What Yoghurt Should I Choose?

Dietitian Emma Caldwell

There are so many yoghurt’s on the market. Greek? Greek-style? Pot-set? Low fat? Low sugar? Probiotic? Natural? Flavoured? Lactose free? Skyr/Icelandic? Drinkable/pouch? No wonder we are overwhelmed?!

Yoghurt is important to include as part of a balanced diet. Yoghurt is naturally rich in calcium which is essential for strong bones and teeth, is a great source of protein and contains probiotics for optimal gut health. So, how do you know which one is right for you? 

 

Here are my dietitian Top 7 tips for choosing the right yoghurt for you

So what’s our conclusion on the top pick for your next trip to the supermarket in the yoghurt isle? 

  1. Learn how to read a label – this skill won’t only help you understand what yoghurt to choose, but serve you well for any packaged food or drink you choose to buy. Label reading is such an important skill to develop.
    yoghurt
  2. What does the ingredients list say? Ingredients are listed from most to least by weight. Check the first 3 ingredients – products high in saturated fat, added sugar or sodium should be consumed in smaller amounts. Remember, if sugar or fat is the first of the 3 ingredients, it might not be the best choice.
  3. Calcium – how much calcium per 100g is in the yoghurt? Aim for at least 100mg of calcium per 100g. The recommended daily intake of calcium for 19-50 year old’s is 1,000mg/day. This increases to 1,300mg/day for postmenopausal women. 
  4. Is it convenient for your lifestyle? Would a pouch/drinking yoghurt work better in your day, or do you have time to sit down and grab a spoon to consume your yoghurt?
  5. What are your nutrition & health goals and does it fit with these goals? There are many things to weigh up when we are making food choices. It might be time to see a dietitian if you are unsure with this one.
  6. Probiotics are preferred – Probiotics refers to the living beneficial bacteria in the gut. There are many different species of probiotics and the health benefits of probiotics are unique to the specific strain. 
    • Research has demonstrated that lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (known as LGG) has been shown to have positive health effects on the digestive system. 
    • Traditional bacterial strains used to make yoghurt are Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus. 
    • Some yoghurts also contain added probiotics, the most common species being Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. 
  7. What consistency do you like? 
    • Greek yoghurt is strained to remove the liquid and whey, creating a thicker consistency than traditional yogurt. Greek yogurt also has a strong tangy flavor.
    • Icelandic yogurt or Skyr is mildly tangy and noticeably thicker than Greek yogurt. 
    • Traditional yogurt is created and thickened by adding cultures to milk, creating that a tangy, sour flavor. Milk is heated to prevent curds and then it is cooled and bacterial culture is mixed in. Most yogurt has live and active cultures (probiotics) that promote gut and digestive health. 

    We recommend choosing a yoghurt with more than one species of probiotics.

Greek yoghurt is generally considered the most nutritious choice when it comes to yoghurts. Due to manufacturing, it is naturally higher in protein, which makes it a great choice. Don’t get tricked by Greek style yoghurt –  this is not strained the same way as Greek yoghurt – so it is lower in protein. Greek style yoghurts also contain thickeners – cream, milk solids, gelatine and gums – giving it a creamier texture.

 

Hope your tastebuds are ready to hit the shops! 

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