Do you like yogurt? A few years back, I would have said no. I’m a fan of yogurt now. In fact very much. Why the change? I decided to eat healthily and along the way learned how to read food ingredients.
You see, I was never a yogurt person. And even if I eat yogurt, I would usually go for the flavored kinds such as berries yogurt, mango yogurt, etc. That was until I found out these flavored yogurts have additional sugar, artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, preservatives, additive or stabilizer added to it. Since then, I’ve switched to the natural kind, which is the plain type. ~ Amy
What is yogurt and how it is made?
Simply, yogurt is a kind of fermented milk due to bacterial fermentation. The bacteria (the good friendly kind) ferments the lactose (milk sugar) in fresh milk, which produces lactic acid. The lactic acid then coagulates (thickens) the milk protein which gives the yogurt its texture and sour taste.
Benefits of yogurt.
Nutrients-rich, good for the digestive and immune system.
How To Choose The Best Healthy Natural Yogurt?
When choosing and buying natural yogurt (plain), be in the know that not all natural yogurt are the same. Some natural yogurt includes sugar, additive and stabilizer (food conditioner) as well. To be a smart consumer, start reading food labels and ingredients on products. Below are the words and ingredients I would look out for when choosing the best healthy natural yogurt for my family and myself.
fresh milk, full-fat, whole milk, contains live culture, contains live active culture,
over X0 billions cfu (colony-forming units) live cultures, no sugar, no preservatives, no coloring,
no additive and no stabilizer (food conditioner).
fat free, no fat, low fat, skim milk –> all these usually contains added sugar, added sugar,
added preservatives, added coloring added additive and added stabilizer (food conditioner).
So far in Malaysia, I’ve found the natural yogurt from two brands that satisfy my personal choice. If you are able to find couple of healthy yogurt brands near you, I highly recommend switching the brands around so that you would get a variety of good bacteria into your system.
I’m not a fan of plain natural yogurt. What are the best and creative ways to eat them?
I’m a fan of plain natural yogurt but I can only eat a few spoonfuls of it because it’s quite plain (it’s like eating rice without side dish). I usually add fruits, nuts and seeds to my plain yogurt. Other time, I make fruit smoothies using yogurt. You can also use yogurt in baking, as marinade, and in stew.
Check out our healthy yogurt bowl recipe.
Tip #1: Can you see the liquid formed on my big tub of yogurt? It’s called whey. Don’t throw it away. Eat it together with your yogurt. 🙂
Tip #2: If you drain the whey, you’ll end up with thicker yogurt. This is how Greek yogurt is made. And that’s why I never buy Greek yogurt (pricier). It’s actually the same thing as natural plain yogurt but minus the whey.
While there are some who don’t consider yogurt probiotics, I personally do, provided it’s natural and contains billions cfu amount of live cultures.
I hope these tips and ideas will help you identify and choose the best healthy yogurt. If you have additional tips and criteria, feel free to drop a comment below.