The Great Yoghurt Debate
I have found over the past few weeks that every other person has been asking which yoghurt they should be choosing. As a staple food in most fridges and with hundreds of brands and varieties to choose from at the super markets it’s no wonder there are so much uncertainty. While looking at yoghurt there are many aspects to consider: sugar, fat, protein and calcium content… and taste!
Three serves of dairy is recommended by the Australian Healthy Eating Guidelines for adults to ensure you get all the nutrition you need. Ideally yoghurt should be a good source of protein and calcium while keeping the fat and sugar content down. As yoghurt varieties have different processing methods some are naturally higher in protein and lower in sugar (Greek yoghurt). It is also important to keep in mind that lactose is a natural form of sugar found in yoghurt which has a low glycaemic index and is a healthy part of a balanced diet.
The majority of concerns people have raised recently surround the idea that low fat or no fat yoghurts contain far more sugar than their full fat alternative. Hopefully this review can give you some guidance on this matter.
The following is a brief summary of some common yoghurts on the super market shelves:
Chobani: The processing methods of this yoghurt make it a great source of protein both in the plain and flavoured varieties. However it is important to note that once they add a flavour in (eg. Coconut, Raspberry, Banana etc.) they also add a fair amount of sugar. If you are going to go for Chobani and like some flavour, my advice would be to add your own fruit to the plain 0% fat or 2% fat options. (Rachel’s personal pick: Chobani 0% with fresh mango).
Brownes: Being quite an affordable and readily available single serve yoghurt this is often one we see people buying as an extra with their lunches at the cafeteria line. Having so many different varieties and flavours if can be a challenge to know which to choose. If you like something plain their Natural Light is a good low fat/sugar, moderate protein and high calcium option. If you are looking at their flavoured varieties the full fat and light options do have a fair amount of sugar added so the Diet options are a better choice, even though they have a slightly lower protein content (considering most of us eat more protein than we need).
Tamara Valley 98% Fat Free: It is important to keep an eye on serve sizes. These yoghurts might look like your regular single serve containers but the 230g tubs are 25% larger than your standard single serve yoghurts at 175g and claim their servings per pack to be 2 (115g). However, they do have a good protein content, high calcium, and are low in fat and sugar making them a good choice, even if you ate the whole tub in one sitting as a snack or part of your breakfast.
West’n’Fresh: While it does have an extra creaminess to it this yoghurt’s high fat and sugar content could almost place it into a dessert category instead of dairy! Best to keep this one as a treat only.
Ski D’lite vs. Yoplait Forme (Peach and mango): These two are a great comparison of where you can have a great product without the added sugar. With almost 60 % less sugar and minimal fat your Yoplait Forme a good, affordable option to keep in the fridge for the whole family.
Black Swan Low Fat vs. No Fat (Greek style): This is a basic example to demonstrate that by simply reducing the fat content of a yoghurt it does not raise the sugar content. It is the addition of sugar and/or fruits which will have this impact on the nutrition content of your yoghurt. The No Fat yoghurt actually comes out on top with 25 % less sugar from the lactose naturally present in both yoghurts.
As we could not review every single brand and variety of yoghurt on the shelf here is what we would consider a good reference tool to use when making your choice.
Making your own is another option – if you know what’s going in you know what you’re getting out!
Check out Matthew Evans, The Gourmet Farmer’s video and give it a go! http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/homemade-yoghurt
Key Tip: It is important to read the label when choosing your yoghurt and compare different products. Use the handy reference guide above to make sure you get a delicious and healthy yoghurt!
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