How to choose a healthy yoghurt
With hundreds of yoghurts on display in the cold section of supermarkets, choosing a healthy yoghurt can be a daunting task. Last week, we shared our top 5 favourite healthy yoghurts in Australia.
Last week, we shared the top 5 healthiest yoghurts in Australia. Today, we are sharing our top 5 nutrition tips for choosing a healthy yoghurt so that you can be an informed shopper and pick the smartest choice - wherever you are in the world!
Top 5 Tips for selecting Yoghurt
1. Serving size: 200g is the recommended serving size for low-fat yoghurt. If you’re buying a big tub to have with breakfasts or snacks at home, this equates to about ¾ cup!
2. Avoid fat-free/skim*: Instead, we recommend less than 4.5g fat/100g serve. Low-fat yoghurt also tends to have a slightly higher protein content because the extracted fat allows for more of the remaining nutrients within the same volume.
3. Reach for Greek/plain varieties: These tend to be the highest in protein and will keep you fuller for longer. Anywhere from 5-10g protein/100g serve is generally a good target.
4. Look for ‘no added sugar’ on packs: As a general guide aim for less than 10g sugar/100g serving for unflavoured/plain yoghurt. If you’re one for the sweetened yoghurts, a drizzle of honey is in no way a deal breaker!
5. Go for probiotics: Natural and Greek yoghurts also tend to be great sources of probiotics – the little bugs that keep your gut happy! Labelling such as “live cultures, acidophilus, lacto bacilli, thermophillus, bifidobacterium” sounds fancy, but all mean probiotics.
Full-fat or low-fat: which is the healthiest option?
Full-fat yoghurt still has the same goodness of low-fat but is a higher calorie and more energy dense food due to its higher fat content. Therefore, if you choose a full-fat yoghurt, just be mindful of the portion size. Instead of a 200g serve, a 100-150g helping is plenty.
If you choose low-fat, you can have a slightly bigger portion size because you’re consuming fewer calories. Just be sure to keep an eye on food labels, quite often one small pot of yoghurt can actually equate to four serves!
Yoghurts will often boast that they are 96% fat-free. But, given that a full-fat yoghurt has 4% fat, this health claim is very misleading as it makes you think you're picking a low-fat version.
Deli and deli-style yoghurts are very creamy and indulgent (thats why they taste so good!) and should therefore more of a dessert choice than an everyday go-to option.
*Why is skim the less healthy choice?
Skim means no fat, however fat is incredibly satiating. To get that same consistency that fat would normally provide, diet yoghurt calls upon all kinds of additives like emulsifiers and gelatin among others. Not to mention there tends to be added sugar for palatability to compensate for the loss in texture and flavour from fat. The end result – a less than satisfying yoghurt.
Hint: When it comes to yoghurt, apply the goldilocks prinicple: A bit of fat, not too much.
Simple ways to include more yoghurt in your diet
¾ cup (200g) yoghurt, seasonal fruit, ¼ cup raw muesli and a small handful of nuts for a complete breakfast
1 pot (200g) as a snack
Try Tzatziki (a greek condiment made with garlic, cucumber and mint) or a herbed yoghurt as a dip with chopped vegetables or as a salad dressing
Add a couple tablespoons to your favourite smoothie
Enjoy yoghurt instead of cream or sour cream in recipes
Enjoy a dollop with fresh berries for dessert
Freeze yoghurt to make your own froghurt
Source & Instructions: One Good Thing
About the author
Lucy Carpenter is a lover of all things health and nutrition which is just one of the reasons she is an intern with The Nude Nutritionist. She is a 3rd year Nutrition & Dietetics student who has also completed a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Metabolism and Psychology at the Uni of Sydney. Wow! When she isn't studying and getting creative in the kitchen, Lucy can be found doing yoga, ballet, horseriding and hiking out in nature. See why we like her so much? Check out Lucy's foodie inspiration on instagram by following @onehealthybeing.