By Danielle Centoni
If you’re on the lookout for a quick breakfast or snack that will help keep you feeling full and provide a healthy dose of protein, probiotics and essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D and Vitamin B12, look no further than the supermarket dairy case. Just a cup of yogurt ticks all of those boxes.
There’s just one catch: flavored yogurts are often loaded with sugar. Milk contains lactose, so there’s no escaping at least a few grams of naturally occurring sugar. But most brands add sugar or sweetened fruit purees to offset yogurt’s natural tanginess. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find 20 to 25 grams of sugar in a 6 ounce cup. Or the sugar equivalent of a Snicker’s bar.
That’s why we recommend buying plain yogurt (we like Stonyfield Plain Organic Grass-Fed Yogurt and Wallaby Organic Plain Whole-Milk Greek Yogurt) and adding fruit, sweeteners, and other mix-ins. That way, you can control the amount of added sugar. Plus, plain yogurt is so versatile.
But sometimes you just want something quick and convenient — no time to DIY. Thankfully, an increasing number of brands offer low-sugar versions of their flavored yogurts. Some simply scale back on added sugar, some rely only on fruit to add sweetness, and some use sugar substitutes, like stevia.
The question is: Are they delicious and fruity? Or do they just taste like plain yogurt? We decided to round them up and put them to the test.
Our Methodology: How We Chose & Tested the Low Sugar Yogurts
We scoured the shelves to find the healthiest options with less than 10 grams of sugar per serving, made with rBST-free milk, and avoiding any that had artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives. We found seven brands that fit the bill and opted for the mixed berry flavor of each.
We tasted through them all (the stevia-sweetened options were tasted separately), evaluating them for texture and flavor.
We wanted yogurts that really tasted like fruit, not plain yogurt. We also wanted a texture that was creamy, not excessively thick. Some yogurts had barely any fruit flavor at all and some were almost pasty. But we quickly zeroed in on the one that offered the most fruit flavor and creamiest texture.
The Winner: Icelandic Provisions Krimi Skyr
All of the yogurts we tried were rich and creamy, but this one was actually silky. And since the cultures traditionally used to make skyr result in a less tangy product than yogurt, the berry flavor really came forward. Overall, it was far more flavorful and colorful than the rest.
Stevia-Sweetened: Oikos Triple Zero
Of the three brands of stevia-sweetened low-sugar yogurts we tried, this took the top spot for having the most robust berry flavor and a luscious texture. Plus, the stevia aftertaste wasn’t overwhelming. Normally, we prefer whole milk, full-fat yogurts, which tend to have more nutrients, but this nonfat option still packs in 15 grams of protein as well as calcium, vitamin D, and 3 grams of fiber.