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Put Down That Yogurt!

Put Down That Yogurt!
Put Down That Yogurt!

Put Down that Yogurt!Even if it’s greek yogurt, put it down. Just for a second. Turn the container around and check the sugar content before spooning in another delicious mouthful.

Yogurt and greek yogurt have gained popularity in recent years due to their high protein content. For gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients, greek yogurts often have upwards of 10-13 g protein in each 6 oz cup, which goes a long way toward meeting their daily goal of 80g protein. But, if you are trying to lose weight (like bariatric surgery patients) or even just be healthy, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t eating heaping spoonfuls of sugar alongside of your protein.

So take a look at your container of yogurt. If you’re eating a vanilla flavor you may find 12-24 g inside, and mixing fruit in ratchets the sugar up even higher to around 15-30 g. Now, that’s not all added sugar. The milk used to make yogurt naturally contains sugar so no yogurt will be sugar or carbohydrate free. In a 6 or so ounce yogurt about 6 g of sugar can be attributed to the natural milk sugar. To figure out how much added sugar there is in your yogurt, subtract what’s on the label by 6 (if it’s a 6 oz serving as many single yogurt cups are). So, if you are eating a vanilla yogurt with 12 g sugar, you’re really eating 6 g of added sugar (12-6=6).  Maybe that doesn’t seem so bad. If you’re eating a chocolate covered strawberry flavor with 32 g sugar, you’re eating 26 g sugar. Yikes.

Let’s put this in a more visual perspective. 1 teaspoon of sugar is roughly equivalent to 4 grams of sugar. So, for your 6 g of added sugar in the vanilla yogurt that’s 1.5 tsp of sugar.  For your very likely delicious chocolate covered strawberry flavor, you’re eating 6.5 teaspoons of sugar. Consider if you would ever open the sugar jar and eat 6 spoonfuls of sugar. Most likely not. You shouldn’t eat it masked in your yogurt either.

You don’t have to give up greek yogurt. For gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band patients greek yogurt can be very helpful to add protein to a post weight loss surgery diet.  Read the labels, choose a brand of yogurt that doesn’t add a lot of sugar into their greek yogurts. If you can’t find a flavored yogurt with a low sugar content, choose plain greek yogurt. You can easily add in your favorite fruit- banana slices, blueberries, or strawberries make great choices- to not only make it taste better but you’ll also be adding vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Plain greek yogurt with fresh fruit can make a great breakfast, snack, or even quick lunch on the go.

This suggestion is offered by Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA. Dr. Shillingford performs gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band surgeries at Northwest Medical Center’s Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery. Over the course of his career, Dr. Shillingford has performed over 4,000 bariatric procedures. Most of his gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band patients come from Florida, including Boca Raton, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tampa, as well as areas like Michigan, Texas, New York, and New Jersey. Dr. Shillingford’s weight loss surgery patients are always looking for healthy tips for eating better and for helping to maximize their weight loss to meet their goal.