Is anyone else confused by yoghurts? There are so many available now it’s sometimes hard to know what to look for – should you go for high protein, low sugar, high probiotics…the list goes on!
Hopefully this will help demystify the yoghurt section of the supermarket a little for you.
What to look for?
Basically if you go for as few ingredients as possible then you are on the right track. Generally it may just have milk, probiotics and sometimes cream.
- No added sugar or sweetener – yoghurt will naturally contain sugar due to the naturally occurring lactose in the milk, however you don’t want any other sugars added. Added sugar may be also listed as honey, fruit puree, or fruit juice concentrate.
- No added artificial sweeteners, colours or flavours – they are doing more research on the role of these and finding potential to disrupt the gut flora in a negative way
- No gums or thickeners – they are still doing more research on these. You can buy yoghurt without them, so best to avoid.
What are those funny names?
The long names you see on yoghurt such as lactobacillus or bifidobacterim are probiotic strains in the yoghurt. Probiotics are live bacteria that are “friendly” folk for our gut and help to balance our gut bugs so that we have more good guys than bad.
Probiotics can play various benefits to our health including:
- Enhancing immunity
- Treating irritable bowel syndrome
- Reducing risk of certain cancers
- Assisting prevent food allergy symptoms
We want to see these listed on the label, and also ideally the count number of these strains as it shows how full of healthy probiotic bacteria they are.
Look for yoghurts that contain at least 100 million CFU.
Best yoghurts for the gut
Not all yoghurts list a count so I have ranked them according to the ones that have disclosed this on the packaging because if we are eating yoghurt to help our gut health, we want to know that we have lots of bacteria in yoghurt.
Also please note this is not an exhaustive list..it is some of the most common ones you will find in the main supermarkets.
|Yoghurt Name||Cultures and Probiotics||Live Cultures (per 100g serve)||Other notes|
|Rokeby Farms Probiotic Yoghurt (natural)||Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. Lactis, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus paracasei, Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. Lactis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactococcus lactis subsp. Cremoris, Lactococcus lactis subsp. Lactis, Lactococcus lactis sub. lactis biovar diacetylactis, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides, Streptococcus thermophiles and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. Bulgaricus.||>20 billion||A kefir style “milk” – you don’t need too much of this to get a big dose of bacteria|
|Jalna Pot Set Greek Yoghurt||lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacterium & lactobacillus casei||300 million|
|Vaalia Probiotics Natural Yoghurt||lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacterium & lactobacillus GG||3 billion|
|5am Natural Yoghurt||Lactobacillus acidophilus and lactobacillus bifidus||Doesn’t list a count|
|Famers Union Greek Style Yoghurt||Streptococcus thermophilus & lactobacillus bulgaricus||Doesn’t list a count|
|Tamar Valley Greek Style Yoghurt||Has live cultures but doesn’t list which ones||Doesn’t list a count||Has no added nasties|
|Chobani Greek Plain Whole Milk Yoghurt||Has live cultures but doesn’t list which ones||Doesn’t list a count||Has no added nasties|
|Danone Activia Probiotics||Bifidobacterium Animalis Subspecies Lactis CNCM I-2494, Streptococcus Thermophilus, Lactococcus Lactis and Lactobacillus Bulgaricus||Doesn’t list a count||Even though it has a good variety of cultures, it contains thickeners, gums and natural colour|