Now I’ve been eating yogurt for years. It’s my regular breakfast, which I adorn with a handful of raspberries and blueberries, a sprinkle of flaxseed and almonds, and a dab of local, raw honey. I wash it down with a cup of hot, green tea. It’s the healthiest thing I do all day and one of my few good habits.
So what’s to say about yogurt? If you’re checking the labels you know it has three ingredients. That’s all it needs: milk and lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophiles, which ferment the milk and turn it into yogurt. You want the label to read “live and active cultures” so you get the probiotics, the good bacteria that lives in your digestive tract. In the interest of a longer shelf life and less tartness, some yogurt is heated after culturing and that kills the bad and good stuff.
Pick a Yogurt
Yogurt Highest in Probiotics: Chobani 2% Strawberry-Banana and Oikos Plain.
Yogurt Highest in Protein: Fage 2% Plain has 20 grams of protein as does Oikos Plain and Chobani. Each of these contains almost as much protein as three ounces of lean meat.
Best of the Flavored Yogurts: Stoneyfield Greek Vanilla has 12 grams of sugar and Yoplait Greek Blueberry Blend has 18 grams. All Stonyfield yogurts have live cultures, are organic and made without GMOs.
Bonus Uses for Yogurt
Yogurt isn’t just for the kitchen anymore. Because it contains lactic acid, a component in some in-office facial peels, it gently exfoliates the top layer of skin, which can clear up blemishes and even reduce fine wrinkles. Full instructions from Stonyfield here. Just mix 1 cup Greek yogurt with a few drops of almond or olive oil and a tablespoon of honey. Apply it to face and leave on for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse. Pat dry. Glow.
While you’re waiting, pull out the brass candlesticks and scrub on some plain yogurt until they shine. Wipe off, wash with soap and hot water, and buff. Bright as new!
But if you merely want to eat your yogurt, there’s 50 great recipes at Greatist.com for dips, salads, entrees and desserts.
1. Be sure yogurt label reads: “live and active cultures.” Check to make sure your favorite yogurt contains at least one billion colony-forming units (CFUs) of live cultures.
2. Beware any varieties with whey concentrates or cornstarch additives. Or any yogurt that lists sugar as its first or second ingredient. Some yogurt that claims to be low in sugar is high in chemical sweeteners. The best is unsweetened. The worst are flavored with 6 to 7 teaspoons of added sugar, often equal to the sugar in 2 donuts!
3. Nutrition varies, too, so look for yogurt with at least 15% of the daily requirement for calcium.
Note: You can ignore all of the above if you’re only using yogurt for facial cream or brass polishing