that uses thickeners such as gelatin. Simply line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth and set over a bowl, pour in your yogurt, cover and put in the fridge for several hours. You can use the whey in smoothies, soups, etc. Set aside a few tablespoons for your next batch and flavor the rest as you would like. You can make a gallon of yogurt for just a few dollars and you control sugar, fat, etc except for what occurs naturally in the milk.

              1. By the way, I've noticed that yogurt makers are getting cagey about reporting added sugar. They call it "evaporated cane juice."

                2 Replies
                1. re: GH1618

                  How is that cagey? Unless one doesn't know what "cane" is, I suppose.

                  1. re: GH1618

                    That's been a popular term for some time (and not isolated to yogurt).

                  2. I think you'd have to call out the cows, rather than the yoghurt makers. It looks like non-fat milk has 13 grams of naturally occurring sugar per serving, so you could take that as a lower limit for pure yoghurt.

                    I looked at the ingredient list for the Dannon carb control brand, compared to normal Dannon yoghurt. The normal unsweetended version has 12 grams, and contains milk, pectin and culture. The carb control vanilla version (there's no unflavoured one listed) has water as the first ingredient, bulks it up with whey protein, various starches and gelatin, and dumps in several artificial sweeteners and various preservatives.

                    So basically, you cannot get pure yoghurt that goes much below 13 g of sugar per cup. What you get instead, is a diet version of yoghurt with an ingredient list that's ten times longer than pure yoghurt and has milk as a secondary ingredient rather than the primary one.

                    It's also no longer vegetarian, and now contains fish (in the form of Kosher gelatin).

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                      Straus reports only 7g/c and contains nothing but dairy products and cultures.

                      1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                        Whole milk yogurt is lower in carbs (assuming no fiddling from the producer).

                      2. Every day I eat 125 ml of Liberte Greek Yogurt 0% Plain (Canadian version) for a morning snack. The ingredients are skim milk and bacterial cultures. 175 grams (so, a little more than I eat) has 100 calories, 5 grams of sugar and 18 grams of protein.

                        1. This post begs the question: what objective is sought in wanting lower sugars? All sugars regardless of type, or particular sugars? US food labelling regulations require total sugars to be reported, but these are not broken down. All yogurt contains lactose, but some yogurt contains other types. If you are following Dr. Lustig's admonition to reduce sugar intake, he is primarily concerned with fructose, which is half of table sugar (sucrose) and approximately half of HFCS. He is not concerned about lactose intake.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: GH1618

                            Personally, after surgery and various health issues, I can eat all the cheese in the world, but have had to give up dairy milk, yogurt and cream. I've read and read labels, and there is no dairy yogurt, plain, unsweetened or otherwise, low enough in sugars for me to digest.

                            I finally found a plain soy yogurt that really does taste like what I remember yogurt to taste like that only has 3g of sugar/cup.

                            For my body, it's total sugars. It doesn't matter how it came about. FWIW, I do realize that I'm not normal :D

                          2. Like many who already posted here, I usually opt for plain and then sweeten it the way I like it, with honey, jam or fruit, if needed. IMO it is so much more trivial to sweeten it from plain, than to start from a sweetened version and worry about how much and what kind of sweetener has been added.

                            I also wish they have "real fruit only" or at least plain yogurt, packaged in the same kind of attractive tiny containers as the flavoured ones, because the cute attractive packaging is all that my 4 y.o. wants!

                            1. Vil- I make yogurt for my toddler, who went through a phase of eating only from those horribly expensive squeeze packets. But now, infantino makes a product that you can use to make your own packets, it's called the fresh squeezed squeeze station and it's $25 at toys-r-us. It paid for itself in grocery savings within a week. This may solve your packaging problem, it did ours!

                              1. In NZ, there's loads and loads of unsweetened yoghurt.
                                It often has stuff in it that I don't want though, and I find Indian grocers usually have very good plain yoghurt.

                                1. I used to like lowfat Stonyfield for exactly the reason that it didn't taste too sweet, but they've replaced their very fine lowfat yogurt with a new product called "Blends". If you don't like icky sweet, stay away. The consistency is now pudding-like and the sweetness ramped up, maybe for the Walmart segment of the market? Can't imagine why else they'd do this.

                                  1. I know, I think pudding has the same amount of sugar as some yogurt! I cut the amount of sugar by adding plain yogurt to yogurt with fruit.

                                    1. I could be wrong, but I think Chobani yogurt is only lightly sweetened, same with Oikos. I just get the vanilla flavored - it doesn't TASTE crazy-sweet.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Heatherb

                                        I agree with the Chobani, but Oikos is a Dannon product, and as I am about to post elsewhere, is one of the many products Dannon does NOT fill with the amount of product weight on the label.

                                        1. re: Heatherb

                                          Chobani plain has 7g sugar, the vanilla 16g, and on the high end the blueberry has 28g (!)

                                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                                            I'm holding a Chobani 6oz BLUEBERRY Greek Yogurt in my hand, and it reads "Sugar 20g".... ???

                                        2. It makes a difference whether you are searching for yogurt with low added sugar, versus yogurt that is low sugar.

                                          Plain yogurt usually has no added sugar. Look for brands that have no added chemicals or ingredients. I prefer Fage Total or Fage Total 2% Greek Yogurt. Both have 9 grams of carbs per cup, in the form of milk sugars, not added sugars The milk sugars are unavoidable in pure, unadulterated yogurt. Greek yogurt tends to be lower in carbs/sugars than non-Greek yogurt.

                                          It's very easy to make your own yogurt (see the home cooking board for several threads on that topic) and to flavor plain yogurt yourself. Flavoring it yourself allows YOU to control the added sugars.

                                          You can use honey, agave syrup, sugar, artificial sweeteners, or jams/jellies/preserves as the sweetener. One of my favorite ways with plain yogurt is to add orange zest and juice, honey and vanilla. Another favorite is just to sweeten with artificial sweetener, vanilla and whatever berry is in season. Fresh mango is good too.

                                          If I have to have yogurt and I can't get Fage and I'm not making my own, I'll buy Stonyfield plain full fat yogurt - the one with the cream on top - or Stonyfield vanilla full fat (again with the cream on top). If I can't get either Fage or Stonyfield, I'll go without, for I have tried other brands and nothing else comes close to these two, IMO.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: janniecooks

                                            I use Fage 0% greek yogurt. 9 grams of sugar in a 227 gram (1 cup) serving is pretty good.

                                          2. I also like White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt, 6 grams of sugar per 8 oz serving. I also love that it is in a glass jar, which is great to reuse if one wants to make some more yogurt from the last bit left in the jar.

                                            1. I buy a 2% Greek yogurt. I add some organic vanilla extract and previously frozen blueberries. More juices than fresh.
                                              It's creamy and good and very low in sugar!


                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: serialdiner

                                                I just fished this morning's 2% FAGE out of the trash can. 8 gr sugar, 20 gr protein, 4 gr fat. The stuff is a nutritional Godsend, not to mention it tastes great.

                                                I normally put honey in it, 'cause I really don't worry much about sugar, but if I'm dieting, I might toss in blueberries or peaches instead, but of course, that's adding some sugar, too. Homemade granola is the absolute bomb as well, and if you make your own, you can control the fat and sugars in the granola.

                                              2. Here are some comparisons if you want to buy flavored vs plain:

                                                Pineapple Flavor
                                                Siggi 9g per 5 oz pineapple flavor (1.8 g/oz)
                                                Chobani (still relatively low sugar) has 18g per 6 oz (3g/oz)
                                                Yoplait 27g of sugar per 6 oz (4.5g/oz)*

                                                Mind that the Siggi tastes much less sweet than Chobani which is turn is much less sweet than Yoplait.

                                                I buy plain Greek yogurt (9g sugar per 8 oz, 1.2g/oz) and add a sprinkle of erythritol with 0 sugars.

                                                *The Yoplait is mostly sugar, corn starch and corn syrup so I would not even call it yogurt.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: KimMae

                                                  yeah, I've been avoiding Yoplait for years. I gotta say though, I like those new Chobani "Bites" yogurts for dessert. The raspberry/dark chocolate chip is awesome!

                                                2. People who buy mass market sweetened yogurt think they're eating health food thanks to marketing. Why question it?--it's healthy if it's called yogurt, duh. Never mind the reality of how far into the junk food zone it steps. Once the "good for you" koolaid has been drunk, that is that, and more sugar=tastes better=sells better.

                                                  Make your own or buy a good, unadulterated brand and sweeten it yourself.

                                                  I second the question of what objective is sought in wanting a lower sugar yogurt?

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: splatgirl

                                                    Here, here! You have just said what I have been saying or Y E A R S!!! MARKETING is EXACTLY what has currently defined 'Healthy'! NONSENSE and bullpucky!!
                                                    I hate that it is such a huge part of what molds minds and is what many rely on for information. Many parents with genuine concerns for their family's health, have mass marketing to thank for misleading and toxic information. It is sad, but true. I don't blame them, the parents, because I truly believe their hearts are in the right place, but due to their very busy lifestyles, that is too often the only source they come in contact with to help them in their quest.
                                                    As far as the question you pose, "what objective is sought in wanting a lower sugar yogurt?", in my case, it started there because I have finally gotten my father, whom I presently reside with, to stop with the junk snacks and try to help his body to assimilate nutrients in other forms that will prevent his body from craving those said snacks. :)

                                                  2. I've always had low fat yoghurt (thinking I was doing myself some good) but only recently checked out the sugar content - I was horrified!

                                                    So I've been having natural yoghurt but sweetening it with either a little agave syrup or xylitol because both are low GI.

                                                    Because I'm too rushed sometimes to start chopping fruit, so far I've flavoured it with:
                                                    A good sprinkle of ground ginger
                                                    A few drops of vanilla essence
                                                    A few drops of lemon essence, which was really lovely and comparable to the HIGH sugar version I'd been having until recently.
                                                    Apple sauce, using the Baby Cakes of NY recipe making it with roasted apples, agave and cinnamon - mmmmmm! And the Baby Cakes apple sauce recipe makes loads, so I freeze it in cubes and it lasts for ages.
                                                    If I'm feeling indulgent, I've added a few dark choc buttons.

                                                    I can't believe how easy it is to make natural yoghurt taste so good without adding a ton of sugar. I'm not even trying to find flavoured low-sugar yoghurt anymore.

                                                    Hope that helps.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: stenochick

                                                      You might try Essential Oils, but make sure they are food grade or therapeutic grade, NOT scents, flavor, and be careful of 'essences'. An essence can have two distinct meanings. It can either be an imitation extract or it can be highly concentrated form of pure extract.
                                                      Many of which you can easily make at home, with very little effort, and tastes yummy.

                                                    2. The high sugar, pudding-like thing bothers me too. When I want sweet I eat ice cream, cheesecake, you know -something worth the sin. I used to like Stoneyfield's lowfat but they went and yoplait'd it.
                                                      I've switched to Maple Hill Creamery yogurt. The cows are grass fed, they have flavors without being really sweet, and if you want low-fat you can just skim the fat off the top. May be available in the northeast only.

                                                      1. I have a half cup of 0% Fage Greek every morning in my yogurt parfait. It has 4.5 grams of sugar for that half cup. I mix it with a cut up apple, cinnamon, and 1/3 cup of cinnamon raisin granola. It's good even without the granola though.

                                                        1. Did you know that this Dannon Yogurt has the chemical aspartame? If you want to cut sugar...buy plain yogurt & put 1 tsp of sugar in it & I'll bet you'll like it just fine!

                                                          Good luck!