Yoghurt is defined as a dairy product made by fermented milk with one or more bacterial cultures. There are many different types of yoghurts available to purchase. Let’s break it down and learn more about what makes each type of yoghurt unique.
- Plain set yoghurt – made from dairy ingredients and fermented in cups or tubs with no added sugar or sweeteners
- Flavoured yoghurt – made by adding sugar and fruit or other flavourings to plain yoghurt. Often, the milk mixture is fermented in large vats, cooled and then stirred for a creamy texture with various fruits or other flavours.
- Greek yoghurt – prepared by straining the water known as whey from plain yoghurt to make it thicker, richer and creamier. It contains more protein than regular yoghurt and has no added sugar. (*different to Greek-style yoghurt)
- Frozen yoghurt – is frozen ice milk with a typical yoghurt flavour, more like ice-cream with a hint of yoghurt.
So which yoghurts are best?
- It is really important to look at both the nutrition information panel AND the ingredients list when trying to choose a healthier product. Often people get caught up reading the calories of the product but it’s vital we also look at the breakdown of the macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, protein, added sugars) as well as the micronutrients (ie – calcium).
- The table below gives a comparison of many (but certainly not all) yoghurts available on our supermarket shelves today. The green represents a healthier choice within that nutrient category while red represents ‘stop’ or, to be cautious.
- Often, a low-fat and low-sugar yoghurt product, like a low-fat Greek yoghurt, would be ideal if you’re looking to keep healthy. High fat and high sugar in any food can lead to health problems and this is what we want to avoid when choosing a yoghurt.
Why is it important to include yoghurt in our diet?
There are several reasons why it is great to include yoghurt as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Yoghurt is a main source of calcium. Calcium is needing in varying amounts across our lifespan, but is essential for strong bones, teeth and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Yoghurt is considered a good source of calcium and from the age of 9 towards 70+ years, we need anywhere from 1,000mg-1300mg of calcium per day.
Many yoghurts have added probiotics. These are live microorganisms that can help establish a healthy gut microbiota. The most widely used probiotics are known as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium. These could be useful for people who have gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
PROTEIN + MICRONUTRIENTS
Yoghurt is also a good source of protein, as well as other micronutrients such as iodine, vitamins D, B2 and B12, and zinc.
|Name||Energy (calories)||Fat||Protein||CHO||Sugars||Calcium||Ingredients + Comments|
|Siggis Skyr (vanilla)|
|110||0g||15g||12g||9g||405mg||Pasteurized Skim Milk, Organic Agave Nectar, Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, Fruit Pectin, Live Active Cultures|
Sweetened with fruit or natural sweeteners (agave or cane sugar)
|Low Fat Yogurt (89%), Vanilla Flavoured Blend (11%)|
Ingredients: Low Fat Yogurt (89%) [Skim Milk, Live Yogurt Cultures], Vanilla Flavoured Blend (11%) [Sugar, Water, Natural Flavour, Vegetable Gums (Fruit Pectin, Locust Bean Gum), Lemon Juice Concentrate, Mineral Salt (Calcium Citrate), Vanilla Extract].Low Fat Yogurt (90%), Vanilla Blend (10%) Ingredients: Low Fat Yogurt (90%) [Skim Milk, Enzyme (Lactase), Live Yogurt Cultures], Vanilla Blend (10%) [Water, Rice Starch, Natural Flavours, Vegetable Gum (Locust Bean Gum), Acidity Regulators (Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate), Stevia Leaf Extract, Natural Colour (Caramel), Vanilla Bean (0.1%), Salt].High protein. No added sugar. Low fat
|Jalna (sweet and creamy Greek) 200g||128||9.8g||3.8g||10.1g||9.6g||85mg||Low GI|
|Farmers Union Greek Style (natural)||158||12g||6g||6.5g||6.5g||203mg||Milk, milk solids, cream, yoghurt cultures. No added sugar.|
|Tamar Valley Greek Style (no added sugar) Mango 170g||76||1.9g||5.8g||8.9g||7.8g||304mg||Skim milk, milk solids, mango (7%), cream, thickener (1442) (from tapioca), flavours, acidity regulators (331, 330), natural colour (160a), sweetener (955), live cultures|
No added sugar
|Vaalia Low Fat French Vanilla 160g||105||2.7g||9g||16g||13.5g||250mg||3 x probiotics|
|YoPRO (vanilla) 160g||98||0.5g||15g||7.8g||6.8g||187mg||Fresh milk, water, rice starch, natural flavours, lemon pulp, enzyme (lactase), live yoghurt cultures (Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus), stevia leaf extract, vanilla bean (0.013%), sea salt, natural colour (caramel), milk minerals|
No added sugar, no artificial sweeteners
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