Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Have You Been Down the Yogurt Aisle Lately?

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Remember the days when your two choices for yogurt were Fruit on the Bottom or Light? If you haven't been in the yogurt aisle in a while, you may want to consider visiting. There are a bunch of very tasty new yogurts in the dairy case that are worth trying.

Beneficial Nutrients in Yogurt
  • Calcium: The amount of calcium in a container of yogurt varies from brand to brand. Some, like Stoneyfield Farms Yo Calcium have 50% of your daily calcium in one 6 oz container!
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is added to milk and therefore yogurt. Not all brands have Vitamin D, but most major brands do.
  • Probiotics: Yogurts are made using active, good bacteria also known as probiotics. These specific strains of "good" bacteria help intestinal health by aiding digestion and may boost immune function.
  • Protein: Most brands will have at least 7 grams and some more in an 8 oz cup of yogurt.
  • Other nutrients: Yogurt also contains potassium, magnesium, and Vitamin B12.

What to consider when choosing your yogurt:
  • Level of fat: You can get yogurts that are very high in fat, but most are in the low fat or fat free variety. Whether you go with fat free or low fat is up to you and your taste preference. Low fat yogurts usually only have 2-3 grams of fat, but some of that fat is from saturated fat. If you have high cholesterol, even 1-2 grams of saturated fat can be significant.
  • Level of sugar: Remember that all yogurt (unless it is soy) comes from milk. Milk has lactose, which is sugar. So even if that yogurt doesn't have any sugar added, the label will have about 10-14 grams of sugar.
  • Type of sugar: If you are not opposed to artificial sweeteners, then light yogurts will give you the least amount of calories. If you do not choose to use artificial sweeteners, then there will be sugar added (in flavored yogurts) from either high fructose corn syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, cane syrup, sugar, or fruit.
  • Flavor: I am so thrilled with the wide variety of flavors available. You can get plain (no flavor or sugar added) or you can get flavors like white chocolate raspberry or peach green tea. Is it dessert or breakfast? Who cares!
  • Greek or American: One of my favorite breakfast or snack treats is Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt has made a big splash in America in the past year or so. There are three main brands that I have seen, Fage (make sure you get 0% or 2% or you will get a LOT of fat in the "Fage Total"!), Oikos (made by Stoneyfield Farms), and Chobani. Benefits of Greek yogurt are that it has twice as much protein as traditional American yogurt (may keep you full longer), is much more tangy, and the texture is nice and thick. If you are sick of watery yogurt, put a hefty spoon into a container of Greek yogurt (Fage is thickest) and feel the difference.
  • Organic or conventional: Again, personal choice as to whether you want to consume organic dairy or regular conventional. Stoneyfield Farms and Rachel's are both organic.

With all that said, what is my favorite? So glad you asked! I love Rachel's Organic Yogurt. Hands down, this is THE best tasting yogurt on the market. I can't even tell you which flavor is best because the are ALL "wickedly delicious"! If I am looking for more protein, I go with Fage 0% Greek Yogurt (I add my own fruit) or Oikos Greek Yogurt (love the honey flavor) and sometimes I also get the Yo Calcium Stoneyfield Farms (I love the apricot mango flavor).
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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