Yogurt – it’s been around for a while (about 8,000 years, to be exact). Its ingredient list is typically short, and it has all sorts of health benefits – not the least of which are the live cultures that help keep our gut flora balanced.
But is all yogurt created equal? It turns out most yogurt lining the shelves today is low in fat, high in sugar, and flavored with chemicals to boot.
The Cost Breakdown
Low Fat Yogurt with Fruit, Sweeteners, and Added Flavors: $0.89 for six ounces
Full Fat Yogurt + Real Fruit: $0.84 for six ounces of yogurt + 3 strawberries
Milk is specifically designed by nature to be a mammal’s first food, so it shouldn’t surprise us that it is a particularly well balanced source of nutrition. It contains all three of our primary nutrients -carbs, proteins, and fats. When we eat these nutrients together, we feel satisfied for longer.
Unfortunately, thanks to our fear of fats, most yogurts on the shelves today boast the “health claim” low fat. But if you remove the fat from yogurt, it becomes less satisfying (and less filling), which is why many of them are so high in sugar. Check the ingredient list on any flavored low-fat yogurt, and sugar often comes before fruit.
What to do? Buy the real stuff. If you buy whole milk plain yogurt in a large tub, you’ll be getting a well balanced food with fats that will keep you full for longer, keeping you from adding more nutrient-poor high sugar foods to your diet when your blood sugar drops. You’ll also be saving money on each serving of yogurt, since ounce per ounce the large tub is half the price of the single serving container. If you want to sweeten things up naturally, add fresh or dried fruit, nuts, a touch of honey, or lightly sweetened granola.