How do I pick a healthy yoghurt?
By Christina Ross, Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD)
In my work as a dietitian, one of the most common questions I receive is “how to pick a healthy yoghurt?”. It seems to be one of those foods that causes much confusion, so here are my top tips:
Tip 1 – look for a short ingredient list. Most simply, yoghurt is made by combining milk and live bacteria cultures, which ferment the naturally occurring sugar in milk, lactose, to create yoghurt with its distinctively sour taste. Flavoured and “no added sugar” varieties may also contain added sugar, sweeteners, cream, thickeners, gums, starches and flavours, so if you are looking for a less processed alternative, stick with a plain natural or Greek yoghurt and add your own mix of fruit for sweetness (plus, you’ll have the added benefit of extra fibre).
Tip 2 – opt for a high calcium and high protein option. Ideally, you’d want your yoghurt to provide at least 100mg calcium per 100g. When it comes to protein, Greek yoghurts tend to be higher in protein, as they are strained which removes the liquid whey portion.
Tip 3 – look for probiotic cultures. Some yoghurts will provide a source of probiotics, which are the gut-friendly bacteria that support good digestive health. Check the label for >100 million CFUs, for the best source.