While the world of healthy eating can be divisive (and confusing!) at times, there are a few universal true-isms that nearly every expert can agree upon. One, that everyone should be eating more fiber. Two, that food should be joyful, not restrictive. And three, the major (and underrated) benefits of super simple foods like yogurt.
“Yogurt is the fermented food produced by culturing cream, milk, or both with a characterizing bacterial culture that contains lactic acid-producing bacteria,” says Maya Feller, RD, of Maya Feller Nutrition. For most people, it’s about as cool as going to prom with your cousin. But health experts can’t get enough of it because of the food’s very legit benefits, from its impressive nutritional profile to the fact that it can be used in so many versatile ways. Keep reading to learn about the different types of yogurt, the benefits of eating it, tips on choosing the best one, and creative ideas to incorporate it in your everyday food rotation. https://www.wellandgood.com/yogurt-benefits/
First things first: what is the difference between yogurts?
The types of yogurts available are about as abundant as boutique fitness classes. There’s whipped, drinkable, and skyr, to name a few, that come in either plain and flavored versions and varying amounts of milk fat. Despite the wide variety, though, yogurts tend to fall into three common categories: regular yogurt, Greek yogurt, and non-dairy yogurt. Here’s how they broadly compare.
Regular yogurt: Regular yogurt is usually made with cow’s milk, which makes it not suitable for those who are lactose intolerant. On the plus side, “it typically has more calcium, and is lower in calories and fat compared to Greek,” says Tony Castillo, RDN, nutrition consultant for RSP Nutrition. And it’s a great source of protein at around 12 grams per eight-ounce serving.
Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt, which has more of a tart flavor, is arguably the most popular type of yogurt, and it’s easy to see why. “It usually has twice as much protein as regular yogurt,” Castillo says, at 20 grams per seven-ounce serving. Greek yogurt is also lower in sugar and carbs than regular yogurt, adds Brittany Modell, RD, founder of Brittany Modell Nutrition and Wellness. Why? Unlike regular yogurt, Greek yogurt strains off the liquidy whey—which makes it thicker while also cutting back on the carb and sugar content.
Non-dairy yogurt: Non-dairy consumers can still enjoy their yogurt and eat it too, thanks to a variety of plant-based yogurt options such as soy, cashew, almond, oat, and coconut milk. But Castillo says that in comparison to regular and Greek yogurt, plant-based yogurts tend to be lower in protein. For example, a six-ounce serving of plain Kite Hill Unsweetened Almond Yogurt ($6 for 16 ounces) has just five grams of protein, while a one-cup serving of plain So Delicious Coconutmilk Yogurt ($5 for 24 ounces) has less than one gram of protein.