• Stephanie Dorfman, MS, RD

Unravelling Thoughts on Full Fat Yogurt - "Should I Eat This?"

What's the deal with full fat yogurt? Is full fat yogurt or low/non fat yogurt better for our health? Is it yogurt or yoghurt? Read below for more info!

Before we get into it - remember the answer is always* yes! You should eat this food!

*Always being defined as: ALL FOODS (yes every single food item) can and should be enjoyed UNLESS you are allergic, intolerant, or truly do not like the food*⁠

The Yogurt Aisle

Navigating through this chilly aisle has become quite a task since the many different types of yogurt have appeared. There's Greek varieties, yogurt you can drink, yogurt with extra things to mix in, whipped yogurts, dairy-free yogurts, honestly, it seems like the options are endless for this dairy (or non-dairy) item.

But, the main point of this post is to discuss whyyyyy the amount of fat varies from yogurt to yogurt (or yoghurt to yoghurt, but more on that further down the page...).

Starting from the top - yogurt is made by fermenting milk (yay probiotics) and species of bacterial cultures. Despite what people may think, full-fat milk and low-fat milk are processed the same way - milk is skimmed of the fat, and then depending on the type of milk being made, a certain amount of fat gets added back in. Full fat yogurt is made from whole milk, low-fat yogurt from low-fat milk, and fat free yogurt from skim milk.

In the Name of Health

In general, yogurt has a bunch of health benefits:

  • High in vitamins and minerals: C, B, calcium, phosphorus

  • A good source of protein

  • Probiotics aid in gut health

Yes, full-fat yogurts are higher in saturated fat (the not as healthy type of fat). But, there is more and more research out there showing that fat coming from dairy products may increase LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol - want to keep this one low....L for "low"), but it may also increase HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol - want to keep this one high...H for "high").

So, as most things in nutrition science goes (because it is an ever changing and developing science), more research is needed on either the positive, negative, or a little mix of both, effects of the fat found in dairy products on our health.

As with most foods, unless you are only eating yogurt, everyday, for every meal, everyday of your life - enjoying yogurt in a balanced, well-rounded, intuitively driven diet, full of variety (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and fat), sounds like an awesome choice!

Should I Eat This?

Yes, of course! Eat the yogurt! Full fat, low fat, no fat - which ever you prefer! (Unless you are allergic, cannot tolerate yogurt, or straight up do not like it!) Use yogurt in parfaits, baked goods, sweet or savory dips, a quick grab and go snack, add it to smoothies - it is a very versatile product because of its many flavors and various options.

Things to consider when browsing the yogurt aisle:

  • Added sugar may have more of an affect on our health than the saturated fat found in yogurt/dairy products - look for yogurts low in sugar (less than 10-12g), or buy the plain yogurts and sweeten them yourself with honey, maple syrup, fresh/dried/frozen fruit, etc

  • Mix it up - you don't always have to buy the same brand, flavor, fat percentage, variety of yogurt! Take a stroll down the whollleeee aisle and try not to get overwhelmed. Try out a few that look tasty and see how it goes

  • If you're going the plant-based/dairy-free route, check the label and make sure they have been fortified with calcium and vitamin D - gotta get in those nutrients!

Yogurt vs Yoghurt

Not too exciting actually, but "yoghurt" is actually the main spelling for areas outside of North America. "Yogurt" and "Yoghurt" mean the exact same thing - just with an extra "h" thrown in there.

Interested in more "Should I Eat This" posts? Comment below or send me an email with your questions!
Want to talk about these topics further? Do you have more questions? Schedule a free discovery call so we can chat all about it!