Dairy products, such as yogurt can be good source of protein to help with muscle gain/maintenance, and an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D to keep bones strong. However, with the growing market, how should we choose the best yogurt for our heath and wellness?
As many of you already know, fats from dairy products should be limited. The fats present in dairy products are mainly saturated fats, the bad kinds that are associated with heart diseases. For this reason, I recommended to choose a low fat yogurt, such as a 0% to 2% fat yogourt. Also, to avoid excess added sugars, I recommend to choose plain yogurts instead of flavoured ones, and add in your own sweetener (honey, maple syrup, etc.) and flavours (fresh or frozen fruits, granola, cocoa powder, etc.).
This article will help you compare between different types of non-fat yogurts available on the market to choose the best dairy yogurt for you!
Traditionally, yogurt is made by fermenting milk by using specific safe bacterial cultures, such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus, which would curd the milk and make it into a thicker consistency. The process of making yogurt was discovered accidentally by storing milk in a warm temperature. This process was then used to preserve the product, extend its shelf life and reduce waste. Low-fat yogurts are great as snacks and can be used in different recipes. For a more protein-packed and rich alternative, try Greek or Skyr yogurt.
Commercial drinkable yogurt was then created to offer a practical alternative to traditional yogurt. However, these options are usually much sweeter, since the industries add more simple sugars to satisfy their user’s sweet tooth. This yogurt option is also usually filled with more added ingredients than traditional yogurts, and should often be avoided. If you enjoy drinkable yogurts, I would suggest you to switch to Kefir, for a more nutritious alternative.
Kefir is similar to a drinkable yogurt, since it is also of liquid consistency and easy to consume. Unlike regular drinkable yogurt, kefir has many benefits. This product does not have much protein, but contains many probiotics (the good bacterias that can help you grow healthy gut bacterias). This product is great for your intestinal health. You can use this as a drink or mix it into your shakes or smoothies.
Greek yogurt is made by starting out with the same process as traditional yogurt. After fermenting the milk with bacterial cultures, the liquid whey (Whey is the liquid left over after curding the milk. It is also used to produce oral supplements, such as Whey protein powder.) is strained and leaves us with a thicker yogurt. Greek yogurt is basically a more concentrated version of the traditional yogurt. It has twice the amount of protein and less carbohydrates, since it has been strained. Because of its high protein content, Greek yogurt can be great as an afternoon or a post-workout snack!
Skyr yogurt is an Icelandic yogurt. It is also made by fermenting and straining milk, just like Greek yogurt. It is made with a different bacterial culture, but has similar properties to Greek yogurt, such as a high protein and probiotic content. This option does have more protein than Greek yogurt, so it can easily be added in recipes or protein smoothies to increase the nutritive values.
Here is a table that will help you compare low-fat yogurts!
|Nutrition facts for 1 cup (250 mL)||Traditional plain 0% M.F. yogurt||Drinkable vanilla yogurt||1% M.F. Kefir||Plain 0% M.F. Greek yogurt||Plain 0% M.F. Skyr yogurt|
|Energy||100 kcal||170 kcal||90 kcal||130 kcal||150 kcal|
|Protein||12 g||7 g||8 g||24 g||28 g|
|Carbohydrates||12 g||28 g||8 g||8 g||11 g|
|Fats||0 g||3 g||2 g||0 g||0 g|