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Danielle Farrell, RD: Navigating the yogurt aisle

You can easily add yogurt to your daily diet by making yogurt parfaits or smoothies for breakfast.
You can easily add yogurt to your daily diet by making yogurt parfaits or smoothies for breakfast.

Do you find yourself spending a long time in the ever-growing yogurt aisle? There are many different kinds of yogurt to choose from, including regular yogurt, Greek, Skyr, probiotic and more.

Adding yogurt to your diet is a fantastic way to get calcium. Look for yogurts that contain 15 per cent or more of the daily value for calcium. Some yogurts contain vitamin D, which is also great for your bones.

Here are some things to consider the next time you’re in the yogurt aisle.

Go for plain

Yogurts contain a sugar called lactose, which is found naturally in milk. Plain yogurt varieties will provide you with the least amount of sugar, while flavoured yogurts have added sugar to increase the sweetness.

On the nutrition facts label, sugar is listed in grams per serving. But how much sugar is this really? A trick to help you visualize the amount is to divide the number of grams of sugar by four to get the equivalent number of teaspoons of sugar per serving.

For example, a serving with 12 grams of sugar is the equivalent of three teaspoons.

To sweeten your plain yogurt, try adding fruit, a little bit of honey or maple syrup or try mixing it half and half with a flavoured yogurt.

Protein boost

If you’re trying to increase your protein intake, opt for a Greek yogurt or Skyr (an Icelandic-style yogurt), as these varieties have twice the protein of regular yogurt and will keep you feeling full for longer.

These yogurts are an ideal choice to include at breakfast or as a satisfying afternoon snack.

Healthy gut

If digestive health is of concern to you, choosing a probiotic yogurt can be helpful. Probiotics are good bacteria that contribute to a healthy gut. Look for yogurts with “live active bacterial cultures” listed in the ingredients and probiotic strains on the label.

You may also enjoy kefir, a fermented milk product that also contains probiotics. Kefir is available in a drinkable liquid form or in a variety similar to yogurt.

Plant-based

If you have a dairy allergy or are following more of a plant-based lifestyle, look for a dairy-free yogurt alternative. It’s a great choice to use in place of regular yogurt for vegan dishes and there are also different flavours to choose from.

You can easily add yogurt to your daily diet by making yogurt parfaits or smoothies for breakfast, yogurt dips for raw vegetables and crackers and yogurt spreads for sandwiches. Try adding a dollop of plain yogurt on soup and replacing sour cream with plain yogurt in many recipes.

Combine different types of yogurts to get the health and taste benefits of different varieties. For example, try mixing Skyr, which has a thick, creamy texture and is high in protein, with kefir that contains probiotics.

If you’re still unsure which yogurt is the best choice for you, book a session to shop with the dietitian at your local Dominion store or attend a group workshop focused on digestive health.

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