The 6 Surprisingly Worst Things To Put In Your Yogurt


These add-ins can easily make your yogurt more sugary than the cake and pie-flavored ones in the dairy aisle. (Photo: Getty Images)

It might be one of the most cliché diet tips of all time: Skip flavored or fruit-on-the-bottom yogurts in favor of plain. When you doctor up your yogurt at home, you always end up taking in fewer calories and less sugar than you would by downing that strawberry-banana stuff, right?

Related: Should You Ditch Greek Yogurt For Quark?

Actually, it depends. Add any of these six ingredients and you just might end up making your plain yogurt worse than the preflavored varieties, which contain around 150 calories but pack anywhere from 15 to 29 g of sugar per single-serving container. Bottom line: Proceed with caution.

1. Sweetened Coconut Flakes
Coconut is great for you—until it’s souped up with sugar. It’s not uncommon for shredded or flaked coconut to contain a teaspoon of the sweet stuff per two-tablespoon serving (not to mention preservatives like propylene glycol—yum).

Instead, stick with unsweetened varieties, where coconut is the only ingredient listed on the package.

Related: Bored With Greek Yogurt? Six Others You Should Try


2. Granola And Honey
Both are fine by themselves. But considering that the majority of granolas already contain added sugar, you definitely don’t need to add more of the sweet stuff. Plus, granola serving sizes are small (think ¼ to ½ cup) and calorie-dense, making it all too easy to top your yogurt with 400 or 500 calories of crunch. If you do go with granola, portion it out using a measuring cup and skip the squeeze of honey.

Related: The 10 Best Organic Cereals 


3. Puffed Rice Cereal
Sure, it adds bulk and crunch. But it’s also a nutritionally near-worthless source of carbs, so why even bother? If you want to make your yogurt bowl less boring, go with lower-cal, lower-carb fresh fruit instead. If you’re looking for crunch, add a tablespoon of chia seeds—they’re tiny, so you’ll get a little bit in every bite.


4. Dried Fruit
Like granola, the portion sizes for calorie-dense dried fruit tend to be meager—usually ¼ cup at most—which makes it easy to go overboard.

Fresh fruit is better, since it offers up the same nutrition and sweetness for fewer calories and way more volume. Case in point: You can add a measly two Medjool dates to your yogurt for 130 calories—or more than a cup and a half of blueberries.  

Related: 6 Big Myths About Greek Yogurt


5. A Handful Of Nuts Or Seeds
On its own, a 200-calorie handful of nuts or seeds is great for a snack. But when you’re combining it with yogurt, fruit, and a sweetener like honey or maple syrup, you don’t need quite so many. Stick with just a tablespoon or two instead.


6. Whole Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds are loaded with protein and fiber, not to mention vegetarian-friendly omega-3 fatty acids. But because your body can’t digest the whole seeds, all the good stuff passes right through you completely unabsorbed. Opt for ground flaxseeds instead (buy ‘em that way, or grind whole ones in a food processor or spice grinder), and stick to a 2-tablespoon serving for 90 calories.

By Marygrace Taylor

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