The Perfect Bite: Which yogurt is the healthiest?

Hilary Hagerman
The Perfect Bite
August 19, 2013

Yogurt is considered a healthy breakfast option, but not all are created equal.

“Yogurt is a good source of several nutrients such as protein, calcium , magnesium and potassium, as well as being a probiotic,” Elaine explains. “Probiotics are good bacteria that can promote digestive health and even boost immunity.”

Often, people will pick up yogurt thinking it’s a healthy choice, but Elaine says that’s not always the case.

On this episode of The Perfect Bite, host Andrea Jenna is joined by registered dietitian Elaine Clark of ME and YOU Nutrition. They do a taste test of five popular strawberry yogurts and examine nutritional value to help you decide which popular yogurt brands you should pick up, and which you should leave behind.

Danone Activia (serving size 175 g, 175 calories, 19 g sugars, 7 g protein)

“Nice and sweet,” Andrea notices. “Pretty light in texture.”

“it’s creamy, and it’s pretty light in colour,” says Elaine.

Astro Smooth ‘n’Fruity (Andrea’s favourite: serving size 125 g, 140 calories, 21 g sugars, 4 g protein )

Both taste testers seem pleased by the pieces of fruit in this yogurt blend.

“I see more little bits of strawberry in this one,” says Elaine. “I feel like this is sweeter.”

“I’m actually eating pieces of strawberry in this one,” Andrea says.

“It was just the right amount of sweetness,” says Andrea of her favourite option. “It was light and had lots of strawberry bits.”

This option was the second least healthy because of its high sugar content.

Also see: The Perfect Bite: Which iced coffee is the least healthy?

PC 2% Organics (Second healthiest choice and Elaine’s favourite: serving size 175 g, 160 calories, 18 g sugars, 7 g protein)

Both Andrea and Elaine notice that this is the lightest-coloured yogurt of the bunch.

“It’s pretty light in texture as well,” says Elaine. “It doesn’t taste as sweet.”

This blend was Elaine’s favourite when it came to taste.

“It’s the lighest, creamiest I thought, and the sweetness wasn’t overpowering,” she explains.

Following the Greek yogurt, Elaine says this organic blend is the second healthiest choice.

“It has the least number of ingredients,” she says.

Liberté 0% Greek Yogurt (Healthiest choice: serving size 175 g, 140 calories, 18 g sugars, 14 g protein)

“This is definitely the thickest one so far,” says Andrea after taking a spoonful. “It almost looks a bit chunky.”

“Very creamy,” Elaine agrees. “It’s quite sweet though as well.”

This creamy Greek option was the best of the bunch when it comes to nutrition.

“It has the most amount of protein – double the protein, more calcium, and the least amount of sodium or additives than the other brands,” Elaine explains.

Also see: The Perfect Bite: The most sugary soft drink

Yoplait 0% Source (Least healthy choice: serving size 100 g, 35 calories, 4 g sugars, 4 g protein)

“Lots of strawberries, and the pinkest one of the lot,” says Andrea. “It’s sweet.”

“It’s a different sweetness though,” Elaine advises. “It’s not going to be aspartame, but it does have that artificial sweetener sort of aftertaste.”

While this option has the lowest amount of calories, Elaine says it’s also the worst for you.

“It’s got the most amount of ingredients and additives,” she explains. “Fat free yogurts such as this one often have fat replacers that are added in to give some of the texture and creaminess and thickness that fat normally gives a yogurt.”

Also see: The Perfect Bite: The worst fast food frozen treat

How to pick the best yogurt:

“Yogurt can be a healthy choice, but a lot of the brands out there are loaded with sugar, additives and preservatives,” she says. “You need to read the label and the ingredients list to make sure that’s the case. The less ingredients, the better.”

“You can avoid a lot of the added sugars and sweeteners in yougurt by going with a plain yogurt,” says Elaine. “Something with two ingredients is best, milk and active bacterial cultures, and then add your own fresh or frozen fruit for that natural sweetness.”

Greek yogurt has become increasingly popular because of its protein content, but is it necessarily a better choice than a regular blend?

“Greek yogurt does have a nutritional edge over regular yogurt because it has double the protein,” Elaine says. “Also, because real, true Greek yogurt is naturally thicker and creamier, it doesn’t need all the additives that many of the other yogurts have.”

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