Yogurt: What types and brands are best for your health?

March 8, 2013 1:33:17 PM PST
Have you ever wondered the difference between the many yogurt types and brands at the grocery store?

Since it promotes the growth of good bacteria, a lot of women like yogurt because it strengthens their immune systems.

Certified health coach Lois Orth-Zitoli runs a company called Full Circle Health and is here to offer advice.

Choosing a Yogurt: Six factors to consider
1.) Should have Live Active Yogurt Cultures
2.) Protein content (Greek yogurt has high protein content)
3.) Sugar content (1 tsp = 4 grams)
4.) Fat content
5.) No rBGH (growth hormone)
6.) No fillers or thickeners i.e. cornstarch, gelatin, pectin or carrageenan

Yoplait: Dessert disguised as a health food
-sugar content ranges from 5 ½ to 7 tsp. sugar per 6 oz. container, sugar equal to a Snickers bar
-lots of fillers like cornstarch and gelatin

Chobani: A Greek yogurt so it has increased protein content, but still has 4-5 tsp. of sugar in its' flavored 6 oz. yogurt
-no low fat or full fat options, only fat-free

Stonyfield Farms: made from organic milk, has high protein greek yogurt option as well as traditional yogurt
-flavored yogurts high in sugar

Fage: Plain Greek yogurt, high protein content
-Available in plain fat-free, low fat and whole milk varieties

Kalona Supernatural: Made from milk that is low vat pasteurized, non-homogenized and from grass-fed cows

Fermentation makes it more digestible, most of lactose gets used up in the fermentation process so people that are lactose intolerant can often eat yogurt.

Important to have fat in yogurt because fats are digested slowly which helps maintain a steady blood sugar level (important to avoid hypoglycemia, diabetes and obesity and helpful for people who are trying to lose weight).

Fat helps with absorption of protein, calcium and vitamins A and D (Vitamins A and D are fat-soluble vitamins, i.e. they can't be absorbed without fat present).

Lois Orth-Zitoli, CHHC
Certified Health Coach
Full Circle Health