Anyone else notice that there are now about a billion types of yogurt in the grocery store. That is actually not an exaggeration, I counted!
You have the fruit on the bottom, fruit mixed in, low-fat, sugar-free, greek, pro-biotic, organic, kids, dessert…the list seriously goes on and on. So how do you choose which yogurt to buy?
There really is no one answer to that question, which is why there are so many varieties. Every person has to decide for themselves what yogurt will work best for them based on their needs and health goals.
So when looking at all the varieties of yogurt think about what are your goals/use for yogurt…
If you are trying to lose weight and want yogurt as a low-calorie snack to keep you feeling fuller during the day, then you want to look for a low-fat and low-sugar/sugar-free yogurt. These are very low-calorie (typically around 35 calories for a single portion serving) and can make a very low-calorie snack that will help satisfy your sweet tooth. Yogurt can also serve as a dessert substitute. There are many different dessert varieties that can potentially help with weight loss. However, ensure you read labels as some of these might have as much added sugar as the dessert you were wanting in the first place!
If you are having yogurt as your breakfast you are going to want something that has a little more calories in it to fuel your day. If you eat a no fat/no sugar yogurt that only has 35 calories in it, you will be starving in about an hour and then that doughnut in the break room at work will call your name.
If you are looking for a good protein source in your yogurt then you are going to want to go with Greek yogurt as it has about double the amount of protein than regular yogurt. The only thing to watch with greek yogurt is the fat amount. While most on shelves these days are 2% or 0% fat, there are still a few brands that carry high fat yogurt, as high as 12%. So you want to ensure you check the labels of these yogurt before buying.
If you are eating yogurt to enhance your “good bacteria” in your gut, help with regularity or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, then you want to look for a yogurt with pro-biotic cultures. Obviously, Activia is the one that comes to mind with their many commercials but there are other brands that also offer pro-biotic yogurt. Look for the words “live and/or active cultures” on the label.
If you are a person who does not eat pork then finding a yogurt that does not contain gelatin may be your top priority. More and more manufactures are starting to make their yogurt without gelatin now, which gives those people who do not eat pork a greater variety to choose from. Some brands are labelling their yogurt as gelatin free but not all, so check the ingredient lists for gelatin.
If eating organic foods is important to you then there are a variety of organic yogurt available in all different styles – full fat, low-fat, greek, sugar-free, etc.
Chronic Health Condition:
If you have a chronic health condition such as heart disease or diabetes, then you want to ensure that the yogurt you choose fits within your dietary guidelines. For heart health, you would want to choose a low-fat or no fat yogurt. For diabetes, choosing a sugar-free or plain yogurt would be best.
And lastly, don’t forget to think about taste and your own preference. Don’t choose a yogurt just because your friend told you it was “healthy”. Decide what you want out of your yogurt and choose the right one for you.
What do I eat? I like Oikos Plain Greek Yogurt! My goal is definitely to get increased protein from my yogurt because I struggle to meet my daily protein goals. I choose the plain yogurt because I also want to reduce the amount of added sugars that I take in. I also like plain because then I can flavour it the way that I like. I often will add some brown sugar, but it is still significantly less sugar than any of the other flavoured versions.
What yogurt do you eat? Do you have a favourite flavour or way of eating yogurt?