It is a great snack option but are you making a healthy choice when it comes to yoghurt?
The Benefits Of Yoghurt
Yoghurt is a great addition to your diet as it includes calcium, protein, B vitamins, carbohydrate and probiotics. Calcium is important for strong teeth and bones, while protein is used in the production of some hormones, in muscle repair and development. B vitamins are important for the body in order to utilise the fuel that you consume, carbohydrates are a vital source of fuel and probiotics help to keep your digestive system functioning well. It is also low glycemic index and filling.
Sugar – how much is too much?
Check your yoghurt label to identify how much sugar it contains. Remember that 5 grams is equivalent to 1 teaspoon and a low sugar product contains less than 10 grams of sugar per 100grams. Even though you need to consider how much sugar is in your yoghurt, you do need to check where this sugar is coming from.
Where Is That Sugar Coming From?
If most of the sugar in your yoghurt comes from fruit this is ok, but if it is added sugar you should reconsider your choice. Some yoghurt has added sugar to make up for less flavour when fat has been removed. If you notice a label stating 98% fat free, always check how much sugar is in the product. You may think that you have made a good choice when in fact you could end up with the same amount of energy but instead of this coming from fat, it comes from more sugar. Check the ingredients list when you are purchasing a new product or to compare products.
Different yoghurts will have a different fat content. For example Greek yoghurt is higher in fat than plain yoghurt (~10% versus 4%). If you need more energy in your diet you may like to have the yoghurt that is higher in fat, while if you are watching your weight you may like to choose one that is lower in fat and sugar (and therefore total energy). You should be aware of the type of fat in your yoghurt – most of the fat in yoghurt is saturated.
You may also like to check if artificial sweeteners have been used in your yoghurt if you like to avoid these.
All yoghurts will contain probiotics (acidophilus and bifidus). If you would like a product that has even more then you may like to use yoghurt that is backed up by research to prove its efficacy.
The type of yoghurt that you choose will be determined by taste, cost and preference but remember that you should check the amount of sugar, fat and probiotics in your choice. Check where the sugar comes from and aim to consume an appropriate portion size.Originally published on Oct 17, 2011