On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m answering the often asked question, is yogurt good for weight loss or is yogurt bad for you?
The answer is, it depends.
Yogurt is one of the many foods marketed by the food industry as being healthy.
I agree, certain yogurt can be healthy.
But not all yogurt is created equal, especially when it comes to the ingredients.
10-20 years ago, most people associated yogurt as a product derived from dairy milk.
Then 5-10 years ago, greek yogurt, which is a thicker and higher protein variety of dairy yogurt, became popular.
Goat yogurt also became popular as it’s easier to digest for people with sensitives and allergies to cow’s milk.
Now a days, as the consumption of dairy continues to decline, new plant based yogurt alternatives are coming to market.
Each variety of yogurt has it’s pros and cons from a nutrition and weight loss perspective.
In other words, just because the food label says “yogurt”, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy, or good for weight loss.
To be honest, when I’m asked is yogurt good for weight loss, most of the times it’s not.
The reason is simple.
Even though I prefer people stick to non-dairy yogurts for overall health and weight loss, even plant based yogurts, such as almond yogurt, coconut yogurt, and cashew yogurt can be bad for you.
Regardless of where the yogurt is derived from, it can be very unhealthy, and not good for weight loss, when they are loaded with belly busting sugar, or artificial flavors and chemicals.
I’m going to show you a few examples of the nutrition and ingredients label of different types of yogurt from dairy and plant sources.
Each option falls somewhere on the health spectrum.
Sugar, in the amount of 23g, is the second ingredient in this dairy milk yogurt product.
It also includes added artificial flavorings and coloring.
If I asked you, is yogurt good for weight loss, would you answer yes, if it was this yogurt?
I say no.
This is a classic example of a food that has the fat removed and replaced with fattening sugar.
Remember, dietary fat, from natural sources, helps feel you up.
Not a good trade off, especially when it comes to weight loss.
Based on the nutrition facts, not only is this yogurt lower in calories and lower in carbohydrates with no added sugar, it also contains 3 times as much protein.
Plus this plain greek yogurt only contains 2 ingredients.
However, where is the dietary fat that is naturally found in dairy?
Even though the 18 grams of satiating protein, I still would prefer to see it contain the double combo of hunger crushing protein and fat, so you stay fuller, longer.
Yes, by adding the fat back in, it would increase the calories, but it would be worth it in the long run as it’ll help you eat less throughout the day.
Remember, weight loss is not just about eating as little calories as possible.
Sustainable weight loss is eating in a calorie deficit, while making the most of the calories that you do have to consume.
You do this by eating foods high in protein and foods high in fat, as they will keep you feeling full, longer.
So if you love dairy and don’t have any dairy allergies or insensitivities, always go with full fat, plain greek yogurt, not non fat, sweetened dairy milk yogurt.
This is a classic example of, just because this is a plant based yogurt alternative, it doesn’t guarantee it’s healthy or will help with weight loss.
Sugar, in the amount of 17g, is the second ingredient in this almond yogurt.
Plus this almond yogurt brand contains a total of 10 ingredients.
This sweetened almond yogurt would be similar to the sweetened dairy milk yogurt in option #1.
A yogurt that is not good for weight loss.
So as you know, when it comes to health and weight loss, I don’t usually recommend dairy milk.
However, based on the high level of sugar in this almond yogurt, I’d go with a full fat plain greek yogurt over this almond yogurt, if you can handle the dairy.
So as you can see, not all almond yogurt is created equal.
This brand of plain almond yogurt contains 1/3 the amount of sugar as the other almond milk yogurt.
Plus it only contains 6 ingredients compared to 10 ingredients.
Again, even though it’s almond yogurt, it’s super important to look at the ingredients list and nutrition facts, especially when your goal is weight loss.
Notice, even though this is a 225g serving size is bigger than the other yogurts, it contains less calories.
However, even though a lower calorie option may sound good for weight loss, will this actually help keep you full?
This coconut yogurt contains less than 1g of protein and 7g of fat, which is less than almond yogurt.
One last note on this coconut yogurt.
I choose the unsweetened option, even though there were sweetened options, and a plain option.
In fact, the plan option actually had quite a bit of sugar in it.
Again, read the nutrition facts, not just the kind of yogurt.
Here’s another example of a yogurt that would be quite different than traditional yogurts in terms of taste, health and weight loss.
This living coconut yogurt is also much higher in probiotics than the other yogurts.
As you can tell from all these yogurt options, the answer on is yogurt good for weight loss is, it depends.
Although, the full fat greek yogurt is high in protein and healthy fat, and contains 1g of fiber, I still don’t recommend dairy milk for most people.
Also, none of the other healthier yogurts truly meet those high protein, high fat, and high in fiber qualifications.
However, they can, when you use healthy unsweetened yogurt as just the base to your snack.
In other words, purchase the unsweetened almond or coconut yogurt, then add in other healthy ingredients to increase the protein, the healthy fat, fiber, and flavor.
By doing that you turn your unsweetened yogurt into a satiating snack, that not only tastes good, but will also help you with your weight loss goals.
I’ll be back on Friday, showing you how to make a delicious yogurt recipe for weight loss.
Stick with these simple rules and be really selective when shopping for yogurt at the grocery store.
Promise me you just won’t pick up the cheapest brand or any plant based brand without looking at the nutrition facts and ingredients.
Always read the nutrition and ingredient labels to ensure you’re actually making a healthier choice.
This is exactly the type of things we teach our Team Live Lean group coaching clients.
As a coaching client, you get access to over 200 cooking video recipes, weekly meal plans and grocery lists, as well as a new 4 week workout program, every month.
Plus you get the accountability to stay focused on your goals.
Thanks for watching and keep Living Lean.
Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.