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The Benefits of Yogurt

What's tasty, easy, and has lots of health benefits? Yogurt!

10 Tips for Buying and Eating Yogurt

Here are 10 things to consider when buying and eating yogurt.

1. Decide Between Whole-Milk, Low-Fat, or Nonfat Yogurt

When buying yogurt, your first decision is whether you want regular-fat, low-fat, or fat-free. You probably have a favorite brand, with just the right texture or tang for your taste buds. If so, stick with it. But do check the label for sugar content. Some flavors and brands have more than others. And if you like a lower-fat yogurt, even better. There’s some question that while other components in dairy may be helpful to your health (calcium, vitamin D, probiotics, etc.), dairy fat may increase your risk of heart disease. Harvard University researchers recently analyzed data from the Nurses’ Health Study and concluded the data do suggest that a high intake of dairy fat is associated with a greater risk of ischemic heart disease in women.

Here are a few examples of some lower fat choices:

 

LOW-FAT YOGURT (6 ounces)CaloriesFat (g)Saturated fat (g)Cholesterol (mg)% Calories from sugarCalcium (% Daily Value)Vitamin D (% Daily Value)
Dannon Creamy Fruit Blends, Strawberry flavor1701.511070%20%-

Dannon Activia, Blueberry flavor

16531.57.562%23%-

Yoplait Original 99% Fat Free, Fruit flavored

1701.511063%20%20%
Yoplait Yo Plus Raspberry1652.21.51558%23%15%
Stonyfield Farms Organic Low-Fat, Fruit flavored1301.51568%25%-
"LIGHT" YOGURT (6 ounces)CaloriesFat (g)Saturated fat (g)Cholesterol (mg)% Calories from sugarCalcium (% Daily Value)Vitamin D (% Daily Value)
Dannon Light 'n Fit, Fruit flavored6000<547%20%20%
Dannon Light & Fit 0% Fat Plus7500<556%15%15%
Dannon Activia Light Fat Free Raspberry10500<546%22.5%-
Yoplait Light, Fruit flavored10000<556%20%20%
Yoplait Fiber One Nonfat Yogurt (with 5 grams fiber)12000<555%15%22.5%
Weight Watchers Nonfat Yogurt (with 3 grams fiber100.50548%30%30%

2. Choose Your Sweetener

The other decision is whether you want artificial sweeteners (which are used in most "light" yogurts) or whether you’re OK with most of the calories coming from sugar. If you are sensitive to aftertastes, you may want to avoid light yogurts. If you don't mind NutraSweet, there are lots of light yogurts to choose from, and all taste pretty good.

3. Look for Active Cultures and Probiotics

To make sure your yogurt contains active cultures, check the label. Most brands will have a graphic that says "live and active cultures."

If you want to know which specific active cultures your yogurt contains, look to the label again. Under the list of ingredients, many brands list the specific active cultures. And different cultures are thought to have different benefits.

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