The belief that all yogurt parfaits are healthy is one of the largest nutrition misconceptions. In fact yogurt parfaits are on the top of the deceptively high calorie foods list. In many instances I have picked up yogurt parfaits that are 500 calories or greater. The calorie content of the parfait depends on your portion size in addition to the granola, yogurt, and fruit used.
How can a parfait be calorie dense when healthy ingredients are used?
Although yogurt is an excellent source of both calcium and protein, when a non fat-free version is chosen it is no longer a low calorie food. Let’s talk about the granola – we know that granola is a great source of fiber, however due to the high calorie content granola should be eaten in moderation. Did I mention the sugar content in most parfaits? On average most parfaits exceed 30 grams of sugar per serving. In a previous post “Is Sugar Toxic?” we discussed the recommended intake of sugar per day. Let’s just say that 30 grams nearly meets the recommended intake for the entire day.
So how can I make a healthier parfait?
- Limit the amount of granola used to 1/4 – 1/2 cup depending on sugar and the fat in brand purchased. I like to mix plain oatmeal (sometimes toasted) in the granola to lower the sugar content, while still adding fiber content.
- Use a fat free plain or light yogurt. Limit portions to under 1 cup per serving.
- Use your favorite fresh fruit. Avoid using canned fruit if possible as they can have high sugar content and lack fiber.
*To toast oatmeal bake in oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit for about 10 minutes or until browned