Are high protein yogurt good snacks?


Non-humidifying, creamy, natural, aromatic … Yogurt has been a staple on our table since the 1950s, and today, in Europe, it is the French who consume it the most. But the show has become bloated. An example of the latest “protein rich” or “ultra consistent” product. Arriving on the French market in 2014, these products are riding the vogue for “Greek” yogurt, a true darling of Americans in a reduced-fat version. Richer in protein than classic yogurt, thanks to a specific manufacturing and drying process, some versions, like the Danio marketed by Danone, target late-afternoon “snacks” with the slogan “snack of bitter hunger”. Yoplait with Yopa or the Greek brand Fage with Fruyo are placed more in the candy niche. However, after a brisk start – €15m in turnover for Yoplait and €13.9m for Danone in the year of launch – sales fell by -4.3% and -33%, respectively, in early 2016. Do the French doubt the value of these sales? And some of them are not yogurt, but dairy preparations? Decipher their promises.

It is rich in protein…

These preparations advertise a high level of protein. Danio blueberries contain 10.9g, Yuba on a bed of seeds and red fruits 11.3g, and Carrefour strawberry snack 12g. It’s more than twice as much as regular plain yogurt (4.5g)…but that counts without the size of the pots. The classic capacity is 125 grams, and ultra-protein products often have a capacity of 140-170 grams. After reducing to 100g, the protein level should qualify: 7.3g for a 0% Danio blueberry vs. an average of 8g for a 0% regular white cheese or 9.4g per 100g for a regular 0% Petit Suisse. Proteins are essential for the body, especially for muscles, and they are also known for their filling power and can be useful in diets to help control weight (1). However, a study to compare the effect of a Greek yogurt snack with 5g of protein and another with 14g of protein, in women, showed no difference in feelings of satiety and food intake at dinner (2).

…but rather calories

Many of these snacks are 0% fat, yet they are high in calories. They provide 80 to 122 calories per 100 grams when 0% cottage cheese contains 50 to 57. Thus, a 150-gram serving can provide 180 calories! That’s a lot, especially since those with only 0% have less fat than normal yogurt. Some recipes with 1.6% fat such as “Crunchy Yopa on a bed of seeds” reach … 430 calories per 100 grams. If calories go up, most of these snacks are high in sugar. While 0% plain yogurt or cottage cheese provides 5g (mainly lactose), 0% Vanilla Fruyo provides 18.4g, which is the equivalent of 3.5 sugar cubes. However, the World Health Organization recommends not eating more than 50 grams of sugar per day, or even limiting its intake to 25 grams, in order to prevent obesity and, indirectly, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

They are a source of calcium

Dairy products help provide phosphorous, vitamins A and D, and calcium, which is essential for the mineralization of bones and teeth. With 167 mg in a 150 gram package, Mango Danio 0% helps cover part of our daily needs (estimated at around 900 mg) compared to an average of 140 mg for natural yogurt. To prevent osteoporosis, the National Healthy Nutrition Plan recommends consuming three dairy products per day. As such, protein-rich yogurt can allow you to vary the pleasures, but you have to pay attention to the size of the bowls, which encourages you to eat more. Remember that cruciferous (cabbage, broccoli, etc.), sardines (provided you eat the bones!), fruits and some mineral water are also – among other things – a good source of calcium.

Some bring probiotics

To get the name “yogurt” or “yoghurt,” the product must have been made from fermented milk thanks to two specific bacteria, (Lactobacillus bulgaricana And Streptococcus refractory). Yogurt contains at least ten million of these yeasts per gram, which must be alive in the final product to be effective. These probiotics are, in fact, acclaimed for their properties: various studies indicate that they promote the digestion of lactose, act on transient diseases and infections (3) and stimulate the immune system (4). However, if some protein snacks, such as Yopa, are labeled “yogurt” or “yogurt recipe,” this does not apply to Danio being “dairy preparations.” For Ysabelle Levasseur, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, “So they can’t claim the same nutritional value as yogurt with the beneficial effect of probiotics that protect the intestinal flora “.

Contains additives

They all contain natural flavors (extracts from lemon, carrot, fruit, etc.) and sodium and calcium citrate, which come from the citric acid found in lemons, oranges, or other fruits. They also contain thickeners such as starch, guar gum (an Indian bean), pectin (from apple seeds, quince, etc.), and carrageenan (seaweed). While the first three do not present any particular risks, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified carrageenan (E407) as “Not classifiable in terms of its carcinogenicity to humans” Lack of sufficient evidence due to suspicion in laboratory animals (5).

Written by Brigitte Page

(1) Effects of high-protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety, and weight loss: A critical review, Th Halton and Fb Hu, PubMed2004.

(2) Effects of increased dietary protein in yogurt in the afternoon on appetite control and food initiation in healthy women, Ortineau LC et al, Nutrition diary2013.

(3) Compensation of lactase deficiency by probiotics, M. Vrese et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition2001.

(4) The immunomodulatory effects of yogurt, SN Meydani and WK Ha, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition2000.

(5) Carrageenan and Colon Cancer: An Experimental Study in Mice with Mechanisms of Action in Human Flora, E. Verhaeghe, National Veterinary School of Toulouse, 2002.


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