Health experts consider yoghurt to be one of the healthy foods. And to support this fact, its nutritional value is one big proof. However, the way it undergoes production in the food market makes it more of junk food. Yes, you read that right. People who are on a weight loss regime might be unaware of this, only unconsciously welcoming extra carbohydrates in their diet. Carbohydrates are present in yoghurt in the form of sugar. Sugar is present in all the dairy products and milk in the form of lactose. In this post, we aim to help you choose the best yoghurt for a low carb diet.
- Suggested Read – Sugar Busters Diet and its health benefits
Yoghurt and carbohydrates
All yoghurts have carbohydrates in them. Some might have lesser carbs than the other, and you should always opt for the one with fewer carbs. Why? Here is the explanation.
Homemade yoghurt that may take at least 20 hours to make does not have any sugar in it. This is because the introduced friendly culture bacteria would convert most lactose (a form of sugar) into lactic acid. Tests show that the bacteria consume 8g of carbohydrates in a cup of yoghurt, which was initially 12g of carbs, leaving only 4g of carbohydrates behind.
But this is not what happens in a commercially produced yoghurt. The process of fermentation of yoghurt undergoes a halt before it can reach a level that low.
So, how do we know which yoghurt is best for us?
Besides carbohydrates, yoghurts are also rich in calcium, proteins, and vitamin D. You might feel more confused after reading all this, for the curiosity to know which yoghurt is better for you has skyrocketed. So let me tell you what kind of yoghurts is available in the market.
Since it is basic, we think it’s healthy. But, even plain yoghurt is not so plain after all. This yoghurt contains other added ingredients such as nonfat milk powder to thicken its texture. These added ingredients only increase the intake of carbs. And last time we checked, carbs aren’t healthy for us.
Powdered milk has lactose in it. On adding it to the previously fermented yoghurt, where the bacteria converted all lactose into lactic acid, the carbs (lactose) gets added back in it. Hence, the carbs that we lost previously get back on the menu all over again.
This category carries even more carbs and sugar since companies add sugars while adding flavours to them. Skip any flavours you find and choose the plain yoghurt instead.
Low-fat or nonfat yoghurts
To produce low-fat yoghurt, companies can use low-fat milk or fat-free milk. But companies also add sugar to compensate for the taste of fat loss. If you are trying to go for nonfat yoghurt, then make sure you read the labels for the presence of any added sugar.
- Suggested Read – Choosing the best low cholesterol and low-fat cheeses
Whole milk yoghurt
Go for this yoghurt because it does not contain any milk powder or other sugar additives.
Currently the rage, it is replacing all the other choices on the list because no doubt it is healthy. Greek yoghurt requires removing all the whey (the liquid part of the yoghurt) from it which is where most of the sugar is present.
What remains behind is a thick textured cream, that has more proteins and lesser carbs. Plain Greek yoghurt may have near about only 4g of carbs. Greek yoghurt also facilitates fullness, body composition thus reducing appetite and heart disease risk factors.
While choosing your yoghurt…
- Avoid added sugar since that is the main culprit for many health-related risks. Companies may use different names for sugar such as high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice, sucrose, cane sugar and agave nectar.
- Always, always choose to read labels on the product. That is where you will find the whole ingredients list, i.e. to check if that have any added sugars/ flavours or not. You will also want to check the nutrition facts for per serving of the yoghurt cup. This will tell you how many, proteins, carbs, sugar and fats are in one meal.
- Prefer looking for live cultures since it is the probiotics (the friendly bacteria/live cultures) that convert milk into yoghurt. Probiotics provide health benefits such as improving symptoms of lactose intolerance, stimulating the immune system, reducing symptoms of depression, and improving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. These also help in lowering cholesterol and weight loss.