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The perfect snack for in between meals, yoghurt is light, tasty and nutritious. With so many brands on the market, choosing the right one for your health can be a challenge. Here are some great tips to help you find the healthiest yoghurt.
Types of Yoghurt
When shopping for yoghurt, the type you choose is more important than the brand. What sets yoghurt apart is the type of milk used and how it is made.
Yoghurt is natural if it has not been processed. It can be made with the milk of any animal. It is basically fermented pasteurized milk, which is why it has a more acidic taste. Because it does not contain chemicals of any kind, it is considered by many experts as the healthiest yoghurt.
Greek yoghurt is a popular variety. Although it contains more saturated fat than others, it is still considered a healthy option because it is rich in vitamin A. Its versatile taste also makes it suitable for cooking.
Some people believe low-fat is the healthiest yoghurt because it has less saturated fat. This is not necessarily true. This type contains more sugar than natural yoghurt and therefore higher in calories.
This type of yoghurt is made with soy milk. The upside is that it is a good dairy alternative for vegans. However, it does not provide as much calcium as animal milk.
Diet Fruit Yoghurt
This yoghurt contains fewer calories because it is made with skimmed milk. Unfortunately, most brands enhance the flavor by adding unhealthy sweeteners. Its calcium content is also quite low.
Custard yoghurt is regarded as the least healthy type. Its rich, creamy texture comes from whole milk, which is high in fat and calories.
How to Choose the Healthiest Yoghurt
Different types of yoghurt contain different nutrients. Therefore, the healthiest yoghurt is one that provides the specific nutrients you need. Lactose intolerance is another factor you should keep in mind when shopping for yoghurt.
Most people get their calcium intake from dairy. If you are one of them, it would be best to choose yoghurt made from cow’s milk. Sheep’s milk also has a fair amount of calcium and is just as good for maintaining strong bones and teeth.
Other than calcium, the healthiest yoghurt is one that has “live” cultures. Cultures are actually bacteria, the good kind needed for digestion. They are also beneficial for women who suffer from recurring fungal vaginal infections.
If you are intolerant to lactose, you might want to stay away from yoghurt made with cow, goat and sheep milk. The best choice would be soya yoghurt because it is made from plant. Another great option is yoghurt made with coconut milk.
The more fat a yoghurt contains, the higher the calories. Low-fat and diet fruit yoghurt have the least fat. However, they are not as nutritionally valuable as high-fat options like natural and Greek yoghurt. It is up to you to decide what is more important between cutting calories and getting nutrients.