What’s the deal with yogurt? For such a simple food, it seems like there’s so much to consider!
To keep you from getting frustrated, here’s a rundown of what you need to know about healthy yogurt –whether you’re choosing a store-bought variety, making your own, or simply trying to jazz it up.
Choosing a Yogurt
Finding the right yogurt can be a time-consuming process. There are dozens of brands to choose from, each with their own range of flavors, fat levels, and ingredients. But don’t despair, here are a few tips to help narrow down your search:
- Choose plain yogurt – you can add your own healthy flavorings later
- Look for unsweetened yogurt
- Forgo additives, including thickeners, sweeteners, and preservatives
- Opt for yogurts labeled “Live & Active Culture” to ensure a sufficient level of probiotic bacteria
- Go for a quality serving of protein – from 9 g in regular to over 15 g per ¾ cup in Greek yogurt
- Stick to low-fat varieties – anywhere from 0–2% dairy fat
Greek vs. Regular
Both Greek and regular varieties of yogurt are delicious and healthy, provided they are low in fat and free of sweeteners and additives. But the traditional Greek yogurt process strains out the liquid whey fraction, giving it a competitive edge. When compared to regular yogurt, the benefits of Greek include:
- Almost double the protein content
- A thicker, creamy texture
- About half the carbohydrate content
- More satiating
Benefits of DIY Yogurt
Do it yourself (DIY) yogurt is a fun and simple project, and it’s the easiest way to control the ingredients and ensure that you’re eating the freshest yogurt possible. It’s also cheaper than store bought – bonus! All you need is high-quality milk (preferably organic and grass-fed) and a starter culture, which can be ordered new or taken from an existing batch of high-quality yogurt.
Yogurt is a fantastic medium for toppings. Whether it’s a chewy, crunchy, sweet, or savory experience you’re after, there are plenty of healthy ingredients that’ll compliment your bowl of yogurt. Fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and grains – the options are endless! Here are a few of my go-to healthy yogurt toppings:
- SlimStyles *PGX Granules – helps lower the glycemic index
- Chopped nuts and seeds – adds protein and fiber
- Honey or fruit puree – increases the sweetness
- Ground cinnamon, ginger, or vanilla bean – adds warmth
- A spoonful of almond or peanut butter – creates a rich flavor
*Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX.