I received a great question recently on healthy yogurt choices. There is a ton of marketing when it comes to yogurt, with a lot of health claims being made. Knowing more about the different kinds can help you when making your choices in such a diverse aisle of the grocery store.
Greek yogurt is the hottest name in yogurt right now. Due to it being strained more times than regular yogurt, it contains higher protein content and less lactose and whey, which is why those who are lactose intolerant are sometimes able to tolerate it. The straining process also results in lower carbohydrate content per serving than regular yogurt, making it a popular option for those who need to be more aware of this macro nutrient, like diabetics for example.
Yogurt is also such a hot topic due to its probiotic content. Probiotics are live microorganisms that research has linked with health benefits when consumed, specifically benefiting your gut and immune function. Yogurt labels will often say "contains live cultures," which means it contains these probiotics and is something to be on the lookout for when choosing your yogurt.
Dairy-free yogurts have also become popular. They are plant based, often made from nuts, soy, or coconut, and therefore do not contain any lactose. For those with milk allergies or those who cannot tolerate Greek yogurt, they are an alternative. They are also the go to choice for those who are vegan. Dairy free yogurts also often contain probiotic compounds. While some dairy free yogurts are low in protein, some brands offer higher protein options, such as Forager, Daiya, or Kite Hill Greek Style. They also tend to be fortified with calcium and vitamin D, so they are a nutritious dairy free alternative. Reading the food label for these nutrients is also key when choosing your yogurt no matter which brand it is.
Lastly, be aware of sugar content. This also goes for both dairy and non dairy options. Choosing plain and sweetening it yourself with fruit is go to advice. However, for those who cannot stand plain, opt for lower sugar options the majority of the time. Flavored yogurts will not harm you when balanced out within your diet. At the end of the day, you know best what will work for you. Figuring out a healthy option you will stick with is key, and broadening your knowledge will help empower you to make the optimal choice for you.