Simple Swaps: Yogurt

Nutrition

When you think of healthy foods, yogurt is bound to make it on your list of top 10 must haves. Although this may be the case, there are so many options of yogurt available, it becomes very easy to select a yogurt that is far from being healthy. There is just so much confusion when it comes to yogurt, which is why in today’s edition of “Simple Swaps”, I will be going over how to swap your sugar-filled yogurt with a yogurt that is actually good for you.

One of my favourite things about yogurt is its versatility. You can use yogurt as a marinade, dip, dressing, or (my favourite) as a snack.

The nutritional benefits of yogurt are:

  • High in calcium

  • Source of Vitamin D

  • Source of probiotics (healthy bacteria for your gut)

  • Packed with protein (Greek style varieties have more protein)

Next time you are at the grocery store and are looking for a healthy snack and pick up a low fat fruit yogurt, think again. Unfortunately, your fruit yogurt is far from just fruit and yogurt. The fruit is prepared with added sugar, leaving you with about 3 teaspoons of sugar in one small container of yogurt!

This is why I recommend making a simple swap to: plain yogurt.

Since there are so many yogurt options, it can be confusing to know which plain yogurt is the healthiest for you. Here are 5 tips to make your simple swap a little easier:

  • Look for yogurts that have a very small ingredient list. Some plain yogurts may only have milk and active bacteria cultures. Avoid yogurts that have sugar in the ingredient list.

  • Try different varieties of plain yogurt such as Greek, Balkan, or stirred. Depending on what you are using the yogurt for, certain varieties may be better. I love Greek yogurt for my snacks but prefer Balkan style yogurts for marinades.

  • Go for yogurt that has some fat in it! Gone are the days of low fat everything. The latest research is showing that the fat in dairy may not be bad for you. Look for 2, 3, or 4% fat yogurts.

  • Not used to the tartness of plain yogurt? Add a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

  • Love your fruit yogurt? Add in a handful or frozen berries and a drizzle of maple syrup and let it thaw for a few minutes before enjoying.

I’ll be honest with you, when you first switch to plain yogurt it will taste really sour. This is because your tastebuds have become accustomed to the sweetness of the sugar-filled yogurts. Give it some time and if you need to, add in a bit more honey until you get used to enjoying the tart flavour of yogurt.

How do you like to enjoy your yogurt? Let me know through Instagram or Twitter by tagging me @NutritionbyNaz!

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