What's the Healthiest Yogurt?
What's the Healthiest Yogurt?
I'm a fast shopper. As much as I would love to linger at the supermarket -- especially since mine now has cupholders for your coffee built into its shopping carts -- I simply don't have the time. With a well-planned list, I can pretty much zoom around the store … that is, until I get to the yogurt section. Yep, yogurt is my downfall.
Here's the problem: A couple of months ago, I learned about a Harvard University study that pegged yogurt as the best food for weight loss. Trouble is I can't figure out which type is healthiest and tastiest. Do I go Greek? Do I pick plain yogurt and add fruit to sweeten it myself? Do I choose a brand that contains an artificial sweetener because it's more diet-friendly? Or do I just stop overanalyzing and throw the darn carton in the cart?
I can't believe it took me this long to ask for yogurt therapy, but I finally sent my SOS to Melinda Johnson, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Picking a yogurt can be confusing," she said.
Ah, she understood! I beamed. "Is Greek yogurt healthier?" I asked her.
"Greek yogurt has more protein and fewer carbs than regular yogurt, but it also contains three times less calcium," Johnson pointed out. So whether it's more nutritious for you, she explained, really depends on what else you eat during the day. If you get plenty of protein from meat, poultry, beans and nuts but aren't a big fan of milk (this is me!), then regular yogurt makes more sense.
"So if I opt for regular yogurt, what's the maximum number of sugar grams it should contain?" I questioned further.
"Some of the sugar in yogurt occurs naturally," said Johnson. "About 20 grams' worth in an 8-ounce container is put in by nature. But some manufacturers add 24 g -- that's 6 extra teaspoons of sugar."
I'd rather spend my sugar allowance on dark chocolate, not yogurt, I told Johnson. In that case, she said I have two choices: artificially sweetened yogurt or plain. Although I don't give artificially sweetened food to my 9-year-old, I have no problem with the fake sugar for adults. I just don't much like the taste. "Looks like plain sweetened with fruit, a little honey or both would be best for you then," concluded Johnson.
So last week, when I stopped at the yogurt aisle, I knew what I was looking for: plain low-fat yogurt. I picked up four brands and had a little taste test for my family. Our pick: Liberte Lowfat. Sans fruit, it seems less sour than others. And with some raspberries mashed in, it is total yum!
What's your favorite yogurt?
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