In this article about choosing healthy yoghurt, we will discuss:
It seems like there are infinite options for yoghurt these days – cow’s milk, goat’s milk, coconut milk, cashew milk… the list goes on and on. I love including yoghurt in my diet and that of my clients for its gut health benefits, but it can get confusing! Whilst choosing the best yoghurt depends on your own dietary needs and goals, there are a few things that I recommend to look for whilst in the grocery store.
Whether you are opting for dairy or a plant based option, it is best to choose organic when available. Organic is incredibly important for dairy yoghurt as it ensures animals were not treated with antibiotics and hormones and that their food is free of pesticides (remember, you are what you eat, ate). For plant based options, organic ensures that the yoghurt you are eating is also free of pesticides and unnecessary chemicals.
Whilst yoghurt has numerous health benefits, many store bought options are loaded with unnecessary added sugars that will inhibit your fat burning potential. Snacking on a yoghurt cup is no longer Lean & Clean when it contains over 10g of sugar! Look for unsweetened, plain options and add your own fruit for sweetness (I especially like berries), or try mixing in a few drops of stevia or sugar-free maple syrup for a sweet taste but none of the blood sugar spikes.
If you can tolerate dairy, make sure to choose grass-fed yoghurt as this means animals were raised in healthier, more natural conditions, which gives the yoghurt more nutrients (and better flavour). If you cannot find grass-fed options, look for a nonfat option to limit your intake of potentially pro-inflammatory fats.
Yoghurt is a great way to add in extra protein to your diet, which is why I always pick a high protein option when I can such as greek yoghurt or skyr. Many of these choices pack about 15g of protein into a single serving. If you are buying a plant based yoghurt, keep in mind that they are typically low in protein, and you may want to add protein powder to make it more balanced.
For a full-fat cow’s milk dairy option, I love Stonyfield greek yoghurt as it is organic and grass-fed. If you need something a bit easier to digest, the goat milk yoghurt from Redwood Hill Farm is a great option. For my dairy-free friends, I recommend Forager, Culina or GT’s COCOYO yoghurt depending on whether you can tolerate nuts or not.