What is the healthiest yogurt for weight loss? Grab a spoon and find out!

  • 2 Minutes Read
Sue Heikkinen
Sue Heikkinen, MS, RDN, CDCES, BC-ADM, ACE-PT - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

Have you ever stared at the dairy case wondering about the healthiest yogurt for weight loss? Is it Greek? Icelandic? French? Australian? We will help you sort out the options and learn which is the best kind of yogurt for your goals.

Healthiest yogurt for weight loss

What are the main types of yogurt, and which is healthiest for weight loss?

Traditional yogurt

Regular yogurt starts by heating milk and allowing it to ferment with bacteria. Regular yogurt may be made from nonfat, reduced-fat, or whole milk. Standard yogurt contains a modest amount of protein and flavored varieties may have a significant amount of added sugars. Regular yogurt also has a thinner consistency than the options below, given its higher water content.

Examples: Yoplait Original, Dannon Original

Greek yogurt

A popular style of yogurt, Greek yogurt is strained to remove the whey and other liquids, resulting in a creamier product that is lower in natural sugar and higher in protein. Greek yogurt is often considered the best kind for weight loss given its muscle-preserving and satiating high-protein content-about double that of regular yogurt. However, Greek yogurt loses more calcium during the straining process. On the other hand, its thick texture makes it perfect for dips and smoothies.

Examples: Chobani, Oikos

Icelandic yogurt

Also called skyr, Icelandic yogurt is made from non-fat milk and undergoes further straining than Greek yogurt. It tends to have a mild taste and creamy consistency. Icelandic yogurt is excellent for your weight-loss plan if you choose one with minimal added sugar.

Examples: Skyr, Siggi's

Australian yogurt

This "down-under"-inspired yogurt is cooked slower and longer than other yogurt varieties. Australian-style yogurt is often sweetened with honey and is especially creamy. You might consider some brands like Noosa more of a "dessert" yogurt, but not necessarily the healthiest yogurt for weight loss.

Examples: Wallaby, Noosa

French yogurt

Our international tour of yogurts ends in France. Made from whole milk, French-style yogurt is fermented in individual glass jars. It has a smooth and creamy texture with a higher calorie content that may be difficult to fit into a very limited calorie budget.

Example: Oui French-style yogurt by Yoplait, La Fermiere

Plant-based yogurts

An array of yogurts is made with plant-based ingredients, such as coconut or almond milk. These options tend to be much lower in protein but can serve as a dairy-free source of probiotics. Read more here.

Additional ways to choose the healthiest yogurt for weight loss

Sugar content

Although plain yogurt contains naturally occurring sugar in the form of lactose (milk sugar), read labels for added sugar content-you might be stunned. Despite the "health halo" associated with yogurt, flavored varieties can be a huge source of added sugar. Some brands pack more added sugar than a scoop of ice cream!

Most flavored "light" yogurts contain sugar substitutes to limit calories and sugar content. You can also find very low-carb yogurts that have much of the natural milk sugar removed.

Your best bet to limit added sugar is to start with plain yogurt and add your own flavoring. For example, consider a few drops of vanilla extract, a drizzle of honey, or a dusting of cinnamon. Add fruit, chopped nuts or seeds, oats, or high-fiber cereal, and you have a flavorful and satisfying treat.

Fat content

The debate continues over whether non-fat, low-fat, or whole milk dairy products are the best choices for health. Lower-fat yogurts are significantly lower in calories than equivalent full-fat versions. Still, if you find them unsatisfying and wind up eating a larger portion or reaching for another food, they may not help you meet your weight-loss goal.

Live and active cultures

Although all yogurts are fermented with bacteria, not all yogurts are sources of probiotics (live bacteria that are good for you). Look for the "live and active cultures" seal on the container to ensure the presence of beneficial bacteria.

Compare these 6-ounce (170 g) portions* of vanilla yogurt:

Yoplait Original Lowfat Vanilla Activia Vanilla Chobani Blended Greek Vanilla Wallaby Organic Aussie Smooth Lowfat Vanilla Siggi's Vanilla Nonfat Yoplait Oui Vanilla
Calories 150 135 130 144 127 217
Fat (g) 2 2.3 0 2.3 0 9.7
Total Carb (g) 27 23 16 23 13 24
Total Sugar (g) 20 18 15 20 10 23
Added Sugar (g) 14 12 10 14 6 14
Protein (g) 6 6 14 7 18 6
Calcium (mg) 210 211 169 227 150 235

*Note: Yogurt portions are standardized in chart for sake of comparison. Individual carton sizes will vary.

Not feeling so sweet? Compare these 6-ounce (170 g) portions of plain yogurt:

Yoplait Plain Nonfat Dannon Plain Lowfat Chobani Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt Chobani Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt Siggi's Plain Whole Milk Icelandic Style Yogurt Wallaby Organic Plain Lowfat
Calories 98 113 90 172 172 129
Fat (g) 0 2.6 0 8.2 6.7 3
Total Carb (g) 15 14 6 7 8 8
Total Sugar (g) 10 12 6 4 4 5
Added Sugar (g) 0 0 0 0 0 0
Protein (g) 8 8 16 16 19 17
Calcium (mg) 265 302 190 187 187 189

Yo, it's up to you!

Yogurt can either be a healthy weight-loss choice or a sneaky source of added sugar. Find the type that fits your taste and aligns with your nutritional needs. Higher-protein, lower-sugar yogurts will be the healthiest options for weight loss. Just check the labels and see what works for you.

MyNetDiary Premium yogurt recipes to enjoy

Pina Colada Smoothie with Banana
Berry Oat Yogurt Parfait
Cucumber Yogurt Dip

Still new to MyNetDiary? Learn more today by downloading the app for FREE.

Diabetes->Carbs & Carb Counting Foods & Recipes->Dairy Foods Nutrients->Protein
Oct 31, 2022

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