Yogurt can be one of the healthiest food choices you can make in your diet. Packed with high quality protein, tons of calcium and full of healthy digestive bacterias, a cup of yogurt can be part of a wonderful breakfast or be the perfect grab-and-go snack.
Be aware, though, not all yogurts are created equally, and many yogurts are so bad for you that they should be classified as a junk food. When faced with a sea of choices in the refrigerated aisle, how can you be certain that you are making the best choice?
Yogurt is made from milk that has been fermented with bacterial cultures. In its plain state, it can be overwhelmingly tart and unpleasant to many palates. Consequently, sweeteners are often added. Many yogurts contain High Fructose Corn Syrup or large amounts of artificial sweeteners. There are also yogurts sweetened with honey, sugar or cane sugar. As a guideline, try to chose a yogurt that contains no more than 20 grams of sugar per 6 oz container or 14 grams of sugar in a 4 oz kid’s cup. Stonyfield Farms and Yoplait make some very tasty choices that fit these guidelines.
Greek yogurt is another popular option. It is made by straining out the liquid from the yogurt to make it thicker, richer and more tart. It is a great choice to cook with in place of sour cream. Follow the same guidelines when choosing Greek yogurts – make low or no fat choices with low sugar counts. Some great choices include Fage, Dannon, Chobani, Brown Cow and Siggis. Trader Joe’s makes a store brand, as well.
Eating yogurt can make you feel virtuous, but watch the fat content as well! A full-fat yogurt can contain up to 16 grams of saturated fat, which can be equal to 3 full sized scoops of a premium ice cream. Choose a low-fat or no-fat version, which tastes exactly the same.
Why not grab a cup of plain yogurt and stir in one of these great ingredients to create your own delicious and nutritious blend?
- Crush a low fat graham cracker, add 1 T pumpkin puree and a shake of cinnamon sugar.
- Add 1t of honey and 1T of unsweetened applesauce with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Stir in equal amounts of crushed pineapple, coconut flakes and crushed banana chips.
- Try peanut butter and sliced bananas.
- Crushed almonds, a drizzle of honey and fresh berries beat sugar sweetened jams any day!