How to decide which dairy-free yogurt is healthiest for you

  • 5 Minutes Read

Are you on the lookout for a nutritious, dairy-free yogurt? Here's how 6 different plant-based yogurts compare to cow's milk yogurt and what to look for when shopping for these yogurt alternatives.

dairy free yogurts

Dairy-free yogurts can hit the spot if you deal with dairy allergies, cope with lactose intolerance, or follow a vegan diet. As plant-forward diets gain popularity, food manufacturers have found new ways to create creamy and tangy yogurt alternatives while retaining live and active cultures, protein, calcium, and vitamin D, all important aspects of cow's milk yogurt. As you walk down the yogurt aisle in the market, a wide variety of dairy-free options line the shelves-cashew, flax, almond, coconut, or soy-based yogurts. Here's what to look out for when choosing a yogurt alternative.

To find the healthiest dairy-free yogurt

Read the nutrition facts label and look for these qualities:

Note: If you follow a plant-based diet and want to learn more about nutrients that sometimes fall short with these eating plans, check out: 6 Essential nutrients for vegetarians.

If you are trying to lose weight, dairy-free yogurts can fit in your plan as long as the calories stay in check

Dairy-free yogurts are generally higher in calories than nonfat, cow's milk yogurt because of the higher fat, plant-based ingredients in the yogurt alternatives. For example, one brand of almond milk yogurt has 15g of total fat for a 3/4 cup serving, whereas a dairy-free yogurt made with flax and pea protein has 2g of fat per 3/4 cup. When weight loss is the goal, make sure to read the nutrition facts label carefully to find the lowest calorie option.

Here's how 6 brands of dairy-free yogurt compare to cow's milk yogurt

Stonyfield Farms®, Organic, Low Fat Plain
Type: Unsweetened low fat yogurt made from cow's milk
Details
Live & Active Cultures: S. Thermophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, Bifidus, L. paracasei, and L. rhamnosus
Serving Size: 3/4 cup (170g)
Calories: 90
Total fat (g): 1.5
Saturated Fat (g): 1.0
Cholesterol (mg): 10
Sodium (mg): 105
Total Carbs (g): 11
Fiber (g): 0
Total Sugars (g): 12
Added Sugars (g): 0
Protein (g): 7
Vitamin D (%DV): 10
Calcium (%DV): 20
Iron (%DV): 0
Potassium (%DV): 8

Silk® Almond Milk Yogurt Alternative
Type: Unsweetened plain made from almond milk
Details
Live & Active Cultures: Live Active Cultures, not specified
Serving Size: 3/4 cup (170g)
Calories: 190
Total fat (g): 15
Saturated Fat (g): 1.0
Cholesterol (mg): 0
Sodium (mg): 70
Total Carbs (g): 11
Fiber (g): 3
Total Sugars (g): 6
Added Sugars (g): n/a
Protein (g): 6
Vitamin D (%DV): 4
Calcium (%DV): 8
Iron (%DV): 6
Potassium (%DV): 4

Kite hill Plain Yogurt Alternative
Type: Plain made from almond milk
Details
Live & Active Cultures: S.Thermophilus, L.Bulgaricus, L.Acidophilus, Bifidobacteria
Serving Size: 3/4 cup (170g)
Calories: 159
Total fat (g): 12.5
Saturated Fat (g): 1.1
Cholesterol (mg): 0
Sodium (mg): 11.3
Total Carbs (g): 9
Fiber (g): 2.3
Total Sugars (g): 5.7
Added Sugars (g): 4.5
Protein (g): 4.5
Vitamin D (%DV): 0
Calcium (%DV): 4.5
Iron (%DV): 6.8
Potassium (%DV): 2.4

Silk® Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative
Type: Unsweetened made from soy milk
Details
Live & Active Cultures: Live Active Cultures, not specified
Serving Size: 3/4 cup (170g)
Calories: 110
Total fat (g): 4
Saturated Fat (g): 0.5
Cholesterol (mg): 0
Sodium (mg): 65
Total Carbs (g): 10
Fiber (g): 2
Total Sugars (g): 5
Added Sugars (g): 4
Protein (g): 7
Vitamin D (%DV): 10
Calcium (%DV): 20
Iron (%DV): 6
Potassium (%DV): 10

Good Karma® Yogurt Alternative
Type: Unsweetened made from flax milk and pea protein
Details
Live & Active Cultures: Contains 7 live active cultures. Label lists specifics
Serving Size: 3/4 cup (170g)
Calories: 100
Total fat (g): 3
Saturated Fat (g): 0
Cholesterol (mg): 0
Sodium (mg): 150
Total Carbs (g): 14
Fiber (g): 0
Total Sugars (g): 5
Added Sugars (g): 5
Protein (g): 6
Vitamin D (%DV): 8
Calcium (%DV): 15
Iron (%DV): 4
Potassium (%DV): 0

Forager® Cashewgurt Plain Yogurt Alternative
Type: Unsweetened made from cashew milk
Details
Live & Active Cultures: S.Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Lactis, L. Plantarum
Serving Size: 3/4 cup (170g)
Calories: 125
Total fat (g): 8
Saturated Fat (g): 1.7
Cholesterol (mg): 0
Sodium (mg): 6
Total Carbs (g): 10.2
Fiber (g): 1.1
Total Sugars (g): 1.1
Added Sugars (g): 0
Protein (g): 3.4
Vitamin D (%DV): 0
Calcium (%DV): 2.3
Iron (%DV): 0
Potassium (%DV): 0

So Delicious® Yogurt Alternative
Type: Unsweetened plain made from coconut milk
Details
Live & Active Cultures: Live Active Cultures, not specified
Serving Size: 3/4 cup (170g)
Calories: 90
Total fat (g): 6
Saturated Fat (g): 5
Cholesterol (mg): 0
Sodium (mg): 35
Total Carbs (g): 9
Fiber (g): 2
Total Sugars (g): 1
Added Sugars (g): 0
Protein (g): <1
Vitamin D (%DV): 15
Calcium (%DV): 30
Iron (%DV): 2
Potassium (%DV): 0

Turn your dairy-free yogurt into a satisfying snack

Are you on-the-go and don't always have the time or energy to prepare a healthy snack? Convenient and nutritious, dairy-free yogurts also satisfy that craving for a sweet treat. Transform your ordinary dairy-free yogurt into a filling snack with the idea below.

Vegan Yogurt Bowl

Start with 5-6 oz. of your favorite dairy-free yogurt. Scoop out into a bowl, and top with fresh or frozen berries, toasted almonds, chia seeds, and coconut flakes. Enjoy!

Which dairy-free yogurt tastes the best? It's all about personal preference

When it comes to the taste and texture of dairy-free yogurts, plenty of options exist out there. Different brands have different flavor profiles and textures. Out of the 6 dairy-free brands in the table, my favorites are those made from cashew milk. I like their creamy texture, and I also like that I can always find brands like Forager™ at my local grocery store (which means I don't have to make another stop). I gravitate towards plain cashew milk or cashew milk protein yogurt made with watermelon seeds, pumpkin seeds, and brown rice protein to further mimic the protein amounts found in cow's milk yogurt. Like most yogurts, I can't imagine eating it on its own and always add toasted nuts and fresh fruit for a well-balanced snack.

Soy or almond milk yogurts are my other go-to varieties. They contain some protein and dietary fiber and are generally fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Though buyer beware-if you are on a tight budget and aren't allergic to dairy, then perhaps choose a plain cow's milk yogurt. Traditional yogurt tends to be about 50% less expensive than a dairy-free yogurt and contains protein, calcium, and vitamin D, making them very nutritious.

Check out the table above to see how these dairy-free yogurts compare and find one that works for your nutrition needs. Different taste and texture preferences appeal to different palates. So, the next time you are at the grocery store, pick up some dairy-free yogurt alternatives and give them a try. So many delicious options to choose from!

Note: MyNetDiary does not endorse nor get paid to promote products mentioned in this post.

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Updated: July 24, 2020

Foods & Recipes->Dairy Foods Meal Planning & Diets->Vegetarian Nutrients->Calcium
Jul 27, 2020
Joanna Kriehn
Joanna Kriehn, MS, RDN, CDE - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

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