There’s no denying that probiotics are ~buzzy~ in the food world right now. And for good reason: They support digestion, keep you regular, boost your immune system, and promote overall health.
And while there are so many probiotics to choose from these days (kimchi! kombucha! sauerkraut! tempeh! miso!), don’t forget about good ol’ yogurt. “I’m all about the kombucha-on-tap life, but yogurt still holds a special place in my heart,” says nutritionist Kelli McGrane, RD.
To reap the most gut-healing benefits from your yogurt, be sure to check the label for the term “live active cultures,” and, particularly, a type of probiotic called lactobacillus acidophilus, says Juliana Dewsnap, RD, nutritionist for Baze. (Most product labels will call it out.)
This especially trendy probiotic is known for supporting overall digestion, promoting healthy blood sugar, and even helping your body avoid yeast infections, says Dewsnap. Bonus: Since L. acidophilus also produces the enzyme lactase, yogurts containing it may be easier for people with dairy issues to digest (think of it as nature’s Lactaid pill!). What’s more is that studies suggest it may also reduce symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome, like pain and bloating, and reduce the itchiness and pain associated with eczema. Color me impressed.
And, no, you don’t need to scarf down your yogurt plain to reap these benefits, either. With a little creativity, you can turn yogurt into a full-blown meal. (Trust me, you need yogurt topped with spicy chickpeas and lime in your life, stat).
Ready to treat your tummy and taste buds? Here are the best probiotic yogurts on the market, according to nutritionists
1. Siggi’s Icelandic Skyr
“Siggi’s, an Icelandic style of yogurt called skyr, is creamier and thicker than Greek yogurt,” says dietitian Leigh Tracy, RD. “It’s also low in added sugar and contains live active bacteria to help promote gut health.”
Per serving: 130 calories, 4.5 g fat (3 g sat), 11 g carbs, 60 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 12 g protein
2. Yoplait Light
Dewsnap loves Yoplait Light’s tasty flavors, especially the strawberry. Since they’re plenty sweet, just go easy on sweet toppings like fruit.
Per serving: 90 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 16 g carbs, 105 mg sodium, 10 g sugar, 5 g protein
3. Fage Total
“Greek yogurt contains more protein than regular yogurt and has a thicker texture,” says McGrane. Fage Total Greek Yogurt is a great swap-in for sour cream and works wonders in smoothies.
Per serving: 150 calories, 4 g fat (3 g sat), 8 g carbs, 65 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 20 g protein
4. Stonyfield Farm Organic
“Both [Stonyfield’s] regular and Greek yogurts are non-GMO, free of growth hormones, and contain excellent sources of live active cultures,” says McGrane. They also offer soy yogurt, which is a good source of probiotics for dairy-free eaters.
Per serving: 170 calories, 9 g fat (5 g sat), 13 g carbs, 125 mg sodium, 0g fiber, 12 g sugar, 9 g protein
5. Brown Cow
“Traditional, unstrained yogurt tends to get overshadowed by Greek yogurt, but it can be just as healthy,” says McGrane. Brown Cow’s yogurt may have less protein, but it still provides those essential probiotics, including L. acidophilus.
Per serving: 130 calories, 7 g fat (4.5 g sat), 9 g carbs, 95 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 6 g protein
This simple yogurt is low in sugar, so you can add plenty of your own toppings, like fruit, nuts, and seeds, says Dewsnap. Plus, its 14 grams of protein help keep you satiated for way longer.
Per serving: 80 calories, 0 g fat (o g sat), 6 g carbs, 55 mg sodium, 4 g sugar, 14 g protein
7. Nancy’s Organic
Dewsnap loves Nancy’s Organic yogurts because they’re rich in probiotics and delicious flavor. You can get them in bigger bulk servings to keep on hand throughout the week, too. Since their plain version is a little higher in sugar, top it with some fats and proteins for balance.
Per serving: 140 calories, 3 g fat (2 g sat), 160 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 16 g sugar, 11 g protein
8. Maple Hill Creamery
Made with whole milk, this pick is creamy, rich, and super satiating, says Dewsnap. Since it’s higher in sugar than protein, be sure to top it with additional protein, like hemp hearts.
Per serving: 170 calories, 10 g fat (7 g sat), 110 mg sodium, 11 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 8 g protein
9. Wallaby Organic
“Australian yogurt is perfect for those who want a texture somewhere between traditional and Greek yogurt,” says McGrane, who recommends Wallaby for its taste and probiotic content.
Per serving: 220 calories, 11 g fat (7 g sat), 90 mg sodium, 10 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 21 g protein
Another Australian yogurt pick from McGrane, Noosa has a nice texture and a solid dose of fats and gut-regulating bacteria. Since the flavored varieties are high in sugar, enjoy them as an occasional treat. Otherwise, stick with plain.
Per serving: 320 calories, 13 g fat (8 g sat), 110mg sodium, 39 g carbs, 0g fiber, 35 g sugar, 12 g protein
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