Food labels can be confusing, especially when it comes to sugar. Sugars are listed under the total carbohydrate umbrella on the Nutrition Facts label on food products. The grams of sugar listed on this label refer to the total amount of carbohydrate that is derived from sugar (which will include naturally occurring sugar like lactose in dairy products or fructose in fruits as well as “added sugar” from various sources). It’s the “added sugar” we want to reduce. On a yogurt label, determining the amount of “added sugar” is no easy task. Get out your calculators. I compared Siggi’s, Chobani Greek and Stoneyfield Smooth and Creamy (regular not Greek). Since there would be no way to determine how much of the sugar listed on the label was coming naturally from the fruit, I choose non-fat vanilla for the comparison. Both Siggi’s and Chobani come in 5.3 ounce containers, but Stoneyfield is 6 ounces. For this demonstration, I decided the serving size for all 3 brands is close enough. To determine the amount of “added sugar”, you first need to check out how much sugar is listed on the label of the plain yogurt for each brand. This will show you how much sugar is coming naturally from the milk. After making this comparison, I subtracted the grams of naturally occurring sugar listed on the plain yogurt nutrition label from the total amount of sugar listed on the vanilla yogurt label. This should give us the amount of “added sugar” in the different brands of vanilla yogurt. Still with me?
Siggis is the winner at only 5 grams of “added sugar” which is about a teaspoon. Chobani came in second at 9 grams (about 2 teaspoons) and Stoneyfield third at 13 grams (3 teaspoons). For this comparison, 4 grams is equal to 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Nutrition Note: The new 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that added sugars should be less than 10% of your calories per day. For the average adult at 2000 calories per day, that’s less than 50 grams of added sugar or 12 teaspoons per day. The American Heart Association recommends less than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and less than 9 teaspoons per day for men. Whichever guideline you choose, less is best.