Yoghurt is often marketed as healthy and fair enough: It’s high in hunger-busting protein, has bone-boosting calcium and contains gut-friendly probiotics. But with a bewildering variety to choose from, a stroll down the supermarket fridge could leave you a little mixed up.

What is yoghurt?

At its simplest, yoghurt is made with two ingredients: cow’s milk and live cultures, causing it to ferment. This thickens it and gives it its characteristically tangy flavour. Yet, not all yogurts are created equal.

Label Watch: What to look for

Added vs. Natural Sugar

Before scanning your eyes over the label, understand that you’ll find sugar regardless as all cow’s milk yoghurt derives much of its sugar from naturally occurring milk, known as lactose and also the fresh or blended fruit inside. Unfortunately, the nutrition facts combine both the natural and added sugar under “total sugars,” so the only way to know if any sugar was added is to read the ingredients list to find out which type(s) of added sweetener your yoghurt contains. Anything above 6mg of total sugars will be added sugar, generally in the form of refined sugars, fruit pieces, or honey.

Calcium. Although yoghurt can be a good source of calcium, it’s unlikely to meet your total daily requirement. It’s recommended that adults consume 1000-1300mg daily. Look at the back of your label and shoot for one that provides at least 15 per cent of the daily value of calcium per serving. For example, Look for > 150mg per serve

Probiotics. Most yoghurt sold in the Australia is ‘live’, which means that it still contains beneficial bacteria (usually strains called Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus). Such organisms are thought to stimulate the gut’s friendly bacteria to help maintain gut health. Look for the phrase “contains live and active cultures”. The more, the better!

Size matters. According to national dietary guidelines, a serve of yoghurt is ¾ cup or 200g. Anything more than 200g means more kilojoules. To make the best comparison between yoghurts, always refer to the ‘per 100 grams column’.

My picks:

Top Pick:

Farmers Union Greek Style High Protein. Per 100g. 254kJ, 8.1g protein, 0.1g sat fat, 5.2g sugar, 262 mg calcium

High protein

Siggis. Per 100g: 266kJ, 10.1g protein, 0.2g sat fat, 3.6g sugar, 303mg calcium (high calcium)

High calcium:

Jalna Pot Set Biodynamic Organic Yoghurt. Per 100g: 363kJ, 5g protein, 3.9g sat fat, 4.7g sugars, 162mg calcium

Low Sugar

Five Am Organic. Natural Yoghurt. Per 100g. 351 kJ, 4.7g protein, 3g sat fat, 4.6g sugar, 147mg calcium

Chobani Greek Yoghurt. Per 100g: 362kJ, 8.7g protein, 2.6g sat fat, 2.7g sugars, 100mg calcium

Image credit: Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash


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