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Children’s Yogurts Contain Shocking Amounts of Sugar, Study Finds

Many parents introduce yogurt to their children in the hopes of teaching them “healthy” choices when it comes to grocery shopping. But when you grab that package out of the dairy aisle, The Guardian wants you to think before you buy: Studies show that many yogurts aimed specifically at children are loaded with sugar, sometimes twice as much as what public health officials recommend for a “low sugar” level.

In and of itself, yogurt is one of the best fermented foods available, especially if you choose to make your own using raw organic milk from grass fed cows. Whipped up this way, you have lots to gain from the milk-derived nutrients, which include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin and vitamin A, as well as beneficial probiotics you need for optimal gut health. As such, it can help fight inflammation, heart disease and metabolic disorders.

But not everyone can, or wants to, make their own yogurt, so, in that instance, you rely on what you find in the store to give you the best product possible for you and your children. But how do you know what to choose, especially when many, if not most, of those fancy-labeled packages (which more aptly could be called desserts) have so much added sugar in them? First, you have to read the fine print. Carefully.

And that means learning the unpleasant truth that most commercial yogurts simply aren’t good for you. Not one bit. In fact, research by the Cornucopia Institute in 2014 couldn’t find a single truly healthy yogurt, even when they were labeled as “health food.” No matter which label they chose, they found artificial colors and flavorings along with added sugar.

The Institute has now done an update, in 2018, on a “yogurt scorecard” they created to help rank yogurts based on total sugar and whether they have additives like preservatives, stabilizers, thickeners, artificial colors and flavors, and carrageenan. What they found is not encouraging: Most commercial yogurts are still loaded with sugar and other additives.

This is why, if you really insist on buying a commercial product, you need to look for the American Grassfed Association (AGA) logo. The standard allows for greater transparency and conformity and is intended to ensure the humane treatment of animals and meet consumer expectations about grass fed dairy, while being feasible for small farmers to achieve.

An AGA logo on a product lets you know the animals were fed a lifetime diet of 100 percent forage, were raised on pasture (not in confinement) and were not treated with hormones or antibiotics.

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