How to Choose the Best Yogurt

There are so many yogurts available in the grocery store that it can be hard to choose which one would be the best for you.  Read on for some tips on making a healthy yogurt choice.

What to look for on the yogurt label

Enjoying yogurt is a great way to get a bone-building serving from the Milk and Alternatives group. Packed with calcium and protein, yogurt is a great snack choice. Some yogurts also have probiotics (good bacteria for a healthy gut) and vitamin D (another bone-building nutrient).

For the most nutrition and best value, choose plain yogurt in large tubs. Here are a few other things to look for on the Nutrition Facts Panel and ingredient list when choosing plain or flavoured yogurt:

  • Fat: Choose lower fat yogurts (2% M.F. or less) more often.
  • Calcium: Look for at least 15% of the Daily Value for calcium.  To learn about the % Daily Value, watch this video.
  • Sugar: Look for no added sugar.  Yogurt naturally contains sugar but some manufacturers will add even more to add to the sweetness.  Some yogurts with no added sugar might contain artificial sweeteners instead.  These products are fine to eat in moderation.  

Can people with lactose intolerance eat yogurt?

Yogurt usually has a lot less lactose than milk.  This is because the bacteria that helps turn milk into yogurt also break down lactose. Many people who cannot tolerate milk find that they can enjoy yogurt without any digestive problems. 

Should I choose yogurt with probiotics?

The decision to buy yogurts with probiotics is a personal one.  Some yogurts have probiotics added to them by the manufacturer.  Probiotics may help keep your digestive system healthy, but more research is needed. Yogurts with probiotics are safe for most people to eat and fit into a healthy diet.  They also have calcium and protein which are important for health.  However, yogurts without probiotics are also healthy food choices.

Yogurt, five ways

1. Layer plain yogurt with fruit, and sprinkle with nuts, seeds and high-fibre breakfast cereal to make a parfait.  Add cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup or honey for a touch of sweetness and flavour.

2. Top whole grain pancakes and waffles with yogurt and fruit.

3. Make a yogurt dip or spread.  Drain plain yogurt until it is thick. Add lemon, garlic and grated cucumber and season to taste.  Great for dipping vegetables or as a spread for wraps and pitas.

4. Whip up a smoothie with yogurt and frozen fruit (like berries or mango chunks). Or make a yogurt popsicle for the kids.  Freeze yogurt with juice and fruit for a frozen treat.  Try this recipe: Layered Yogurt Pops.

5. Substitute yogurt for mayo or sour cream for a lighter salad dressing.

Try these yogurt recipes:

Yogurt Banana Split

Layered Yogurt Pops

Carrot Potato Pancakes

You may also be interested in:

Packing Healthy School Lunches and Snacks FAQs

How many Milk and Alternatives do you need?

Getting Enough Calcium when you are Lactose Intolerant


Last Update – March 1, 2018

Phone Icon

Dietitians look beyond fads to deliver reliable, life-changing advice. Want to unlock the potential of food? Connect with a dietitian.