Yogurt does it all – this breakfast staple has helped people start their mornings for generations, made its way into a ton of receipts, and can turn into a quick midday snack. Experts have even found that the probiotics and nutritional content of certain yogurts can help aid digestion, provide you with the protein needed to get you moving when you wake up, and a study published in the International Journal of Obesity revealed that certain types of yogurt can even help you lose weight.
While it seems like a cup or bowl of your favorite yogurt can do it all, not all varieties are created equal. Some brands find ways to sneak in extra sugar and carbs under the guise of added fruit or special flavors. Although these types of sugar-filled yogurt are guaranteed raise your blood sugara nostalgic strain you might remember from your childhood takes over when it comes to destroying your blood sugar for the day.
“The worst yogurts that I advise diabetic patients to buy are yoghurts marketed to children. Clever marketing techniques like advertising and packaging are powerful ways to sell to kids and food-loving adults,” says Cheryl MussatoMS, RD, LDclinical dietitian and author of The nourished brain.
“Anyone trying to control blood sugar will have a hard time consuming yogurts intended for children. These yogurts are usually high in sugar and low in protein, a bad combination for controlling blood sugar. Without enough protein and too many carbohydrates, the A person’s blood sugar will rise because there is too little protein or fat to slow the absorption of sugar into the blood,” says Mussatto.
“Kids love ‘add-ins,’ such as caramel bits or other candy bits in yogurt that even adults find appealing,” Mussatto adds. “So stay away from children’s yogurts for avoid blood sugar spikes.”
Anyone who loves a candy-filled, multicolored yogurt cup may have a hard time adjusting, but choosing the right amount or type of yogurt can play a major role in your health. When it comes to choosing the right strain, you can’t go wrong by looking at the ingredients first.
“I recommend always reading the Nutrition Facts label,” says Mussatto. “Actually, don’t buy a yogurt brand without reading the label. The best yogurts to choose are those with no more than 10 grams of total sugar and no more than 15 grams of total carbs per serving.”
If you can stomach yogurt with very little sugar, there’s one type in particular that always blows the competition away when it comes to delivering the best nutrition.
“greek yogurt This is what I always recommend to my patients,” says Mussatto. “Choose a high-protein Greek yogurt of at least 10 grams per serving and low in carbs, ideally no more than 10 grams per serving. High-protein foods break down more slowly, allowing a person to feel full longer. In addition, protein helps slow the digestion of carbohydrates and delays their absorption into the blood. It’s a win-win for anyone with diabetes: protein controls hunger and keeps blood sugar from skyrocketing.”
If you don’t like Greek yogurt, it might seem like you don’t have many options in front of you. Luckily, you can keep an eye out for healthier options and treat yourself to a variety of yogurts that cut out the sugar and still taste great.
Erich Barganier is a columnist specializing in health and food. Read more