A good yogurt is hard to come by. Our current preferred brand here at Middleman is “Siggi’s”. We love Siggi’s because they keep their yogurt sweet - but not too sweet - adding only a small amount of added sugar for the perfect taste and only using quality ingredients!
Below are some common ingredients you may have seen listed in most yogurts, dairy products, and other foods but don’t exactly know what they are:
1. Chicory Root Fiber.
May be used as a fat and sugar substitute because of its smooth and creamy texture and mild sweetness. May have some potential health benefits such as gut health and blood sugar regulation. May potentially cause bloating, diarrhea, and flatulence because of its high fiber content. Our take is that it’s probably fine if you're not bothered by any digestive symptoms while or after eating it.
2. Stevia Leaf Extract.
Used as a natural zero calorie sweetener. Current research shows it is generally safe and may make a good alternative to table sugar if you don’t mind it’s unique taste. Our take is that if you like it, it may serve as a healthy alternative to other added sugars.
3. Natural Flavors.
Not really “natural”, just derived by something that was considered “natural”. Most evidence shows that it doesn’t seem to be very harmful to human consumption. When it is found in food, it may be indicative of low overall quality ingredients, so always make sure to read the rest of the ingredient label. Our take is that it’s probably fine, but may be used to mask the real taste of the product - which may actually be somewhat bland due to poor ingredients and quality.
4. Annatto Extract.
Extracted from a tree and used as a coloring agent. Accepted as safe. Our take is that this seems to be one of the better and safer coloring agents.
Used as a thickener. Research shows this actually may be harmful to humans in that it may cause many different gut inflammatory problems, but more research is needed. No food containing carrageenan is allowed to be labeled “organic”, due to potential health concerns. Our take is to try to avoid products with this ingredient as there is no nutritional value and may actually cause health problems.