What is the best yogurt brand?

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Australians know yoghurt is a healthy food. It’s convenient, versatile and when chosen correctly is highly nutritious, making it the perfect snack. But have you ever stopped to wonder, is there really a best brand of yoghurt out there? With the hundreds of different yoghurt varieties available you could be forgiven for being overwhelmed by choice and information.

Spending your time reading each food label can be a time-consuming task and often leaves us confused and questioning what exactly we should you be looking for? As with most things, the majority of yoghurts differ in nutritional content and the way in which they are made. There are so many options such as full fat, fat free, Greek, natural, flavoured, pot set, and even non-dairy options like coconut and soy… the list goes on! So here are my top five tips to look out for when you’re choosing your next yoghurt:

High protein

Yoghurt is high in dairy protein. Typically, when you think of protein rich foods it’s lean meats and poultry that come to mind, but yogurt contains all the essential amino acids required by the body for good health. Yoghurts that are high in protein are also a great recovery snack for sports people – helping to promote muscle growth and repair.

Be sure to read the food label and look for yoghurts with at least 5 g of protein per 100 g serve, as all yoghurts differ in protein content. This is especially true with some dairy free options like coconut yogurt that contains a very small amount of protein and in some cases no protein at all.

Top tip: that clear liquid that sits on the top of some yoghurts is ‘whey’, which is very high in protein so make sure to not drain it out, instead mix it into your yoghurt for extra goodness and nutrition.

Plenty of Calcium

The second reason for including dairy as part of a healthy diet is for the calcium content. Calcium is a vital mineral required by the body for strong bones and healthy teeth. Recommended daily intakes (RDI) of calcium are 1000mg, with a higher intake recommended for older adults. A simple way to meet your daily calcium intake is to choose yoghurts that have at least 150 mg per 100 g serve (i.e. 15% RDI).

Low in sugar

All yoghurts will have some sugar content in them as lactose is a naturally occurring sugar found in yoghurt, but there are some yoghurt brands, especially flavoured yoghurts, that have more hidden sugar than a chocolate bar! So, it’s best to consume natural (i.e. non flavoured) yoghurt, and for those with a sweet tooth add in your own diced fresh fruit or use stevia a natural non-calorific sweetener. Look for yoghurts with less than 10g of sugar per 100 g serve.

Short and simple ingredients list

Artificial colours and flavours? No thanks. In its simplest form, yoghurt is a combination of milk and cultures. You’d be surprised to know that some leading yoghurt brands contain upwards of 15 different ingredients in the tub. So be sure to read the yoghurt labels and opt for those with a small ingredients list.

The power of Probiotics

Probiotics are live friendly bacteria that survive in the digestive tract to maintaining good gut health and strengthen the immune system. Whilst all yoghurts contain starter cultures, a lot of good and bad bacteria can be killed off with heat during the process of converting milk to yoghurt. It’s best to choose yoghurts that are labelled ‘containing live and active cultures’.

 

Which yoghurt brand is best?

A great brand currently on the market is Barambah Organics, which ticks all the boxes. In particular, the Low Fat Natural Yoghurt, which is high in protein and low in energy, meaning it will help keep you full without providing too many kilojoules if you are trying to manage your weight. This yoghurt also contains a very high level of calcium – meeting 20% RDI, there is less than 6 g of sugar per serve and only 3 ingredients – one being probiotics, making this yoghurt an all-round winner!

Name Energy (kJ) Protein (g) Fat total (g) Carbohydrate sugars (g) Calcium (mg) Probiotics Number of ingredients
Barambah Organics Low Fat Natural Yoghurt 280 6.3 0.2 5.7 210 Yes 3

Note: Nutrient values are per 100 g serve

For those that prefer to not eat natural yoghurt, there are also flavoured, Greek and lactose free varieties available in the Barambah range, all of which offer a host of health benefits. In all of the Barambah yoghurts there are a minimum of 5g protein, less than 10g sugar, minimum of 170 mg calcium, maximum 8 ingredients and they all contain probiotics.

The Barambah Organics flavoured yoghurts are a standout in their field with a low sugar content and a short ingredients list both of which are hard to come by in the flavoured yoghurt range.

Name Energy (kJ) Protein (g) Fat total (g) Carbohydrate sugars (g) Calcium (mg) Probiotics Number of ingredients
Barambah Organics Real Mango Yoghurt 372 5.0 3.37 7.25 170 Yes 5
Leading Regular Mango Yoghurt 537 3.1 6.6 13.8 115 Yes 11

Note: Nutrient values are per 100 g serve

Dairy Free yoghurt

For those opting for dairy free alternatives of yoghurt there are several options available on the market.

Coconut yoghurt is one option that is becoming more and more popular, but be aware that due to the high fat content it also has high kilojoule content, not ideal for those watching their waistlines. Also the protein and calcium content is generally low. If you like coconut yogurt use sparingly in small volumes.

Soy yoghurt is another option for those looking to avoid dairy, and is made from soy milk. Soy yoghurts tend to contain more food additives such as thickening agents, as soy yoghurt is thinner in texture compared to dairy yoghurt. The brand Kingland is a good option with the natural unsweetened variety containing 5 g of protein per 100 g serve and only 7 ingredients. Like coconut yoghurt, soy yoghurt is also low in calcium.

Worst Picks of yoghurt

Yoghurt’s to avoid are those that are sugar free, as the sugar content in the yoghurt is replaced with artificial sweeteners and is far from its natural state. Frozen yoghurt is not ideal with a very high sugar content, making it questionable as to whether it is still a healthy food or a sugary treat.

Best picks of yoghurt

Next time you’re out shopping give the Barambah yoghurts a try or keep these tips in mind when picking out your yoghurt (remember these nutrient values are per 100 g serve):

Type of yoghurt– natural

Protein – more than 5g

Sugar – less than 10 g

Calcium – at least 150 mg

Ingredients – look for active and live cultures (probiotics) and a short ingredient list.

Other great yoghurts to try include:

Name Energy (kJ) Protein (g) Fat total (g) Carbohydrate sugars (g) Calcium (mg) Probiotics Number of ingredients
Jalna Fat Free Natural Yoghourt 220 5.3 0.1 5.5 170 Yes 3
Tamar Valley No Fat Natural Yoghurt 231 6.6 <0.15 6.7 199 Yes 3
Chobani Plain 0.5% Fat Yoghurt 240 9.7 0.2 3.3 120 Yes 3
Vaalia Natural Yoghurt 348 6 1.9 7.4 200 Yes 5

 

Author Camille Brennan

I have recently graduated from a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science from UTS and have aspirations of combining my passion for sport and nutrition into a fulfilling career, helping individuals to improve their health and wellbeing. In my spare time you’ll find me at the beach or out and about exploring the outdoors.

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