With so many yogurt brands and styles to choose from these days, it can be confusing to determine the best option in the dairy aisle.
From Greek to Icelandic, full-fat to fat-free, and a plethora of plant-based options, what should consumers be looking for when trying to make the healthiest choice?
“When comes to choosing yogurts, consumers should be looking for a brand that is low heart-unhealthy saturated fat as well as added sugars but contain active probiotics,” Dr. Joan Salge Blake, a nutrition professor at Boston University, told The Food Institute. “Consuming this type of yogurt with high fiber grains can provide the prebiotics than help probiotics thrive.”
Blake noted that yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, a nutrient many adults are falling short of in their diet, while some yogurts may also contain Vitamin D, another fall-short nutrient, which is needed to absorb calcium in the body.
With that said, Eat This, Not That! recently released a ranking of the best and worst yogurt brands out there. Here are the top five healthiest yogurt options, according to the report:
- Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Greek Nonfat Yogurt, Vanilla
120 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (6 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 15 g protein, Calcium 15%, Vitamin D 15%
Dannon’s addition of chicory root fiber allows the yogurt’s six grams of (naturally occurring) sugar to be matched with an equal amount of fiber.
- Fage, Plain 5% Total Greek Yogurt
190 calories, 10 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 70 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (0 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 18 g protein, Calcium 20%
This Fage variety is another good option. While it has more calories, they come from the high amount of protein in the yogurt.
- Smari Organic Icelandic Yogurt Nonfat, Vanilla
110 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (0 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 16 g protein, Calcium 15%
Icelandic yogurt is strained more than Greek yogurt, leaving it with higher protein content.
- Oikos Pro Mixed Berry Yogurt
140 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 8 g carbs (0 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 20 g protein, Calcium 15%
Oikos Pro is protein packed and contains little sugar and fat, landing it the number two spot on the list.
- Siggi’s 0% Strained Icelandic-Style Skyr, Vanilla
100 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 11 g carbs (0 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 14 g protein, Calcium 15%
Coming in at No. 1 is Siggi’s Strained Icelandic-Style Skyr. The yogurt is protein rich due to the fact that one serving of uses four times the amount of milk – from grass fed cows – as a regular cup of yogurt.
The Food Institute Podcast
Click the play button above to listen to the episode.
While many dairy products require bacteria for production, not all cultures are made the same. Chr. Hansen microbiologist Shannon Neuens joined The Food Institute Podcast to explain his views on bio-protection – the use of microflora to extend a product’s shelf life – and also discusses how the company’s line of cultures can be used to bolster nutrition and improve taste.