Yogurt Confusion

Autopilot – time for groceries – I know what we like, I’ve got the list of what we need, and I can make my way around the grocery store faster than the boys can finish whatever snack I’ve given them to keep occupied. But there’s one section that always gets me, it slows down my grocery efficiency more than the latest video gone viral on YouTube. It’s the Yogurt section.  I swear the section keeps growing each week with more and more variety and whatever yogurt I bought the week before has either been moved to a new location on the shelf or is no longer there. Honey flavored, non-fat, full fat, Greek, Kefir, strawberry pineapple passion, individual sized, large economy sized, and the list goes on.  Why do I find the yogurt section so confusing?  Because there are so many choices!

Today I’m going to try and summarize the yogurt details for you and what helps me shuffle through the yogurt confusion.

Yogurt is produced by culturing dairy ingredients with a bacterial culture. These good bacteria can take up residence in your digestive tract, supporting good digestion and immune function by keeping bad bacteria in check. The best nutritional option is plain yogurt, which has only two ingredients: live cultures and milk. The longer the ingredients list, the more calories you get and the less yogurt nutrition. And in some highly-sweetened varieties, you’re getting more calories in the sweetener than you are in the yogurt. Plus, many yogurts that claim to be sugar free are packed instead with artificial sweeteners.

#1. PLAIN is best
Plain yogurt contains around one-half of the calories of the same amount of fruit-added yogurt.
Plain yogurt contains almost twice the amount of protein.
Plain yogurt contains fewer fillers.
Plain yogurt contains more calcium.
Plain yogurt contains no added sugar.

#2. Greek vs Regular?
Straining out the extra whey in yogurt makes Greek yogurt thick, creamy and tangy. Plain Greek yogurt has less sugar and more protein than typical yogurt. But regular yogurt delivers twice the bone-strengthening mineral calcium. Greek yogurt also tends to be more expensive than regular yogurt, because more milk goes into making each cup. My choice? I choose Greek because of the higher protein content.  A single serving of Greek yogurt contains almost as much protein as three ounces of lean meat.

#3. Low fat, nonfat, or full of fat?
This depends on a few varying factors. If weight loss is your goal, nonfat is the best choice. If you are feeding young children who still need high caloric intake, full fat is a better choice for them.  It’s the same reason doctors suggest giving toddlers 2 or 3.25% milk vs skim.

#4. Individual packages or the large carton?
I know it seems convenient to buy the individual sized sweetened and fruity yogurts. Granted this is a healthier snack than a bag of potato chips, but adding your own fresh fruit and honey to plain yogurt is always the healthier choice.  And honestly, does it take that much time to mash up a banana or cut up some strawberries to add in to the yogurt?  I have a hard time finding individual sized Plain yogurts so I typically buy the larger carton and make my own individual sized servings.

Hope this info helps you the next time you’re stuck staring at the yogurt section.

Have a great week!
Meryl

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