Making a smart selection when it comes to your yogurt can equal a healthy, satisfying snack.
Yogurt is often seen as healthy food, but it truly depends on the type of yogurt you eat. From regular to flavoured, Greek to coconut, there are a dizzying array of options so it’s worth checking the label to see what type of nutrition each type you’re considering provides. As a general rule, start with its ingredient list. It should be simple—avoid anything with a long list of preservatives, dyes, and stabilizers, for example—and then use these guidelines to narrow down your choices.
Go with the type that fits your taste and nutritional goals.
Regular, Greek, and dairy-free are the main categories you’ll find. Greek yogurt has about twice the protein and half the carbs and has a thicker consistency, which may be more appealing to some people who dislike the runniness of regular yogurt. If you’re eating yogurt to get more calcium in your diet, your best choice is regular yogurt; it contains almost twice the amount that the Greek variety does. Dairy-free yogurts, such as soy and coconut yogurts, are fantastic options if you’re lactose-intolerant or following a vegan diet. Keep in mind that they do tend to be low in calcium, though, so look for a brand that is fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
Check low-fat labels carefully.
If you’re counting calories, opting for low-fat yogurt over full fat is an option, but be sure to check that sugar has not been added to make up for it being lower in fat.
Skip the flavoured yogurt.
One of the yogurt’s biggest nutritional downfalls is added sugar (keep in mind that yogurt does contain naturally occurring sugars). Sticking to plain yogurt (which has about 10 to 15 grams of carbs versus the 30-plus in flavored yogurts) is the healthiest option. If you find plain yogurt too tart, sweeten it on your own by topping it with chopped fresh fruit or mixing it in a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup. This way you’re in control of how much sugar is added.
Buy some chia.
In addition to sweetening it yourself with fruit or honey, mixing in some chia seeds will add to the texture and lessen the tartness; plus you’ll get the bonus of more protein, fiber, and healthy fats in your chia yogurt.
Go for yogurt with probiotics.
Probiotic bacteria or live cultures are found in all yogurts initially (as it is what turns milk into yogurt) but yogurts that contain a healthy quantity of probiotics when you purchase and consume the yogurt are particularly beneficial since probiotics are good for your gut health and with boosting your immune system. Look for a label that designates it as having live and active cultures (which means that it contained 100 million cultures per gram at testing)..