Having a cup of yogurt for breakfast in the morning is a common way to get the calcium and other nutrients your body needs to kick start your day. However, when you head to the grocery store to stock up, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer length and breadth of the yogurt section. As you walk up the aisle, you’ll probably find a vast variety of different types of yogurt, which may make you begin to wonder which one is best for you and your dietary needs. Here are four of the most common types of yogurt, and the nutritional information you need to make your choice easier.
Whole Milk Yogurt
Whole milk yogurt is considered to be a full-fat dairy, which unfortunately makes it sound unhealthy for you, when it is actually loaded with essential nutrients. Your body needs fat to thrive, and full-fat yogurt (as well as other dairy products) provides the good kind of fat that can actually reduce the risk of weight gain and obesity over time. Since whole milk yogurt does not rely on the artificial thickeners or additives commonly added to low-fat yogurt products, it’s a much more natural choice. It will provide you with plenty of protein, potassium, and calcium.
Greek yogurt is considered a strained yogurt, meaning it is produced when all of the liquid is strained out to increase protein levels, while reducing the levels of sugar. This result makes Greek yogurt one of the healthiest yogurts on store shelves, as it is packed with protein. Many people also like the thick, creamy consistency of this particular type of yogurt. When choosing a Greek yogurt, check the label to make sure the straining process has been used, as opposed to a manufacturer merely adding starch or thickeners such as corn or tapioca.
Soy yogurt is obviously a great option for those who are lactose intolerant or following a vegan diet, as it is completely free of dairy. Soy yogurts contain the same active bacterial ingredients that make regular yogurts great for your digestive system, but they tend to have a lower fat content, since they are not made from whole milk. Unfortunately, most soy yogurts do contain some additives, so be sure to look for an organic option.
Flavored yogurt is a pretty common choice found in grocery stores, yet it may not be the healthiest. Yes, flavored yogurts commonly come with a fruit advertised on their label, but they are usually loaded with artificial sweeteners and thickeners. If you really crave the sweet taste of flavored yogurt, try mixing plain yogurt with sweet yogurt for a half and half option, or add honey or real fruit to plain yogurt.
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