Yogurts With More Sugar Than A Twinkie

05/26/2014 09:18 am ET | Updated May 27, 2014
  • Abigail Wise Social Media Fellow, Healthy Living, The Huffington Post
Evan Sklar via Getty Images

We all like to think of yogurt as a healthy breakfast, but as it turns out, many of the most popular yogurt brands have more sugar than a junk food you'd never consider eating.

The American Heart Association recommends that men eat no more than 36 grams of sugar per day, and women no more than 20. One Twinkie makes a big dent in that recommended daily max, packing 19 grams of the sweet stuff, Time reported. Many of the top-selling yogurts have even more.

Part of this high sugar count is due to sugar that occurs naturally in yogurt, but the amount of natural sugar varies dramatically, depending on the kind. Lowfat yogurt, for example, is notorious for being high in sugar, Monica Reinagel, M.S., LDN, CNS tells The Huffington Post. The first 17 grams of sugar per serving, in lowfat varieties, is naturally occurring lactose. In original yogurt, it's common to see anywhere between 12 and 15 grams of natural sugar, according to Heather Bauer, R.D., CDN. That's why Bauer recommends going Greek. Greek yogurt, she said, has as little as 6 grams in plain flavors.

What really ups the sugar, though, is what we put into that plain yogurt. Fruit, especially the syrupy kind mixed into store-bought yogurts, is a common culprit. Plus, once you start throwing in candied nuts or sweetened granola, you've can quickly find yourself well beyond the sugar content of an entire Twinkie. "If you're going to add toppings, always stick to a plain flavor," Bauer says.

But many would-be yogurt eaters will tell you they just don't care for the bitter taste of a plain scoop. To make it more palatable, nearly all big brands, like Yoplait and Dannon, offer a large selection of fruit- and sometimes even dessert-flavored options. It's often these sweet additions that give the yogurts like the five below more sugar than a Twinkie.

  • Yoplait Original Strawberry
  • Strawberry-flavored original Yoplait yogurt, despite being 99 percent fat free, packs 26 grams of sugar per 6-ounce container.
  • Dannon Fruit On The Bottom Blueberry
    Getty Images
  • This blueberry offering from Dannon is proof that you should always check nutrition labels -- or you could end up with 24 grams of sugar per 6-ounce serving.
  • Stonyfield Smooth & Creamy Lowfat French Vanilla
  • This vanilla pick from Stonyfield clocks in at 29 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving.
  • Brown Cow Nonfat Vanilla
  • Brown Cow's nonfat vanilla has 25 grams of sugar per 6-ounce container.
  • Dishonorable Mention: Activia Blueberry Probiotic Yogurt
  • Activia walks a fine line with 19 grams of sugar per 4.4-ounce container of the blueberry flavor. That's as much as a Twinkie, in a smaller-than-average serving size.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that men were recommended more than 36 grams of sugar.

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