Yogurt. We all know it’s healthy.
Yogurt covered = healthy, right?
We’ve all done it – we pick up the yogurt covered whatever because we figure it the healthy alternative to chocolate covered whatevers.
“While these coating may be called ‘yogurt,’ they are really kind of a ‘frosting’ of which yogurt is an ingredient,” says David Katz, MD, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center.
The thing that makes that ‘yogurt’ coating taste so good?
Sugar. And lots of it.
These are the worst kinds of sugars: processed and refined. Not the sugars that occur naturally in dairy foods. These refined sugars get mixed with oil and turn into that candy-like coating.
“Having the name ‘yogurt’ in the mix is supposed to make it all okay,” Katz says. “It does not.”
That candy like coating is a pretty good description for it. Mario Kratz, MD, a dairy researcher and nutrition scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle says, “One should definitely not think of these items as health food.” He goes on to say, “I’d place most of these snacks in the same category as a candy bar.”
That’s no surprise, when you look at the ingredients of most of them. Sugar, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, yogurt powder, emulsifiers and salt all top the list of ingredients. Not exactly what you’d think you’re getting from ‘yogurt.’
There’s a very real danger to these snack food impostors, reports Dina Rose, PhD, a sociologist and feeding expert on the blog It’s Not About Nutrition: The Art and Science of Teaching Kids to Eat Right. “For kids, yogurt covered snacks like yogurt covered (really, oil covered) raisins and pretzels teach that these foods should look and taste like candy,” she reports. How can you then teach that this “health food” should only be eaten occasionally?
Can’t get enough yogurt? Try making your own at home by choosing a plain or vanilla yogurt to dip fruit or nuts in, then freeze for a sweet treat with significantly less added sugars. We recommend trying frozen yogurt-covered Fuji Apples or Bananas using Brothers All Natural Fruit Crisps. These are an excellent treat that they will be asking for time and again!