Be Sugar SMART with Yoghurts


SUGAR In 2015 the WHO (World Health Organisation) published guidelines on sugar intake for adults and children saying that no more than 10% of a person’s energy (calories) should come from ‘free’ sugars. To maintain health, this equates to

 10-14 teaspoons of sugar per day for an average adult

Sugar Measurement

Have a look at the table below and see if any of your regular choices contain more sugar than you had realised.
fixed table january 2017




OBESITY    Eating a healthy balanced diet can help prevent overweight. A high sugar intake threatens the nutrient quality of the food we eat by providing significant energy (calories) without specific nutrients needed to keep us well. Excess sugar leads to obesity.

WHY EAT YOGHURT     Yoghurt provides a source of protein, calcium and micro-nutrients as well as live cultures. Including yoghurt as part of our daily 3-5 dairy servings, supports normal growth and development in children and helps maintain bone health throughout life.

YOGHURT & SUGARS    Milk and yoghurts are classed separately. And, happily there is no reported data of adverse effects of consuming naturally occurring sugars found in milk and yoghurts. When we look at the food labels, we will see that all yoghurts contain some sugar. This is because milk and milk products have a naturally occurring sugar ‘lactose’.

Generally natural yoghurt contains about 5g ‘sugars’ per 100g (approximately one teaspoon) and when we look at yoghurts with a higher sugar content than this the higher number is down to additional sugars which have been added by the manufacturer.  So, when we look at other flavoured yoghurts we can compare how they fare after fruit sugar or simple sugars are added.

 Choosing a healthy yoghurt…

  • Choose a plain, unflavoured, natural or Greek yoghurt
  • Choose 0% fat or diet or fat free varieties
  • Be mindful of the portion sizes when choosing multi-packs or individual pots

Tips – how to include yoghurt in a variety of dishes – Many people will choose yoghurt as a snack or to finish off a meal, for example natural yoghurt with a portion of stewed fruit. But don’t forget you can use natural yoghurt in your savoury choices too. Here are some ideas:

  • Substitute for mayonnaise when making coleslaw or creamy salad dressings
  • Mix natural yoghurt with seasoning and chopped fresh herbs to give a light alternative to a sour cream dip. Perfect as an accompaniment to roasted vegetables or vegetable crudités
  • Use with tandoori spices as a marinade for chicken or fish
  • Use as creamy style sauce for curry – see our recipe for coronation chicken.

Recipe for coronation chicken

Future Posts: There will be more articles coming up covering Probiotic Yoghurts, High Protein Yoghurts and Fat content….stay posted

Diabetes Ireland will be providing information on many other foods, in order to help you to shop SMART and in the longer-term help to prevent the rise in Pre-diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter and SHARE our posts with your family and friends. Together, we are stronger to achieving good Health.

Pauline Dunnetogether-we-are-stronger