Yogurt for Good | Denver YMCA

Yogurt for Good

Cracking the Yogurt Mystery

Yogurt is a great source of protein, calcium, and probiotics, and it has become a staple among the health-conscious population. This popularity has led to an increase in yogurt varieties, causing confusion for those trying to make nutritious options at the grocery store. Here is a breakdown of what to look for and what to avoid when making your decision.

  • Sugar content: Always check the nutrition label to determine the sugar content of your yogurt. Remember, yogurt will always have natural sugar from lactose. However, a majority of yogurts also have added sugar in the form of syrups, crunchy toppings, or artificial flavorings. If sugar (or a form of sugar) is listed in the beginning of the ingredient list, put it down.
  • Protein content: Yogurt is a great source of protein. Greek and Icelandic-style yogurt provide up to double the protein content than traditional yogurt.
  • Calcium content: Yogurt is also a great source calcium. In the process of creating Greek yogurt, the protein content increases, but the calcium content decreases. Thus traditional yogurt is a better choice for calcium. Adding nuts or seeds to traditional yogurt can give you the best of both worlds.
  • Fat content: Full-fat options may help you feel fuller longer, but reduced-fat options help cut out calories (and obviously fat). It's important to consider your own dietary needs when evaluating fat content.

What is the best yogurt option? The YMCA Nutrition Team suggests plain, Greek yogurt. It is high in protein and low in sugar, and it has 0 grams of fat. You can flavor it yourself, and you can use it as a substitute for sour cream or mayonnaise or in baking. For more advice on understanding nutrition information, contact the Littleton YMCA at 303 797 9622 to schedule an appointment with your YMCA Nutrition Team.