There are so many varieties when it comes to yogurt. Not only can you choose from Greek or regular, but lots of brands have their own take on yogurt. They offer several flavors and concoctions to please the masses. However, they’re not all equal when it comes to nutrition. In fact, many yogurts offer things that aren’t so good for you, like added flavorings and sugars. When it comes to eating yogurt for your health, you need to know what to look for.
If you’re trying to choose between Greek and regular yogurt, it really depends what you’re looking for. Greek yogurt has a creamier texture due to the fact that they strain the whey more times. This straining removes more of the lactose and the whey. The process creates a yogurt that is thicker, higher in protein, and lower in carbs. However, regular yogurt does have one thing on Greek yogurt; it packs more calcium. Overall, Greek and regular yogurt are both healthy in their plain forms.
Yogurt gets tricky when it starts adding in lots of sugars and flavors. Always be sure to read the labels. Check the nutritional information and the ingredients list. If sugar is listed as one of the first ingredients, stay away from it since ingredients are listed by weight. Choose yogurts that have less sugar; again the plain varieties are the best. You can use them in smoothies or sweeten them naturally with fruits and honey.
Choosing between low fat, non fat, or full fat can also be tricky, because while low fat and non fat reduce calorie intake, they often increase sugar intake. So, this tends to be more of a personal choice than anything. Some will recommend that you choose low fat and non fat to reduce calorie intake, while others will recommend you choose full fat to cut down on sugars.
One important thing to look for in your yogurt is “live and active cultures.” Not all yogurt has active probiotics, or healthy bacteria that can help your system perform better. Make sure you’re looking for yogurt that identifies itself has having these live cultures.