To many, especially women, yogurt is a nutrient-enriched dairy food that also serves as a tasty dessert. A lot of moms even consider it as their first choice for baby treats. But what we may not realise is it may contain a great amount of food additives which could lead to allergy, obesity or hyperactivity in kids after excessive consumption. So before buying any yogurt, remember to read the nutrient content on the label.
Artificial colours may cause hyperactivity
Strawberry flavour in pastel pink, mango flavour in silky yellow, flavoured yogurt comes in a wide spectrum of colours depending on the fruit it mixes with. But these colours may come from artificial food dyes. A magazine reported that some artificial colours banned overseas are still being used in Hong Kong, including Tartrazine (E102), Quinoline yellow (E014), Sunset Yellow (E110), Azorubine (E122), Ponceau 4R (E124) and Allura Red AC (E129).
In 2010, Centre for Food Safety also released a research on Food Colours and Hyperactivity in Children and pointed out that these 6 artificial colours may cause symptoms of hyperactivity in children. Before letting your kids enjoy that sweet and sour treat, you’d better check the artificial colours it contains.
Emulsifier could be responsible for enteritis
Emulsifier is used to mix water and oil together and is commonly found in yogurt, ice-cream and other dairy products, especially E466 and E433. It’s sometimes shown as stabiliser on the nutrition label.
Recently, The Chinese University of Hong Kong announced that the said emulsifiers could cause enteritis. A research conducted in the U.S. also stated that a number of emulsifiers greatly changed the content of intestinal microbiota in rats, allowing bacteria that are hazardous to the body to grow more easily, or causing enteritis. They also affected the regeneration ability of large intestine cells which may lead to colorectal cancer. Chronic inflammation, obesity and other health problems also developed in these lab rats.
Cane sugar or sweetener. Which is worse?
All types of yogurt are sweet except for those labelled as plain yogurt. Excessive consumption of sugar would lead to obesity, and chronic illness patients, such as diabetics, should take extreme care when choosing sweet treats. According to WHO’s advice, a grown-up should consume 2,000kcal each day in which no more than 50g should come from sugar.
For body fitness, some may go for sweeteners and the most common 2 are Acesulfame Potassium (E950) and Aspartame (E951). Since they are 200 times sweeter than cane sugar, a small pinch already adds lots of sweetness but not many calories. There isn’t any research proving sweeteners are harmful to health, but some people are allergic to them and should control the amount consumed.
If keeping healthy is the goal, yogurt-lovers are advised to eat plain yogurt that contains no sugar or additives. For more flavours, texture and nutrients, mix it with your favourite fruit or nuts!
Source: Yahoo Hong Kong x AXA LIVE/LIFE website