Yogurt is one of those staple health foods that's stood the test of time—and with good reason! Yogurt constitutes two separate kinds of protein that each have important functions in the body. The first, casein, aids in the bodily absorption of both calcium and phosphorus while also potentially lowering blood pressure in certain populations. The other protein, whey, promotes healthy weight maintenance and, like casein, lowers blood pressure in certain overweight individuals. Yogurt is an all-star source of protein with some brands offering up to 20 grams of protein per serving. Therefore, yogurt is a great ingredient to add to your morning routine as it can help you stay energized and satiated until your next mealtime.
Of course, yogurt also provides necessary nutrients such as calcium and potassium, and even plant-based yogurts which, with the rise of plant-based diets gaining popularity, have become more popular in recent years, provide ample amounts of these nutrients amongst others. Nearly all yogurts on grocery store shelves are also going to feature live and active cultures (which are either produced naturally in dairy yogurts or are added to plant-based yogurts) which promote a healthy gut microbiome – which may support gut health, immune health, and more.
Clearly, we are big yogurt fans over here – especially when they are low in added sugars, contain live and active cultures, are free from loads of artificial ingredients, and provide an impressive amount of protein.
While there are many "best" yogurt options available in our local grocery aisles, we made a list of 15 dietitian-approved top picks to help you navigate this at times, seemingly saturated category.
The 15 Best Yogurts On The Grocery Shelves
Siggi's Non-Fat Skyr, Plain
Siggi's plain non-fat yogurt is a top pick, "because it's high in protein, with 19 grams per serving, and low in fat and sugar," says Melissa Mitri, MS, RD, Nutrition Writer and Owner of Melissa Mitri Nutrition. And what is skyr, exactly? At its simplest, skyr is an Icelandic traditional yogurt that uses four times the amount of milk than regular yogurt. And "since yogurt is made with fermented milk, it also contains probiotics necessary to maintain a healthy gut."
Icelandic Provisions Skyr, Plain
Again, we see the rise in popularity of Icelandic Skyr, a thicker, creamier version of what we in America know as traditional yogurt. Icelandic Provisions offer a variety of different flavors but do be on the lookout for high added sugar counts in some of their flavor options. We're a big fan of the plain yogurt, as it has a mere 3 grams of naturally occurring sugars and no added sugar. Additionally, this skyr provides 14% of your daily calcium needs which directly supports stronger bones and healthy cardiac function.
Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk Probiotic Yogurt, Plain
Made with pasture-raised milk and USDA-certified organic, Stonyfield yogurts have that classic yogurt taste that's perfect if you're not too keen on the bulkiness of Greek-style yogurts. Unlike many other yogurts, Stonyfield adds vitamin D3 to their recipe as Vitamin D is a necessary nutrient that aids in the bodily absorption of calcium, and especially during cold and flu seasons, ample Vitamin D consumption is critical to a fortified immune system.
Maple Hills Greek Yogurt, Plain
Maple Hill's slogan says it all: "Humane. Regenerative. Traceable." With USDA-certified organic, 100% grass-fed cows, you can really taste the difference in Maple Hill's Greek yogurts. In fact, Maple Hill is America's first and largest 100% grass-fed organic dairy milkshed. The creamery is constantly refining its products for ultimate taste, too, and its Greek yogurt is now extra creamy and melt-in-your-mouth. Add in 15 grams of protein per serving, and what could be better?
Fage 2% Greek Yogurt
"I recommend looking for yogurts with less than 5g added sugar per serving and at least 10g protein per serving," advises Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD, author of The Easy Diabetes Cookbook. Her personal favorite is Fage's 2% Greek yogurt for its "texture and creaminess." Additionally, Fage has a delicious tendency to really fill your mouth, making it a more substantial option for your morning yogurt bowl. Try adding ingredients like almond butter or honey for a more natural sweetness if you're looking for that sweet kick.
Two Good Yogurt
Yogurt for a good cause? Count us in! With every purchase, Two Good donates to organizations that are dedicated to reducing America's food waste by distributing that much-needed food to those in need. Additionally, Two Good Yogurt is a healthier option than many mainstream brands as it's "deliciously creamy with 80% less sugar (2 grams per 5.3 oz. single cup)" and it features "no artificial sugars and real fruit puree," says Toby Amidor, RD. Amidor also points out the best part – these fruit purees are made from real fruit that are verified "rescued" which would have otherwise gone to waste!
Chobani Zero Sugar Drink, Strawberry Cheesecake
If you're in the market for something a bit more on-the-go, Chobani's Zero Sugar Drinks are a great option to get a quick protein fix. "With 10 grams of protein per serving…their new line is also zero sugar, which cuts the calorie content nearly in half compared to their original line – all without compromising the source of protein!" says Caroline Thomason, RD, CDCES is a dietitian and diabetes educator based in Washington, DC.
Kite Hill Plant-Based Greek Yogurt
For those following a plant-based diet, a great choice is Kite Hill's Plant-Based Greek Yogurt, which "provides 17 grams of plant protein from almond milk and soy and only 140 calories per serving," says Mitri. This high protein count is great for those who need to supplement their protein from non-meat sources, and consumers will also benefit from the added cultures that are necessary to maintain a healthy gut flora.
Wallaby Organic Whole Milk Greek Yogurt, Plain
This USDA-certified organic, certified gluten-free yogurt comes with no added sugars or artificial flavorings. With 15 grams of protein, this is a great choice for those who like that full-fat taste but also want to stay satiated until their next meal rolls around. Made in the "Australian style," this plain yogurt isn't too tart and is perfect in blends and smoothies.
Thor's Skyr, Vanilla
Thor's Skyr (we chose the vanilla flavor) is a new American-made Skyr brand that offers a whopping 18 grams of protein and no added sugar. This skyr utilizes casein protein, which is a slow-release energy that helps you feel full for longer. These yogurts come in a variety of flavored options that offer anywhere from 17-21 grams of protein and relatively low fat counts than other mainstream brands. Plus, the brand name makes you feel like a powerful Viking when you eat it, no?
Activia contains the exclusive probiotic Bifidobacterium animalis lactis DN-173 010/CNCM I-2494, which has been shown to survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract in sufficient numbers. Activia is backed by over 20 years of research (and an endorsement by Jamie Lee Curtis!). Eating this yogurt may help reduce the frequency of minor digestive discomfort when consumed twice a day for two weeks as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
This unique line of Activia contains 3 grams of fiber to help up the satiety factor. Plus, a fiber that is used, inulin, is a prebiotic fiber that can act as "fuel" for probiotics, helping them thrive.
Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt
While this isn't a yogurt sold in the dairy aisle in the grocery store, it is considered a yogurt, even though it is served frozen and on a stick. This perfectly portioned frozen treat is a satisfying addition to a balanced and healthy diet, allowing for a bit of a treat that contains those important cultures. A great alternative to an ice cream treat when the sweet tooth strikes!
Trader Joe's Greek Nonfat Yogurt, Plain
You don't have to indulge in the fanciest, most expensive brands to get your protein and calcium fix from yogurt. Trader Joe's offers a healthy variety of plain non-fat Greek yogurt that's both affordable and delicious in your breakfast bowls and snack dips. Each serving also offers 15% of your daily calcium needs and 6% of your daily potassium, the latter of which helps your body regulate both bodily fluids and muscle contractions. Add bananas on top for an extra potassium boost, too!
ALDI's Friendly Farms Low Sugar Greek Yogurt
ALDI has no shortage of impressive groceries. And their yogurt choices live up to their impressive reputation. "With both plain and vanilla flavors, this Greek Yogurt is a staple in my fridge," says Chrissy Carroll, MPH, RD, LDN, ACSM-CPT, USAT Level I Triathlon Coach, RRCA Certified Running Coach, and Blogger at Snacking in Sneakers. "There is no added sugar in this yogurt", and she added that the vanilla "is lightly sweetened with stevia with no strange aftertaste." Use as in a parfait with fruit or granola or even as a base for more savory dips!
Yes, this yogurt is a bit higher in added sugars, but it is a delicious sweet treat that can be a great addition to your diet that is otherwise low in added sugar (the American Heart Association recommends men limit their added sugar intake to up to 36 grams of added sugar per day, and women limit to 25 grams per day). This Australian yogurt is creamy, high quality, and packed with important nutrients.
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