The Best Yogurt for Your Health: How to Choose


The Best Yogurt for Your Health: How to Choose

Marketing of yogurt as a healthy food is common. The health-promoting qualities of many yogurts can be changed, though, by the flavoring and added sugar.

This is one of the reasons it can be difficult to choose from all the yogurt options at the grocery store.

It can be challenging to decide which yogurt is best for you because there are so many options at the grocery store.


Here are some Suggestions on How to Pick Yogurt that's Best for your Health
The Best Yogurt for Your Health: How to Choose

Always Check the Label

When choosing which food to buy, reading the label is a crucial first step. This is due to the fact that reading the label is crucial to understanding what is actually in your food. Each yogurt's label contains a wealth of information if you know what to look for.


Ingredient Listing

All yogurts begin life as plain yogurt, but by the time they reach the refrigerator section of the store, they may have been flavored with sugar, artificial flavors, dyes, stabilizers, or preservatives.

Pick a yogurt with a limited number of ingredients whenever you can. The only other things that should be in them are milk and the bacterial cultures that are used to transform milk into yogurt. Make sure your ingredient list contains as few items as possible if you consume yogurt that isn't dairy-based.

Avoid yogurts that have sugar listed near the top of the ingredient list because ingredients are listed by weight. Better yet, just stay away from any yogurt that has added sugar of any kind listed in the

ingredient list.

There are numerous names for sugar, including:

• Sucrose

• high fructose corn syrup

• Fruit Juice

• Cane Sugar

• Agave Nectar


Nutrition Facts

Some of the most specific information can be found in the nutrition facts on the label.

The serving size and calories are listed at the top. You can find out how many carbohydrates, fat, proteins, and sugars there are in each serving by consulting the nutrition facts. Be aware that there might be more than one serving in each container, which means there are also more calories.

It used to be challenging to determine how much sugar had been added because the nutrition label did not differentiate between naturally occurring and added sugar.

The grams of added sugar per serving must now also be listed on labels as a result of recent changes to labeling which take effect in the middle of 2021.

You can find the amount of calcium and vitamin D in each serving of yogurt in the nutrition information.

Ideally, your yogurt will supply a significant portion of your daily calcium requirements as well as vitamin D. On the label, this will be indicated as a percentage of Daily Value (percent DV).


What is Greek yogurt? Is it a Healthier Choice?

A type of yogurt called Greek yogurt has been strained to give it a creamier and thicker consistency.

It contains more protein than regular yogurt. It works well in place of sour cream in dips because of its creamier texture. It is a wise choice if you want to increase the protein in your diet. Similar to regular yogurt, choose low-fat varieties and ones with little to no added sugar.


Reduce the Amount of Sugar You Add

Added sugar is the main component that can change yogurt from a healthier food to a less healthy one.

The amount of added sugar consumed annually by the average American rose from 4 pounds (1.08 kilograms) in 1700 to over 150 pounds (68 point 2 kilograms) in the early 2000s.

Adults aged 20 and older currently consume 17 teaspoons of sugar per day on average, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In terms of race/ethnicity, non-Hispanic Asian adults consume 10 teaspoons on average, compared to 19 teaspoons for non-Hispanic Black adults, 17 teaspoons for non-Hispanic white adults, 16 teaspoons for Hispanic adults, and 17 teaspoons for white non-Hispanic adults.

The majority of added sugar comes from sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas, fruit drinks, and sports drinks; about 49 percent of adults consume one daily.

Yogurts with added sugar are one example of processed foods that increase daily sugar intake.

Numerous health conditions, such as, have been linked to excessive added sugar consumption.

• Obesity.

• Diabetic condition.

• Heart conditions.

• A metabolic condition.

• Liver illness.

Although yogurt already contains some natural sugar in the form of lactose (milk sugar), some food manufacturers add sugars to make it taste sweeter.

On average, plain yogurt has 9–12 grams of carbohydrates per cup (245 grams), but the same amount of flavored or sweetened yogurt can easily have 30–plus grams of carbohydrates.

The least sweetened yogurt brands are the better choices when making your selection. This translates to adding no more than the approximately 7 grams of lactose per cup (245 grams) that are already present.

Unflavored, plain yogurt is typically the best option.

There are a few alternatives you can try if you dislike plain yogurt, though.

One choice is to use your preferred fresh fruit as the sweetener.

To lessen the tartness of plain yogurt, you can also create your own chia seed yogurt. Additionally, the chia seeds will provide you with extra protein, fiber, and good fats. Put together a simple mixture of 2 cups (473 mL) of yogurt and 1 point 5-2 tablespoons (22-30 mL) of chia seeds, and refrigerate it overnight.


What Other Varieties of Yogurt Exist?

• Kefir - is a live probiotic beverage made from fermented milk. Although it naturally has a tart flavor, you can also find it in a variety of flavors; just make sure to read the label carefully for any added sugars.

• Skyr - is a thicker version of Greek yogurt that is made by straining dairy. In comparison to regular yogurt, it contains more protein. Look for yogurt varieties with less fat and added sugar, just like regular yogurt.

• Yogurt drinks - are yogurts with a drinkable, thinner texture. They can be useful options for people who are always on the go, but be sure to search for varieties that have no or little added sugar.


Investigate Current Cultures

Yogurt is made using probiotic bacteria that are good for you. They convert the lactose in milk into lactic acid, giving yogurt its acidic flavor.

These "live cultures" in yogurt, which are probiotic bacteria, have a number of health advantages. Studies indicate that probiotics may: even though research on them is still in its early stages.

• reduce lactose intolerance's symptoms.

• boost your immune system.

• notably lessen depression's symptoms.

• lessen the chance of both children and adults developing antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

• lessen irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

Probiotic yogurts may aid in lowering cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure, according to additional research. Adult constipation may be alleviated by consuming yogurt containing the probiotic Bifidobacterium, but results are conflicting.

These live cultures are the component that transforms milk into yogurt, so they are initially present in all yogurts. However, a number of variables, such as packaging strategies and storage conditions, can significantly alter the probiotic content of yogurts.

Pick the yogurt with the most probiotics to reap the most health benefits. The amount of each yogurt option can be difficult to determine, though.

Yogurt that tests positive for 100 million cultures (bacteria) per gram is given the "Live and Active Cultures" seal by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).

Some yogurts may contain live and active cultures even though they don't have the IDFA seal, according to the organization. Even if brands meet the requirements, getting the seal can cost thousands of dollars, so they may decide to forego getting it.

A heat-treated or pasteurized yogurt that has probiotics added should be avoided at all costs. The bacteria must be alive for them to be of any use to you, and pasteurization kills them. These yogurt labels should read "heat treated after culturing."


Can Lactose Intolerant People Consume Yogurt?

Milk typically contains a lot more lactose than yogurt. This is because lactose is broken down by the bacteria that aid in the fermentation of milk into yogurt. Yogurt is often consumed by those who cannot tolerate milk without experiencing any digestive issues.


Do you Recommend Probiotic Yogurt to me?

It's up to each individual whether they choose to purchase probiotic-fortified yogurt. Probiotics are sometimes added to some yogurts by the producer. Probiotics might aid in maintaining the health of your digestive system, but more research is required to determine exactly how much and what kind of probiotics are helpful. Probiotic yogurt is generally safe to consume and can be incorporated into a healthy diet. Notably, probiotic-free yogurts are also healthy food options.


Low-fat Versus Whole fat

Whole, low-fat, or fat-free milk can be used to make yogurt with a dairy base.

While dairy products with low or no fat content may have fewer calories, reduced fat yogurt frequently has more sugar added to it to make up for the flavor that the lower fat content causes to be lost. So, if you choose low fat yogurt, be sure to look for one without added sugar.

Yogurt that is full of fat is also an option. Although it does contain more calories than plain low-fat yogurt, that does not necessarily make it a less healthy choice. In fact, it's possible that the fats in full-fat dairy products are advantageous.

Some trans fats are found naturally in dairy products. They are unlike the trans fats found in some processed foods that may have negative health effects.

Dairy fat, namely conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), can offer some health-promoting benefits, including:

• Reducing the risk of heart disease.

• Reducing body fat and inflammation.

• Improving blood sugar management.

• According to studies on animals, battling cancer cells.

Both plain unsweetened low fat and full fat yogurt can be healthy. Depending on your dietary practices, food preferences, and calorie objectives, you can decide which to eat.


5 Different Ways to Eat Yogurt

The Best Yogurt for Your Health: How to Choose

1. Layer plain yogurt with fruit, and sprinkle with nuts, seeds and high-fibre breakfast cereal to make a parfait. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and sweeten with a little maple syrup or honey if needed.

2. Top whole grain pancakes and waffles with yogurt and fruit.

3. Make a yogurt dip or spread. Drain plain yogurt until it is thick or use plain Greek yogurt. Add lemon, garlic and grated cucumber and season to taste. This dip is great for dipping vegetables or as a spread for wraps and pitas.

4. Whip up a smoothie with yogurt and frozen fruit (like berries or mango chunks). Or make a yogurt popsicle for the kids. Try this recipe: Layered Yogurt Pops.

5. Substitute yogurt for mayo or sour cream for a lighter salad dressing.

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Final Thought

Yogurt is a good source of calcium, protein and other nutrients. When choosing yogurt, look for lower fat varieties and ones with no or less added sugar.

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