Yogurt 101

March 26, 2012

Looking for a healthy snack? Try yogurt, here is your quick shopping and reference 101 for yogurt.

What is Yogurt? Yogurt is made with milk, cream, and a culture of lactic acid; yogurt is a slightly tangy, creamy, and fresh tasting - often good for digestion.

How to Buy: Check expiration date for freshness. Available in single-serve, pint, and quart sizes in the refrigerator section. Brands are also starting to offer frozen varieties.

How to Read the Label: Always read ingredients, avoid products with added sugars, food starches and artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors. You can always add honey and fruit at home. Check for presence of friendly bacteria, fat content, calories, and amount of calcium.
Regular has 2.35% fat, 150 calories per cup, 8g of fat.
Low Fat has 0.5-2% fat, 155 calories per cup; 4g of fat.
Nonfat has less than 0.5% fat, 137 calories per cup, 0.4g fat.
Flavored yogurts vary widely from 200-250 calories per cup, 3 to 5g of fat, and 239-419mg of calcium.

Choices: Conventional or organic cow, goat, coconut or soymilk. Greek-style yogurts are a thicker consistency from a straining process that removes the liquid whey.

How to Use: Alone, with fresh fruit or veggies, in smoothies or as a substitute for sour cream or crème fraiche. Add to soups or warm dishes at the last moment to avoid curdling. Milk solids and water separate; discard water or mix back in. Do not freeze. Do not add lemon. (It will curdle.)

Health Benefits: Yogurt may contain some or all of these bacteria (lactobacillus bulgaricus, bifidus, Casei, streptococcus themophilus or acidophilus) for healthy digestion and high amounts of calcium and protein.

Smarter Shopping: Buy plain yogurt and add your own fresh fruits or nuts to save money, add nutrition and cut back on unnecessary added sugars.

For more product 101s download our free Smarter Shopping App!