Yogurt eaters all have our favorite brands of yogurt for getting our fill of tasty protein. We choose that yogurt we buy based on calories, sweetness, extras such as nuts, chocolate or fruits packed into it, probiotics, fiber, lactose-free choices, yogurt drinks to regular and Greek. However, are you really making the best yogurt choice to truly understand what you are buying? After all, a healthy food like yogurt can often get sidetracked into more of a junk food without you realizing it. Therefore, here are some useful tips on how to make a better yogurt choice for health to do your body the most good.
The easiest place to start from is by scanning the label. The first thing that should scare you off is how long the ingredient list is. Healthy yogurt is a simple food that should be composed of milk and live cultures of bacteria, namely Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, which ideally should be at the top of that list.
The reason you want those two particular bacteria prominently shown in that yogurt is because it can help boost your immunity, which is especially important in this time of living with a pandemic in our midst. To know that you’re getting enough of that Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, check for the product to sport the National Yogurt Association Live & Active Cultures seal. Seeing that seal will assure you the yogurt has at least 100 million active starter cultures per gram.
Since many can’t tolerate the amount of sourness that yogurt has in its original state finding some natural sweetness from sugar or fruit among the ingredients can still keep the yogurt healthy as long as it has less than 10 grams per serving. The tricky part is yogurt has a natural sugar called lactose, which can boost the amount of sugar per 4-6 oz. yogurt cup unless you read the label.
The rest of the ingredients in yogurt are basically chemicals to preserve, color, flavor, and stabilize. Then again, there could be hidden sugar with names such as high-fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, honey and artificial sweeteners such as sucrose and dextrose, etc.
A healthier yogurt alternative to keep the sugar count down is plain yogurt or Greek yogurt mixed with some fresh fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, kiwis, etc. for how they increase the effect of prebiotics and probiotics in the body as well. Crushing a few of those berries from your portion add great natural fruity flavor to sweeten the yogurt. You can also sprinkle in cinnamon or some nutmeg for a delicious twist.
If you’re watching your weight, then you probably reach for the lowest-calorie count yogurt and avoid whole-milk yogurts. This could be a mistake for two reasons since the fat from the milk stays with you longer digesting more slowly in your system in addition to the fact that manufacturers often replace that milk with sugar. This all boils down to feeling your hunger set in sooner eating lower-fat yogurt when contemplating how to make a better yogurt choice for health.
Notice the protein count on the yogurt label. Do yourself a favor and read comparable yogurt labels for at least seven grams per serving. Yogurt with fewer grams of protein only will make you hungrier afterwards. Instead of doing something good for your body, you might be more easily tempted to eat more calories to fill that emptiness.
Many of us, especially women, don’t get enough calcium as we should for keeping our bones strong. Though calcium in yogurt ranges from 15 to 35 percent, it is a good idea to seek out the brand with the highest calcium count.
What I am trying to get across is that you can’t always trust labels on yogurt like anything else when it comes to making the best choice. This is why it is essential to know how to make a better yogurt choice for health.