Is sugar free really sugar free? Reading the Labels.

Ingredients Lists

It’s Okay to be confused, they do it on purpose. 

Packaging on food is such a minefield. It is no wonder that American eating habits have gone so haywire. The pretty pictures and words like “All Natural”, “No Trans Fat”, or “Sugar Free”, are very loosely regulated by the FDA. It is sad that they need to be regulated at all. Food companies should be honest with what they say is in their products, but realistically it is all about the profit margins. The CHEAPER the ingredients, and the SPLASHIER the graphics the more it will sell.

I don’t read the front of packaging anymore. I flip it right over to the Ingredients on the back, or side. There are two sections of information The “Nutrition Facts”, and the “Ingredient List”.

Nutrition Facts

This part of the label shows how many Grams (g), Milligrams (mg), etc. of certain nutrients are in the particular food product. Under the Carbohydrates you will find the Sugar. This will show how many grams of certain types of sugar are in the product. Most Artificial Sugars… Will Not be Listed Here! Natural Sugars that DO NOT promote Diabetes WILL be listed here. I honestly only look at the Serving Size, and Protein count on this part of the label.

Ingredients.

Let’s compare, Dannon Light and Fit, yogurt, advertised as a health food to Chobani Yogurt, advertised as yogurt.

Dannon Light and Fit
I could not find any Plain yogurt for Light & Fit so, Vanilla it is.

It shows 13g of Sugar for the whole container in the Nutrition Facts. In the Ingredients list I see Milk and Fructose. Both would show up under the grams of sugar in the Nutrient Facts. Reading down the list I find 4 Hidden Sugars. Modified Food Starch, Modified Corn Starch, Sucralose, and Acesulfame Potassium a known carcinogen. What really worries me is that they had to add Sodium Citrate and Citric Acid to balance the artificial super sweet taste, with tart and salt. So the grams of sugar is not telling the whole story. There is way more sugar then the 13 grams listed.

Chobani
Here is a label for Chobani Plain yogurt. All they have is Milk and Bacteria Culture. In a quick google search I found the list for Chobani Vanilia. The list was the same as the Plain. Adding in only Evaporated Cane Juice, which would affect the listed grams of sugar in Nutrient Facts. Vanillia Extract, and Locust Bean Gum (which is from Carob that is used to complement Vanilla), both are not sugars. Chobani Vanilla reads at 12g of sugar a container.

The Verdict.

So Lets assume that both companies start with a base yogurt with 4 grams of sugar, just from the milk. Dannon is adding in 9 grams of Frucose and who knows how many grams of the FOUR Hidden Sugars.Chobani has added in 8 grams of plain old Cane Sugar, that’s it.

I also noticed that Dannon did not have any bacteria cultures which are used to create yogurt from milk. They just list “Cultured Grade A NonFat Milk,”. So would have to do some company investigations to see what they mean by Cultured. They do however add in gelatin. This would give a firm yogurt like texture, which makes me suspect they the Cultured Milk is not completely yogurt. The without the bacteria, the healthy fermentation process that takes Lactose and turns it into Galactose, making it so easily digestible is not happening. Meaning that ALLL of the healthy benefits that people talk about from yogurt do not occur with this Dannon Product. Dannon Light n’ Fit “yogurt” really seems to be just pudding.

Dannon is just pudding? 

If you want to know more about the regulations of yogurt. Click here. or Check out my article, “Is your yogurt actually yogurt?”

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