How to Choose the Right Yogurt For You

January 03, 2018


Walking down the yogurt aisle at the grocery store has become just as confusing as the cereal aisle. Endless flavors, styles, sizes and brands. Simply choosing low fat instead of original isn’t the reality any more. What does it all mean and how do you navigate this food? Yogurt definitely fits into a healthy eating pattern and now even fits for those who may not tolerate dairy products. The table below provides a brief introduction to the types of yogurt.

Yogurt Name

Description

Benefits

Regular Yogurt

Traditional yogurt comes in whole fat, low-fat and fat-free varieties. 

Contains live and active cultures to support digestive health. Can contain up to 20% of daily calcium needs.

Kefir

Fermented drinkable yogurt that can be made from cow, goat or sheep’s milk.

Rich in probiotics which support digestive health. Good source of vitamin B12, calcium and potassium.

Greek Yogurt

Thick and creamy, requires additional straining, which results in extra protein.

Typically around 20 g of protein per cup, good source of probiotics.

Skyr

Icelandic-style yogurt that is very dense and rich in protein. 

Has 2-to-3-times more protein than regular yogurt and a good source of calcium.

Frozen Yogurt

Can have the same active cultures as other yogurts but may also have added sugar.

Some varieties boast lower sugar and fat content than regular ice cream. Check labels to see what are you are getting.

Non-Dairy alternatives

Soy and coconut milk yogurts typically contain less protein than cow’s milk based yogurts.

Great option for those with food allergies.  Check the label for added sugars.

Remember that nutritional content may vary from brand to brand. Check the nutrition facts label for these three things, and get the yogurt that best meets your needs.

  1. Check the sugar: be sure that your yogurt contains limited added sugars. Yogurt will have naturally occurring lactose (milk sugar) but when it contains mix-ins like fruit, this could increase the sugar content drastically. Many are now made with artificial sweeteners which tend to be more blood sugar and waistline friendly.
  2. Check the calories: those fancy mix-ins like granola or chocolate can double the calorie content. If you are monitoring calories, choose a plain variety and add your own toppings, like nuts, at home.
  3. Check the protein: Greek yogurt and Skyr offer 15-20 grams of protein per serving (depending on the brand). This offers a protein-rich dessert or snack to add to your day.