Whether you are on a weight loss diet, trying to avoid lactose or you are a vegetarian who doesn’t consume animal products, there will be a type of yogurt that fits your preference. There are very many types of yogurt from the industry made to those that are made from home, types that are made from animal milk, and those made from plant products and many other types.
What is yogurt?
Yogurt is a milk product that is fermented with friendly bacteria. When bacteria are added to fresh milk, it thickens and forms a sour taste. Yogurt is naturally healthy
The bacteria used in the fermentation of yogurt is known as yogurt cultures.
During fermentation, lactose is transformed into lactic acid that acts on milk protein to change its texture and taste.
Yogurt has very many types depending on the type of milk or procedure used in its manufacture.
Types of yogurt.
It is very popular and recommended as a weight-loss yogurt. It makes up to about 40% of the total yogurt on the market.
Greek yogurt has a lot of proteins, less sugar, and fewer carbs.
It is made by straining out most of the liquid whey leaving a thick texture. There are no FDA guidelines on the straining of Greek yogurt and you will probably find some brands are thicker than others.
Greek yogurt has a sour taste.
Traditional yogurt is also popular. It is made using unstrained milk forming a thin and easy to stir the mixture. It also usually has a thin layer of liquid on top.
When not flavored, traditional yogurt has a sour taste that comes from lactic acids that are produced by bacteria.
Australian yogurt is not thick or liquid. It is made with whole milk thus giving off a creamy look.
Australian yogurt is also unstrained and it will have excess liquid on top.
Almond yogurt is popular with people that are lactose intolerant. Since it contains no dairy, it is one of the best alternatives to lactose-intolerant people.
Since almond yogurt has fewer proteins as compared to dairy milk, almond yogurt is thinner. It is however high in fiber, calcium, and fewer calories.
Another great alternative to dairy yogurt is soy yogurt. Soy yogurt is not made from animal products and therefore it is a good option to vegans and those that are allergic to lactose.
Just like almond yogurt, soy yogurt is relatively thinner compared to dairy yogurt. On the other hand, it has higher quantities of fiber, calcium, and is relatively lower in calories.
Additionally, soy yogurt is low in cholesterol and can help avoid sugar spikes caused by high cholesterol.
This type is made from coconut milk and comes with a creamy thickness that is similar to whole milk. Coconut milk however has a different structure compared to that of dairy milk and so different methods of turning it into yogurt are used.
Probiotics are used to turn coconut milk into yogurt. Of course, coconut yogurt is dairy-free and can be adopted by vegans and people that are lactose intolerant.
Icelandic yogurt or skyr.
Icelandic yogurt is quite similar to Greek yogurt the difference is in the making where 4 cups of milk are used to make skyr compared to the 3 cups used in the making of Greek yogurt.
This makes skyr thicker and higher in proteins.
Goat milk yogurt.
This type of yogurt is made from goat milk. What makes goat milk yogurt popular is its ability to have less allergic reactions compared to cow’s milk. In one study, it was found out that 93 % of infants that were allergic to cow’s milk were able to take goat milk with no allergic reactions.
Goat milk yogurt has a smoother, richer, and creamier texture compared to cow milk yogurt.
This is fermented milk that is traditionally made using cow’s or goat’s milk. Kefir’s grains are added to the milk and the yogurt is let to sit for about 24 hours for the kefir grains to ferment.
The grains are then removed from the liquid to produce kefir yogurt.
The yogurt is highly nutritious containing protein, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin B12, magnesium, and vitamin D.
Low-fat yogurt is made using low-fat milk of which friendly bacteria is added to form a delicious yogurt.
It is normally consumed by people who want to restrict their calorie intake since this type of yogurt is low in calories.
Also known as stirred yogurt, this type is made from milk that has been incubated and cooled. It forms a creamy and thick texture.
This is yogurt made from cow’s milk that has been treated to break down lactose. The process of breaking down lactose makes this yogurt friendly to lactose-intolerant people.
The yogurt doesn’t lose its nutrients and it is a good source of calcium and proteins.
It is made from full fat or whole milk. It is highly nutritious and contains a lot of calories since nothing is stripped from the milk.
What is the healthiest yogurt?
The healthiest yogurt will depend on your preferences and what you are looking for in the yogurt. Let me get this straight, the healthiest yogurt for weight gain, weight loss, or general health can be different.
Still breaking down the healthiest yogurt, the healthiest yogurt also differs in plant-based and dairy-based yogurt.
Examples of the healthiest yogurt.
Greek yogurt is so popular and recommended in many diets. It has a lot of proteins, less sugar, and fewer carbs.
People who want more proteins and fewer carbs choose this kind of yogurt.
It is however made from animal milk and so it can’t be the healthiest yogurt to people who are lactose intolerant. It is also not the yogurt with the least calories per serving thus it can’t be the healthiest yogurt to people who are restricting calorie intake.
Healthiest yogurt? Read this.
In my opinion, there may not exist what you call the healthiest yogurt because even Greek or almond yogurt may have unhealthy ingredients that are added to it during its making.
You should therefore make more use of the label while buying yogurt. Always read the label to find out how much ingredients are added to the yogurt and if they don’t pose health risks.
While buying yogurt,
Avoid lots of added sugar.
Added sugar poses a lot of health risks to the body and thus yogurt with a lot of added sugar should be avoided. Learn more about why you should limit added sugar intake. Read the article: Health risks associated with added sugars and how to overcome them
Avoid yogurt with a lot of artificially added ingredients.
If it is yogurt made from cow milk, let the biggest percentage of ingredients be cow milk, not something else.
There will exist artificial ingredients in yogurt probably for preservation but they should be a long list of them and they should be in few amounts.
Health benefits of yogurt.
Yogurt is highly nutritious with nutrients such as huge amounts of proteins, and calcium. Yogurt also has small amounts of potassium, zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.
All these nutrients and vitamins make yogurt healthy with a lot of health benefits. read them below;
1. High in proteins.
Most especially Greek yogurt, yogurt is rich in high amounts of proteins with around 12 grams of proteins per 200 grams (7 ounces) serving.
Protein is linked to many other benefits such as bodybuilding and keeping satisfaction for longer periods of time. Taking yogurt can help you avoid cravings since it increases the production of hormones that signal satisfaction.
It is this reason that yogurt is healthy for weight loss.
2. Yogurt can improve digestive health.
The probiotics in some yogurt types can boost digestive health. Yogurt can reduce gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, and others.
3. Good for the bones and teeth.
The high amounts of calcium in yogurt can improve bone and teeth health by making them stronger.
Potassium, phosphorous, and vitamin D in yogurt play an important role in bone health.
Yogurt also helps to protect against osteoporosis since it improves bone health.
4. Yogurt can boost the immune system.
In yogurt are probiotics, vitamins, and minerals that can boost the immune system to fight against certain illnesses.
Can yogurt make you fat?
We have always been told that consuming a lot of calories can get you fat. This partially right and wrong, when consuming a lot of calories and your body doesn’t fully burn them, the excess calories are stored as reserve energy. However, if the body fully uses those calories, you will not grow fat.
Back to yogurt, does it make you fat?
Some yogurt types and brands have high amounts of calories and taking huge amounts of yogurt can contribute to a lot of calories that you might not fully burn thus stored as fat.
Additionally, some yogurt brands do have a lot of added sugars to them. A lot of added sugars are known for causing weight gain and other health risks.
Therefore, yogurt can make you fat if its high in calories and added sugars.
However, some types of yogurt most especially those that are homemade usually have no added sugars and might be low in calories depending on the way they are made.