Sunday, March 27, 2016

Shopping For Yogurt

The yogurt aisle presents a dizzying array of choices. Nonfat to low-fat to custard-style and Greek-style.  How do we choose?  The best bet is to choose yogurt in its most simple, plain form.  By starting with plain yogurt, you can control the amount of sugar and additives in the yogurt.   

While fat content has traditionally been the focus of yogurt labeling and advertising, we should really be paying attention to is added sugar.  Yogurt naturally contains between 6 and 12 grams of sugar in a six-ounce serving (the size of most yogurt containers these days). So anything too far above that is something to be cautious about.  Some yogurts have up to 33 grams of sugar.

But what about the fat?  In general, low-fat would be a fine choice for most consumers. A lot of fat-free products tend to add more sugar to get some flavor.

Nondairy yogurts, often made from soy, coconut or almond milks are likely to be highly processed and may have more added sweeteners and stabilizers to mimic the taste and consistency of dairy yogurt.

And watch for marketing that distracts from nutritional content.  For example, organic yogurts are just as likely as conventional ones to be high in added sugar, so while they may be good for the planet, they may not be great for you.

When selecting yogurt, be sure to choose one that contain active bacteria, so you get the best benefit for gut health and you may also look at the protein count.  Protein builds muscles and helps repair tissues, so it is an important nutrient.


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