Yogurt’s a healthy option right? Well, errm. Not always. Read the label to see what the experts tell us to adopt or avoid.
Generally speaking, you’re good to go if your yogurt contains:
· A small, rather than large, number of ingredients
· Vitamin D – check out the percentage of your daily allowance in the pot
· Calcium – ditto
· As little sugar as possible over that present in the milk, known as lactose. This makes plain yogurt best but if you’ve a sweet tooth don’t despair – fruity it up with your own healthy add-ins
· Probiotic or live cultures. They have to be live to be of any benefit and pasteurization and other circumstances can kill them
· More protein and fewer carbs, like greek yogurt, that’s strained more times. But beware - this can mean more calories and fat per spoon and less calcium than more traditional yogurt
· Plant-based yogurt, such as soy or coconut. Mmmm. They’re lower in fat than traditional yogurt and don’t contain lactose. Note that they can contain less calcium than other yogurts though.
If your yogurt contents lists these, run a mile:
· Added sugar. This is the number one offending ingredient to avoid. It can be difficult to know what’s added and what’s naturally occurring, but do your best to fathom it
· Sugar by any other name. Try these for size: sucrose, fructose, syrup, fruit juice, cane sugar, agave nectar
· Artificial flavourings
· ‘Heat-treated after culturing’ – this kills the live cultures.
So – where does that leave us? Well, in summary : read the label. Choose a yogurt with few ingredients, not lots. Check out how many servings are in each container and how many carbs, fat, protein and sugar are in each. Unsweetened low-fat, fat-free and full-fat yogurts are healthier options than sweetened versions.
The jury’s out on whether organic matters. It’s more a question of what the cows are fed on before they come home, with grass a better option than grain.
If by now you’re thoroughly confused, we recommend you give Icelandic ‘Arla Skyr’ (say ‘skeerrrrr’) yogurt a whirl. It’s low sugar, no fat and high protein. And they’re making it in Yorkshire. What more could you want?
On second thoughts, we can think of something. You might want regular access to more of this no-nonsense practical support? Come join us. Find a local coach on our pages here. The skyr’s the limit.