FDA Okays Blood Sugar Claim on Yogurt

The FDA has approved a “qualified health claim” on yogurt. A qualified health claim is supported by science but hasn’t achieved the “significant scientific agreement” standard. ( That means that something is backed up by science but isn’t conclusive. The FDA allows companies to print claims on food labels when there is scientific evidence behind their statements.

Yogurt companies can now print that there is “limited scientific evidence” that eating at least two cups of yogurt a week lowers the risk of serious blood sugar concerns. Dieticians worry that the labels could make people think yogurt is a “magic bullet” for blood sugar health.

It might be misleading for consumers to think that yogurt could be a ‘quick fix’ for their blood sugar,” said registered dietitian Caroline Thomason. She is concerned that not all yogurts are ideal for maintaining steady blood glucose. Many are loaded with sugar.

Yogurt is rich in protein and probiotics. Protein can help stabilize blood sugar and help a person stay full. It may be an excellent breakfast to start a person feeling full. Probiotics may lower inflammation and help the gut, helping blood sugar. Studies have found that fermented dairy can aid blood sugar health.

The petition to the FDA came from the company that owns Dannon, Activia and Silk yogurts. They understandably want to claim their products are beneficial. But their products might not be the best for health. Some of their brands are high in added sugars.

When it comes to benefiting blood sugar and diabetes, unsweetened yogurt with live active cultures (probiotics) may offer the greatest benefits,” said registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade.

While the FDA has okayed the claim, the organization “encourages careful consideration” by food companies before they put it on foods high in added sugar. They are leaving it up to the companies. That means we can’t take the labels at face value. Fermented dairy may help blood sugar. Probiotics can help the gut. Protein aids hunger cues. But the front of the label won’t show you how much sugar is in a product. Unfortunately, this new message won’t mean you can skip reading the label. You’ll still have to check how much sugar there is.

It’s always nice to see food being recognized for its important role in health. We’ve written many times about the benefits of yogurt! However, using this qualified health claim as a stamp of approval may confuse people. Just because a yogurt has it printed on the label doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Look at the nutritional facts to make sure you are picking the right one for you!  

Banner image: Tiard Schulz via Unsplash

Related Posts

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Please check your email to confirm your subscription.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
By clicking the "Subscribe" button you agree to our newsletter policy