The Scoop on Yogurt
Yogurt is a great source of protein and calcium. MyPlate recommends that adults have at least three cups of dairy every day. Yogurt has many health benefits including live, active bacteria cultures known as probiotics. These probiotics, are considered "good bacteria" for the gut and can help maintain a healthy digestive system.
Grocery stores carry many different flavors, types and textures of yogurt. It’s easy to get confused and misled when trying to select the best yogurt. Here is a breakdown to help you find the best variety for you and your family.
What's the Deal with Fat in Dairy? There are differences between full-fat and low-fat dairy, but research has shown that full-fat dairy was not found to increase heart disease risk. However, it is not advised to consume large amounts of full-fat dairy for caloric reasons and because replacing animal fats, including dairy sources, with fat from vegetable sources could lower the risk of heart disease. The USDA currently recommends choosing low-fat or fat-free yogurt. And luckily, there are many delicious low-fat and fat-free options to choose from.
Flavored, Plain or Fruited? While there are great flavored and fruited yogurts, they tend to have more added sugar. If you look at the nutrition label for plain yogurt, you will find that it still contains sugar, even though no sugar has been added. This is because the milk in yogurt contains lactose, a naturally occurring sugar.
Greek Yogurt or Regular Yogurt? Liquid is strained from Greek yogurt, making it thicker, creamier and smoother than regular yogurt. Due to this process, Greek yogurt has twice as much protein as regular yogurt. Greek yogurt also has less lactose than traditional yogurt, so lactose-sensitive individuals may tolerate it better than traditional yogurt.
Bottom Line: Whether low-fat or fat-free, Greek or regular yogurt can be enjoyed in so many ways! Try yogurt in a parfait, freeze in Popsicle molds or freeze yogurt dipped fruit for a treat.
Written by: Jackie Santiago, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern