To help you pick a satisfying, creamy yogurt that will give you a boost of protein, calcium, and probiotics without unnecessary calories or a sugar overload, we have come up with a list of the ten best products available in the UK. We've also sought out nutritionist Jenna Hope's advice to give you a better insight into the versatility and benefits that yogurt has to offer.
Jenna Hope has an undergraduate and a masters degree in nutrition. She is registered with the Association for Nutrition and is hugely passionate about ensuring that products which claim to be healthy really are as they say. Jenna works with individuals, brands, corporate clients and the media to help people with the smart ways nutrition can change their life.
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Products or services listed have been independently ranked by the mybest Editorial Team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide as of 16-01-2023. Experts featured in this article did not participate in the selection and ranking process.
Jenna Hope has an undergraduate and a master's degree in nutrition. She is registered with the Association for Nutrition and is hugely passionate about ensuring that products which claim to be healthy really are as they say. Jenna works with individuals, brands, corporate clients, and the media to help people with the smart ways nutrition can change their life.
Keep up-to-date with Jenna through her website and Instagram page where she shares her advice on not only nutrition but also mental wellness and some absolutely delicious, yet healthy recipe ideas for you to try at home!
Whether you're new to the world of gut health or looking to amp up your already gut-focussed diet, we've got a fantastic selection of products to help you along the way - all chosen by our expert nutritionist! So head over and have a read of Jenna's top picks from gut-friendly kefir to five been salads.
Oh, sugar: the white stuff is cited as being the biggest cause of weight gain and retention, so if you’re trying to slim down the sugar content should be your first port of call. As well as weight gain, sugar is also believed to increase our risk of heart disease, diabetes and acne.
Another issue with sugary yogurts is that they give us a burst of energy followed by a slump. This can mean gloomy feelings, lethargy or both; exactly the opposite of what a protein-rich yogurt should do for our energy levels and mood. For a healthy yogurt, seek out a product with no more than 5g of the sweet stuff per 100g.
Yoghurts should be free from added sugars, natural yoghurt contains some natural sugars from lactose which is the naturally occurring milk sugar. Added sugars contribute to a blood sugar peak and crash and as a result may lead to increased sugar cravings.
Additionally added sugars can increase the total calories within the yoghurt. An overconsumption of energy can contribute to an increased risk of weight gain.
It’s worth keeping in mind that low-fat products can be perfectly healthy too. The key is to check they have a healthy sugar content because extra sugar is often used in low-fat yogurts to compensate for flavour. A yogurt low in sugar and fat is, of course, win-win!
Healthy fats otherwise known as unsaturated fatty acids play an important role in supporting brain health, joint health, and hormone function. Saturated fats are the less healthy fats and those which we want to limit in the diet.
Saturated fatty acids contribute to a risk of heart disease and therefore it's recommended to consume no more than 10% of your total energy intake from saturated fats. Any yoghurt which contains more than 5g per 100g is classified as high in saturated fats. Aim for yoghurts that contain less than 1.5g per 100g.
A yogurt with 10g of protein per 100g is considered a high-protein food, but even yogurts containing as little as 3g of protein provide a worthwhile amino acid boost (the compounds found in protein which promote healthy growth.)
Protein plays an important role in supporting cell function, healthy skin, hair, and nails alongside hormone production and muscle growth and repair. Dairy yoghurt contains around 10g of protein per 100g. For those individuals who consume a dairy-free diet, where possible opt for soya yoghurt as this contains around 4g of protein per 100g which is higher than other dairy-free yoghurts such as coconut.
Yoghurt is a great source of calcium which plays an important role in bone and teeth function. It is also a really good source of iodine which plays a role in thyroid function and B-vitamins, particularly vitamin B12 which plays a key role in maintaining energy and can be challenging to get on a vegan diet. Therefore, for individuals relying on dairy-free yoghurt, ensure they're fortified with calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D as a bare minimum.
Some yogurt also contains probiotics; living bacteria which can keep your intestines functioning healthily. Keep an eye out for names such as L. casei and L. acidophilus on your yogurt’s ingredients list for a flat tum and less bloating.
When it comes to picking your yoghurt ensure that they contain live cultures as many yoghurts nowadays do not. Live cultures are the probiotic component of yoghurt which provide good bacteria to support a healthy gut function. A healthy gut is essential for supporting optimal digestion, the guts ability to absorb micronutrients and contributes to long-term wellbeing.
If you are looking for lots of flavour, you’re better off picking a plain yogurt and adding fruit or nuts yourself rather than choosing yogurts with artificial additives that give them a sweet taste but won’t be so good for you. Plain and natural Greek and Greek-style yogurts are particularly high in protein and lower in sugar than many other yogurt types, so are often one of the healthiest options.
Yoghurts should be free from artificial flavourings. Where possible opt for yoghurts which contain no added sugars or sweeteners. Greek yoghurt and natural yoghurt are the best options as they're free from artificial additives.
Do be aware that Greek-style yoghurt is not the same as Greek yoghurt. It's important to remember that the fats in yoghurt help to increase the absorption of some of the key fat-soluble nutrients found in yoghurt e.g. Vitamin D. Therefore, fat-free is not always preferable.
Since they rely on plant proteins for their consistency and flavour, some vegan yogurts can be high in fat (coconut-milk based yogurts) and sugars (other plant-based products), so make a point of checking the label so as not to buy a product which exceeds the healthy limit.
Dairy-free yoghurts are a great option for those who abstain from dairy. Where possible opt for soya yoghurt due to the higher protein content than many other dairy-free options.
Additionally, be aware of added sugars and flavourings and where possible opt for dairy-free yoghurts which have been fortified with calcium, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D as a minimum. You may also wish to look for yoghurts fortified with iodine (although these are limited on the market at the moment).
While some may sound like ingredients to avoid, they are all approved by the European Food Safety Authority and there is no daily limit for these kinds of sweeteners. They provide a sweet flavour to your yogurt without increasing blood-sugar levels, so are ideal sugar alternatives. Nevertheless, if you experience any discomfort from consuming them, it is best to avoid yogurts with high-levels in them.
Artificial sweeteners may contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms in individuals who suffer with IBS. It's not recommended to consume these in excess as we're unsure of the chronic over-consumption of these on the gut microbiome. Additionally, artificial sweeteners increase the desire for sweet foods and do not prevent cravings.
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Total 0% Fat Free Greek Natural Yogurt
Simple, Low-Fat and Protein-Packed
Vanilla Soya Yogurt Alternative
Creamy, Protein-rich and Suitable for Everyone
Skyr Simply Natural Fat Free High Protein Yogurt
Icelandic Yogurt Goodness With No Added Nonsense
Natural Live Set Very Low Fat Yogurt
Cheap and Cheerful Yogurt that Ticks Every Box
Protein Passion Fruit & Papaya Yogurt
Protein Power With a Tropical Fruit Kick
Natural Set Biopot Yogurt
Simply Delicious No-Frills Set Yogurt
Family Farm Kefir Natural Organic Yogurt
Live Cultures for Gut Health
Dairy Free Plain Yogurt Alternative With Live Cultures
Dairy-Free With a Coconut Hit
Light & Free Greek Style Peach Passion Fruit Yogurt
Fruity, Flavourful and Low in Fat
Family Farm Natural Organic Yogurt
A Thick and Creamy Organic Treat
"Yoghurt is great for adding to soups, curries and stews. It's also delicious when stirred into porridge or served with a berry compote for breakfast in the morning. Yoghurt can be so versatile and is, therefore, a really brilliant source of protein, calcium, iodine and vitamins B12 and D which are all required to support long-term health."
Curious about other ways to keep the late morning or afternoon hunger pangs away? Lucky for you, there are many healthy snack options available online: take a scroll through our other recommendation articles!
That concludes our rundown of the healthiest yogurts you can find online this year. We hope now you know what to search for you can skip the sugary treats and choose a moreish snack which packs a protein punch and great flavour. Spoons at the ready!
Author: Annie Hopkins
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