Yogurt has its ups (hello, protein!) and downs (some brands are sugar bombs). We simplify the endless options and make our diabetes-friendly recommendations.

Katie Shields, M.S., R.D.
September 28, 2018
Advertisement

Pictured Recipe: Peach-Blueberry Parfaits

Yogurt is a delicious healthy food. It's a great on-the-go snack, breakfast food or smoothie ingredient, thanks to protein which helps keep you full. But if you're not careful in the yogurt aisle, you could end up buying a yogurt with tons of extra carbs and added sugars. Here we offer shopping guidance and what to look for to pick out healthy yogurt when you have diabetes.

Get Cultured

Yogurt's trademark tang is due to live cultures (bacteria) that boost immunity. Look for labels with the National Yogurt Association Live & Active Cultures seal, which means at least 100 million active starter cultures per gram.

Pack in protein

Brands with at least 7 grams of protein per 4-6 ounce serving keep hunger at bay. Rule of thumb: Seek options with more protein than sugar.

Go for Greek!

Thick, creamy Greek yogurt gets our vote. Most brands contain 10 grams of protein per 4-6 ounce serving and are lower in lactose.

Don't fear fat.

Whole-milk yogurts are a great source of hugnger-satisfying fat-a formerly feared nutrient that slows digestion. But fat adds flavor naturally, so brands don't have to resort to added sugars. Stick to yogurts with less than 8 grams total to keep saturated fat in check.

Spare the sugar.

Yogurt contains lactose, a naturally occuring sugar, so don't expect to find options with zero grams of sugar. Just avoid added sugars: sucrose, cane sugar, dextrose, and high-fructose corn syrup. The shorted ingredients list the better (ideally milk and bacterial cultures listed first).

Mind your mix-ins.

Add your own flair to plain yogurt to limit sugar. Try 1/4 cup fresh berries, a serving of high-fiber bran cereal, 1 tablespoon of chopped nuts, and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

Know your numbers.

Choose yogurts with no more than 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 120 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carb, and 20 grams of sugar per serving. Pick yogurts with at least 7 grams of protein.

Don't Miss:

WATCH: How to Make Creamy Chicken Salad with Yogurt