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How to Avoid Sugar in Yogurt: Not All Yogurt Is Created Equal

Yogurt parfaits

Not all yogurt is created equal. According to this new study by Herbalife, the powdered GanedenBC30 probiotic had a higher survival rate than 24 out of 25 commercial yogurt brands under specific conditions. Yogurt sales are taking a hit, and General Mills is launching a Yoplait option with less sugar in hopes of reviving the struggling yogurt market. In this article, you can learn how to start avoiding sugar in yogurt and still enjoy your favorite creamy breakfast!


The Herbalife Nutrition study titled: “Comparative Survivability of Bacillus coagulans (GanedenBC30) in Different Formulations versus Probiotic Species in Commercial Yogurts under Simulated in vitro Digestive Conditions” was presented by Troy Smillie, Ph.D., Principal Scientist Botanicals & Research, Product Science, R&D at Herbalife Nutrition. Smillie stated:

“Our results support that spore-forming BC30 strain, in two different formulations, had a higher level of survivability in a simulated gastric environment than most non spore-forming probiotic species found in traditional yogurt cultures. The survival rate of BC30 was statistically significantly higher when it was prepared with Herbalife Nutrition Formula 1 meal replacement shake as compared to the powdered form under simulated gastric conditions.”

For many years, various probiotics have been added to commercial yogurts. However, it is difficult to determine an accurate level of survival following digestion. The primary object of this study was to evaluate and determine the rate of survivability for spore forming "Bacillus coagulans" GBI-30 6086 GanedenBC30 opposed to common probiotic species through simulated in vitro gastric and intestinal conditions. Two formulations of GanedenBC30 were evaluated in the study in comparison to seven forms of commercially available yogurt probiotics.

Herbalife Study Results

The study’s results indicated that, during the simulated gastric conditions, the powdered form of GanedenBC30 had a statistically higher survival rate compared to 22 out of 25 yogurt species. When prepared with Herbalife’s Nutrition Formula 1 meal replacement shake, the GanedenBC30 had a statistically higher survival rate compared to 24 out of 25 yogurt species. This testing was done under simulated gastric conditions whereas under simulated intestinal conditions, GanedenBC30 displayed a lower percentage of survival rates with both formations, 48% and 12%, compared to commercial yogurt species. The full name of Herbalife's patented strain of "Bacillus coagulans" is GanedenBC30. To learn more about this study and GanedenBC30, please visit Herbalife’s website here.

General Mills Introduces a Lower-Sugar Version of Yoplait To Address Plummeting Sales

Yoplait was the top-selling brand of yogurt in the United States for many years, but the introduction of Chobani’s greek yogurt dealt a blow to General Mills as it climbed in popularity. While General Mill’s Oui French yogurt was the most successful new product launch in recent years, their yogurt sales have continued to plunge with their U.S. sales dropping by 8% in the most recent quarter. General Mills is hoping that their newest yogurt: “YQ by Yoplait”, will turn the tide by winning the public’s favor as a low-sugar option. A lighter version of Yoplait yogurt is not new, but YQ features cane sugar instead of artificial sugar. Many people are trying to avoid sugar in yogurt.

Sugary Yogurt Is NOT a Health Food

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It should come as no surprise that most store-bought yogurts are loaded with sugar. Perhaps the public is beginning to realize just how much sugar they are actually consuming in one serving of yogurt. Most modern diets push the issue of cutting back on sugar if not eliminating it altogether. If an excess of sugar wasn’t bad enough, many popular brands of store-bought yogurt also contain artificial sweeteners and dyes.

Yogurt is a prime example of a sugary desert masquerading as a health food. Many people reach for a single serving of yogurt because it satisfies their craving, is low in calories, and it even has probiotics to boost their gut health! Conscientious mamas feed it to their toddlers because it is a health food they will swallow without a single whine. Unfortunately, the truth about most commercial yogurt is far from sweet. Fortunately, you can avoid sugar in yogurt!

The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners in Yogurt

Folks have been wary of artificial sweeteners since the 1950s when they were first introduced to the market. Science confirms that we have good reason to be concerned. According to research, artificial sweeteners train the taste buds to become addicted to a sweeter taste than can be found anywhere else in nature. Another study revealed that the daily consumption of drinks sweetened by artificial sweeteners resulted in a 67% increased risk for type 2 diabetes!

Examples of common artificial sweeteners include: aspartame, acesulfame potassium, Equal, NutraSweet, saccharin, Splenda, sorbitol, sucralose, and Sweet ’N Low. Another processed sugar you may want to avoid as an ingredient in yogurt is high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup contains contaminants including mercury.

Here Are Some Healthy Alternatives to Help You Avoid Sugar in Yogurt

Sugar is naturally found in nature, but Americans are addicted to it. According to statistics, Americans consume a mind-boggling average of 152 pounds of sugar per year! This much sugar raises our risk for multiple chronic diseases including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), cognitive decline, and even cancer.

The good news is that there are so many healthier options than sugar available to sweeten yogurt. It is not difficult to avoid sugar in yogurt by sweetening your plain store-bought yogurt ahead of time if yogurt is one of your quick, go-to snacks. You can even throw packets of alternative sweetener in your purse or car so that you can stir it into the single serving size container of plain yogurt away from home. For example, healthier options that are less processed than white sugar include:

  • Stevia
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Fruit
  • Monk Fruit Extract
  • Coconut sugar
  • Turbinado sugar


Yogurt has been marketed heavily as a health food, but research is showing us that there are better options available to provide our daily dose of probiotics like Herbalife’s GanedenBC30 instead of sugary commercial yogurts. Fortunately, we can choose to be healthy and avoid sugar in yogurt by opting to sweeten our yogurt with alternative sweeteners. So go ahead, enjoy your yogurt with no regrets!