Yogurt can provide a great lesson in how to compare nutrition labels. Next time you’re at the supermarket, pick up a nutrient-dense yogurt (Dr. Bill’s personal favorite is organic Stonyfield Greek Yogurt) and one of the “light” brands that are produced with artificial ingredients. Then try them both at separate times of the day. Notice any difference in how satisfied you are? Now compare the two labels:
|Yummy Yogurt – Stonyfield Greek (Plain)||Yucky Yogurt – popular “light” brand (blueberry flavor)|
|Serving size: 5.3 oz
Calories from fat: 0
Total Carbs: 6 grams
Sugars: 6 grams *
Protein: 15 grams ***Ingredients: Cultured pasteurized organic nonfat milk (contains live active cultures).
|Serving size: 6 oz
Calories from fat: 0
Total Carbs: 16 grams
Sugars: 10 grams **
Protein: 5 gramsIngredients: Cultured pasteurized grade A nonfat milk, blueberries, modified corn starch, sugar, kosher gelatin, natural flavor, tricalcium phosphate, citric acid, aspartame, potassium sorbate added to maintain freshness, acesulfame potassium, red #40, vitamin A acetate, blue #1, vitamin D.
As a general rule, the shorter the ingredients list, the healthier the yogurt.
Important things to note in these labels:
* This “sugar” is from the natural lactose in yogurt.
** Much of these “sugars” are added sweeteners.
*** 10 grams more protein because the yummy yogurt is real yogurt, simply two ingredients: organic milk and live cultures. The yucky yogurt is loaded with fillers and artificial chemical additives. The amount of protein per serving is how you can gauge how much real yogurt you are buying, versus paying for fillers.
Tip: If you wish, add your own healthy sweeteners such as fruit or honey.
Teaching tip: Teach your child three rules to picking yogurt. A grow-food yogurt:
- is organic, so you know it is produced without the use of pesticides, antibiotics, GMOs and artificial sweeteners or flavors.
- has a higher protein-to-calorie ratio. More grams of protein per calorie on the nutrition facts label generally means the yogurt contains more real food and fewer fillers.
- contains no “bad words”: high fructose corn syrup or dyes with a number symbol, such as red #40.
Which yogurt will you feed to your family?