Navigating the yogurt aisle

Foodwise with Jillian Reid, RD

Published on March 17, 2017

Vanilla Chia Yogurt

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Do you find yourself spending a long time in the yogurt aisle?

Are you confused by the many options in front of you or unsure of what kind of yogurt to buy for a healthier option?

There are many different kinds of yogurt to choose from – including regular yogurt, Greek yogurt, skyr and kefir; low-fat, non-fat, probiotic and more! If navigating your way through the yogurt aisle has become overwhelming, this column is for you.

Adding yogurt to your diet is a fantastic way to get calcium. Some yogurts also contain vitamin D, both of which are great for your bones. Yogurt also provides the body with protein, which helps with fullness, and some yogurts contain probiotics, which are good bacteria that contribute to a healthy gut.

The Nutrition Facts panel on the container can be very helpful when choosing a yogurt. Aim for yogurts that are 2% M.F. or less and that contain at least 15 per cent of the Daily Value of calcium. When it comes to sugar, most yogurts contain a sugar called lactose that is found naturally in milk. Plain yogurt varieties will provide you with the least amount of sugar, while flavoured yogurts have added sugar to increase the sweetness. Some yogurts may have artificial sweeteners and be labelled as no added sugar, which are OK to consume in moderation. On the Nutrition Facts panel the sugar is listed in grams per serving. But how much sugar is this really? A trick to help you visualize the amount is to divide the number of grams of sugar by four to get the equivalent number of teaspoons of sugar per serving.

Generally speaking, the best option when choosing yogurt is to pick up a plain variety – you can sweeten it yourself with fruit and, if needed, a small amount of honey or maple syrup. If you don’t like plain yogurt on its own, try mixing it half and half with a flavoured yogurt to help reduce the amount of added sugar you are eating.

If you are trying to increase protein, opt for a Greek yogurt or skyr (an Icelandic-style yogurt that is now regularly available at local Atlantic Superstores) as these have twice the protein compared to regular yogurt and will keep you feeling full for longer. An added benefit of PC Skyr for those with lactose intolerance is that it is lactose-free.

Yogurts can also easily be used in combination to get the health and taste benefits of different types. Try mixing skyr (which has a thick, creamy texture, is high in protein, and also has less sugar than other flavoured yogurts) with a PC Spoonable Kefir that contains probiotics – kefir is normally available in a drinkable liquid form, but has also just been introduced in a new spoonable variety that looks and tastes more like a traditional yogurt.

You can easily add yogurt to your daily diet by making yogurt parfaits, smoothies, yogurt popsicles, yogurt dips and spreads, adding a dollop of plain yogurt on soups or substituting plain yogurt for sour cream in many recipes.

Looking for a new yogurt recipe? Try this delicious Vanilla Chia Yogurt that is high in fibre thanks to the chia seeds, fruit and nuts. If you are looking to reduce the sugar content, use plain yogurt, or to boost the amount of protein per serving, use Greek yogurt or skyr.

 

Vanilla Chia Yogurt

Ingredients:

2 cups (500 mL) PC Organics Vanilla Yogurt

2 tbsp (25 mL) PC Organics Black Chia Seed

1 ripe banana, sliced in thin rounds

1 small Fuji apple, finely diced (skin on)

1/4 cup (50 mL) sliced almonds, toasted

Instructions:

1.    Stir together yogurt and chia in bowl; let stand for 10 minutes or until chia softens.

  1. Divide yogurt mixture among four small bowls; top with banana, apples and almonds. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 230 calories, fat 9 g, sodium 50 mg, carbohydrate 32 g, fibre 2 g, protein 7 g

Good source of calcium and high in fibre

 

Recipe source: pc.ca

 

Jillian Reid is a Registered Dietitian with Atlantic Superstore in Amherst.

Have a nutrition question? Want to book a free appointment or educational store tour for yourself or your community group or business? Contact me by phone at (506) 866-2115 or by email at jillian.reid@loblaw.ca.