Product No Case: Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt

The purpose of the “Product No Case” blog postings are to share with you foods disguised as “healthy” but might not be. And the highly marketed Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt is another great example.

I know what you’re thinking, it’s fat-free yogurt, it must be healthy!  Well, I’m not saying that it’s devoid of any nutritional benefits.  It contains 15% of your daily calcium and vitamin D needs which isn’t bad for bone health.

The problem is that this is a marketing ploy for weight loss.  But if you are snacking on Light & Fit Yogurt, with the hopes of looking like Heidi Klum, you may find yourself more frustrated than physically satisfied.  Let me explain.

The yogurt contains 80 calories, with the majority of those calories coming from carbohydrate.  That means you’ll likely be satisfied for about 30 minutes since simple carbohydrates are metabolized very quickly. I’ve met with many people who are trying to lose weight but feel hungry constantly!  When I ask about their snacking habits, they list things like fat-free yogurt and fruit (both simple carbs that do not have the satiating power of protein and fat).

A nutritious snack that keeps you satisifed for longer needs to contain more than just carbohydrates.  So balancing out that yogurt with a handful of nuts is a great way to add healthy fats, protein, and fiber.

Also, low calorie yogurts often contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose.  While the FDA has declared them as safe, they can actually cause a fair amount of stomach upset (think gas and gurgling).  Additionally, artificial sweeteners tend to exacerbate sweet cravings because they are so much sweeter than real sugar.  So my recommendation is to avoid them.

DISCLAIMER: I am not opposed to eating things that are non-nutritious but tasty. I would be the last to turn down a homemade chocolate chip cookie! My purpose is to help you see through the marketing ploy of food companies and understand how to feed your body based on sound nutrition. The goal is to fill our diets with nutritious foods and enjoy the yummy but not particularly healthy foods in moderation. My hope is to give you a little clarity with these “No Case” postings.