Health experts consider yogurt 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 yogurt 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 yogurt for a low carb diet.
Yogurt and carbohydrates
All yogurts 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 yogurt that may take at least 20 hours to make and it 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 yogurt, which was initially 12g of carbs, leaving the only 4g of carbohydrates behind.
But this is not what happens in a commercially produced yogurt. The process of fermentation of yogurt undergoes a halt before it can reach a level that low.
- Also read: Does Yogurt Help With Bad Breath?
So, how do we know which yogurt is best for us?
Besides carbohydrates, yogurts are also rich in calcium, proteins, and vitamin D. You might feel more confused after reading all this. So, let me tell you what kind of yogurts is available in the market.
Since it is basic, we think it’s healthy. But, even plain yogurt is not so plain after all. This yogurt 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 yogurt, 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 flavors to them. Skip any flavors you find and choose the plain yogurt instead.
Low-fat or nonfat yogurts
To produce low-fat yogurt, 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 yogurt, then make sure you read the labels for the presence of any added sugar.
Whole milk yogurt
Go for this yogurt 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 it is healthy. Greek yogurt requires removing all the whey (the liquid part of the yogurt) 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 yogurt may have near about the only 4g of carbs. Greek yogurt also facilitates fullness, body composition thus reducing appetite and heart disease risk factors.
While choosing your yogurt
- 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/flavors or not. You will also want to check the nutrition facts for per serving of the yogurt 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 yogurt. 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.