Ever find yourself in the grocery store passing by the yogurt, looking a few minutes, and then walking away overwhelmed? While yogurt is very good for you, with so many different kinds and so many different promises, the best choice is not a clear one. Here are a few easy tips to help you understand what to look for and what to ignore.
- Probiotics: You want to look for a statement that reads “contains live and active cultures”. This states that the yogurt contains gut-friendly probiotics.
- Vitamin D: You want to read the nutrition label and find a yogurt that is fortified with vitamin D. Not all yogurts contain this important vitamin so check wisely.
- Fruit Flavored Yogurts: Most fruit flavored yogurts do not contain real fruit and are loaded with sugar. It’s a healthier idea to get plain yogurt and top it with fresh fruit.
- Nutrition Facts: Look for a yogurt that contains 180 calories or less, 1.5 g saturated fat or less, 30 g of sugar or less, more than 5 g protein, and more than 20% Daily Value for calcium in a 6 ounce cup.
- Fiber: The form of fiber (inulin) that yogurt contains is not proven to help with regularity, lower blood pressure, or help blood sugar levels. To help with these problems you want to consume the fibers found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- DHA: The amount of DHA that is in some yogurts is not enough “Boost your Brain” as some slogans state. Don’t be fooled by this, the small amount added is not enough to make a difference.
- Greek-style Yogurt: Greek yogurts are increasing in popularity and a variety of brands can be found. These yogurts are higher in protein and calcium than regular yogurt and are mostly low in sugar. The extra protein will help to keep you fuller longer, and makes a great snack! (remember get the plain and top with yogurt) J
Estelle L. Benoit, RD, LDN