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Your Guide to Buying the Best Yogurt

By Sara Butler

Yogurt is very healthy for you -- if you know what kind to pick. The way it’s sold these days, buying yogurt can be akin to buying a pack of candy bars to enjoy. While it may have active cultures that are good for your gut, overloading on sugar sure isn’t. Here’s what you should look for when buying yogurt in order to make sure you’re getting the right kind!

Watch Out for the Three Fs

As you stand in front of the yogurt section in the dairy case, it can feel a bit overwhelming. There are so many types of yogurts in front of you, where do you even begin? Well, the three Fs are a great place to start:

  • Fat - Just like any other dairy product, yogurt types vary according to how much milk fat they contain. There’s whole milk, low-fat, and fat-free yogurt to choose from. Higher fat yogurt may taste better, but if you’re trying to watch your calories, you may want to opt for a lower fat variety.
  • Flavorings - Yogurt gets flavored with extracts and even real fruit, but just beware that even yogurt with whole fruit may not contain a serving of fruit. Look at the ingredients list and make sure you know what flavors have been added, both real and artificial.
  • Fillers - Many yogurts may have additional dairy products such as milk solids or whey protein added to boost nutrition. Pectin or gelatin is also added to help stabilize the yogurt, as are artificial sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup.

Look at the Label

When you’re looking at the label on yogurt, you can make sure you’re getting a yogurt with the right nutrition profile by looking for:

  • Calories - Look for less than 180 calories per serving
  • Fat - Try to aim for less than 4 grams of fat
  • Sugar - Don’t get too crazy -- keep it under 30 grams of sugar.
  • Protein - If you can find something with around 5 grams per serving, you’re in business.
  • Vitamin D - Look for yogurt that supplies at least 10 percent of your daily value.

Go Greek?

Greek yogurt is a great way to get that creamy consistency without all the fat. It’s high in protein and has fewer calories, too. The way it’s made does make it lose some of its calcium though, so that’s one thing to be aware of. Just choose a Greek yogurt that doesn’t have any thickening agents in it, as real Greek yogurt shouldn’t have any.

Yogurt is a great part of a healthy diet -- as long as you know what to look for!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Shreveport, La.


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