As a fermented food, Aloysa says yoghurt can be a great for your gut health, but as with breads and cereals, the key is reading the labels to ensure you’re getting bang for your buck when it comes to nutritional value.
What to look for: Yoghurt should have a short ingredients list, around 100mg of calcium per 100g, and no more than 15g of sugar per 100g (though this can change if it has natural sugars from things like fruit). Some have good probiotic qualities, which are quite kind to stomachs, and some have added protein which can mean more nutritional value, particularly for kids or older people.
What to be mindful of: Check sweet yoghurts labelled with ’low fat’ and ‘no sugar’ for artificial sweeteners. “Artificial sweeteners are not considered, in small amounts, to be highly dangerous in any way, but they do encourage your desire for that super sweet taste,” says Aloysa. On top of this, many commercial yoghurts achieve a creamy texture by adding in milk solids, which results in more lactose and a slightly higher sugar content.
And another thing: It’s worth trying to steer your kids away from sugary yoghurt towards the more natural kind. “Some kids’ yoghurts are more like a dessert. I think you’ll find there’s quite a lot of added sugar in those products as well as some other additives, like added colours and flavours, which may not be great for some kids,” says Aloysa.
“Children learn what taste is as they go, so if you can offer kids more of the better yoghurts from the word ‘go’, that’s probably what they’ll grow up to like and enjoy.”