Sweetened Dairy Drinks

June 21, 2018

The CEMMS Blog team has recently summarized a publication written by our in-house registered dietician, Nicola Drabble, all about sweetened dairy drinks. 


It’s no secret that sugar is any healthy diet’s eternal rival. No matter which plan you follow, any functional long-term weight loss program is determined by a limiting of refined sugars. This obviously eliminates most fizzy drinks, but today’s topic deals with a product that tends to fly under the sugar- radar: sweetened dairy drinks.


Sweetened dairy drinks are a common sight on most shelves in South African supermarkets and are often advertised to possess a variety of health benefits due to their dairy content. Dairy contains protein and aids in the development of bone structure in individuals under the age of 30. While the positives of dairy in a diet are widely-known and well-documented it is important to understand the amount of sugar one consumes from their favourite yoghurt drink or smoothie. These products are incredibly dense in simple carbohydrates and, when considered with their sugar content, should be treated perhaps more in line with other sugary beverages.


A good, practical example of this approach to sweetened dairy products can be seen in their inclusion in this year’s sugar tax revision after consideration of the fact that 65.1% of South African women and 31.2% of South African men can be labelled as overweight or obese. Sugary drinks have been a cornerstone of South African diets for generations and steps have to be made to restrict the average daily sugar consumption of South African individuals. If sweetened dairy products are one of your only sources of dairy- it is strongly recommended that alternative foods and unsweetened variations of dairy products be considered. 


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