Know your Yoghurt: Which is the healthiest yoghurt on the market?

Know your Yoghurt: Which is the healthiest yoghurt on the market?

There are hundreds of different yoghurts on the market. Some may describe themselves as 'low fat' but what about sugar content? How do you work out which is best for your particular lifestyle?

Yoghurt can be a fantastic, calcium rich healthy snack or desert but it's important to get savvy and chose the right one for your diet.

Things to Watch Out For

When choosing yoghurt, the two main things to look out for are:

Calcium: you want a yoghurt with a decent calcium volume as that’s one of the main benefits of enjoying it as a snack or part of a meal. It is one of the best absorbed dietary sources of calcium and you will find most yoghurts also have other important vitamins and minerals including vitamin B6, potassium and magnesium.

Sugar: all yoghurts have some sugar because the naturally occurring sugars in the milk used to make it cannot be removed. The problems come when further sugars, sweeteners and fruit purees are added. This is when you’ll see a huge amount of sugar in yoghurts and it’s probably worth opting for a less sugar-laden alternative.

From a fat perspective you will find many yoghurts which are considered low fat (less than 3g of fat per 100g) or fat-free (no more than 0.5g of fat per 100g) but it is still important to check those sugar levels.

Types of Yoghurt

More and more brands of yoghurt are launching different styles regularly but here is a generic list of most of the kinds of yoghurts you’ll find in the supermarket:

  • Natural yoghurt: natural or plain yoghurt is the most basic recipe of just milk and the bacteria required to create yoghurt
  • Flavoured: flavoured yoghurts tend to include added sugars, honey, sweeteners, syrup and fruit
  • Greek: Greek yoghurt (not Greek style) is made through a process of straining regular yoghurt and removing the liquid. This increases its protein content and makes it much thicker and creamier than regular yoghurt.
  • Live yoghurt: most of the yoghurt available in the UK is considered ‘live’ and this means it is sold containing live bacteria. This is the case for most yoghurts but some are sold with additional bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifido-bacteria and yoghurts which include these additional bio-cultures often make it clear on their labelling and in advertising.

Choosing the Perfect Yoghurt

Most experts recommend always opting for a plain or natural yoghurt, even a plain Greek yoghurt, and then adding your own ingredients to improve and enhance the flavour. This allows you to maintain control of the sugar levels in your yoghurt and avoid sweeteners and other unnecessary ingredients.


The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.


Charlie M.
7 January 2017

Charlie M.

how refreshing to have someone state the facts that it is impossible to have sugar free yogurt. I also read that not all bio cultures will get past stomach acid, so that is another one to treat with care.

Helen P.
6 January 2017

Helen P.

I have gone full circle with yoghurts. I used to have only fat-free ones, but now since all the news about fat being good for us and actually helping us lose weight I only eat full-fat now. SO much nicer!

Claire H.
5 January 2017

Claire H.

I always choose greek yoghurt because I can use it as a creamy treat for breakfast, dessert and add to smoothies. But then again it's only greek style, so I'm not sure if really has anything healthy in it.

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