Changes Are Happening to Yogurt, and There’s One You Shouldn’t Eat

When you think of a healthy snack, your mind might go to yogurt. There’s good reason to do so! They can be filled with beneficial probiotics that can help your gut and protein. But they can be filled with sugar. And some lack probiotics. There are some to steer clear of, but new labels will help you pick the best ones at a glance!

After July 12, the FDA’s standards for yogurts are changing. Containers will now the statement “contains live and active cultures” only if there are a significant number of microorganisms in the yogurt. Otherwise, it can’t have the claim on it. When you are looking for ways to boost your gut health, you want live and active cultures. That’s what makes yogurt help your digestive tract so much. It promotes the health of your microbiome. But, some yogurts on the market are more like pudding in disguise.

The International Dairy Foods Association is thrilled about the change and called it a first step. President and CEO Michael Dykes of the organization said they were “hopeful that such an all-encompassing regulatory modernization effort may allow for further changes to the yogurt standard in the near future.”

Some yogurts really are almost candy in disguise. Take, for instance, fruit on the bottom options. You might think that they are a one-two punch for health — it’s yogurt and fruit. There’s nothing not to like. But, some brands can have a whopping 26 grams of carbs with no fiber. It seems like a virtuous snack, but your blood sugar is going to spike after eating one.

There are worse offenders than fruit on the bottom yogurts. But, the combination of being lower in protein than many yogurts, higher in carbs than some and making you think it’s healthy by promising fruit makes it something to avoid. Generally speaking, when you are shopping for yogurt, you want to look for one with the shortest list of ingredients. Yogurt only needs milk and active cultures. If you pick Greek yogurt, you can get a higher amount of protein.

Buying plain yogurt and dressing it up yourself is always your best bet; you can use it as a canvas for other flavors. You can add your own favorite low-carb fruit to yogurt without adding sugar on top. However, that’s not always possible. Sometimes the point of grabbing a snack isn’t just to have a small meal; it’s also to have something fast. Here’s one list of some great options, including some flavored. And, here’s a list of yogurts you can swap in for some popular brands.

The bottom line is, yogurt can be healthy, but not all yogurt is. This new labeling system is one step toward ensuring we’re given all the information we need to make the best choice for ourselves in the supermarket!    

Banner image: Sara Cervera via Unsplash

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