Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Mystique of Greek? Choosing the Right Yogurt

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Yogurt has enjoyed a long-term reputation as a healthy snack, and deservedly so: the calcium in yogurt helps build strong bones, contains healthy bacteria in the form of probiotics which is good for your gut health, and research shows that people who have higher rates of dairy consumption have lower rates of stroke and heart disease. Eating yogurt can also help you reach the MyPlate recommendation of three cups of low-fat dairy per day. We know that there are an overwhelming number of options when it comes to yogurt, so Bon’App will help you find the healthiest choice.

For regular yogurt, the two main things to watch out for are fat and sugar content. Choose non-fat or low-fat varieties, and opt for the unflavored selections.

Dannon All-Natural Plain yogurt is a good option with a fairly low sugar content; however, even though it is low-fat, it still contains 4g of Bad Fat. Compare this to Yoplait’s Creamy Strawberry 99% Fat Free Yogurt, which has only 1g of Bad Fat but a whopping 25g of sugar—or six teaspoons, which equals the American Heart Association’s maximum daily recommendation for women. You are better off choosing a fat-free plain yogurt and adding fresh fruit to cut the added sugar you consume, and you can even doctor it up with a tablespoon of nuts which are packed with good fat, protein, and fiber to keep you fuller for longer!
6oz. Dannon All-Natural Plain Yogurt

6oz. Yoplait Strawberry 99% Fat Free Yogurt
Greek yogurt, which is simply regular yogurt that has been thickened through straining, has been growing in popularity because of its high protein content as well as its tangy, creamy taste. Plain Greek yogurt is also a great substitute for sour cream and works well replacing other fats in baked goods. The nonfat plain varieties of top brands, such as Chobani (shown below), is a great option.

  6 oz. Chobani 0% Greek Yogurt

Keep in mind that all yogurts, even the unflavored varieties, will have some sugar due to the naturally-occurring sugar in dairy products. The key is to read the ingredient information on the label to choose one that does not list sugar as an ingredient. Or just search “yogurt” in Bon’App and choose the one that’s lowest in sugar!

 So, the next time you’re deciding what yogurt to eat, choose a low-fat, Greek variety to reap the benefits of more protein and choose plain instead of flavored.  Plain yogurt may take some getting used to, but adding mix-ins of your own—such as nuts, berries, high-fiber cereal,—is a great way to boost the flavor and nutrition of your snack.

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