The Best Yogurts For Your Health: Greek or Regular?

The yogurt aisle isn’t what it used to be. In the last few years, greek yogurt has taken over a sizeable chunk of the refrigerator case, leaving non-greeks to compete for the remaining real estate.

Meanwhile, both greek and non-greek yogurts are branching out. Fat-free? Cream on top? You got ‘em. Fruit purée or fruit mousse? Yep. Lactose-free or no dairy at all? Got you covered. And as for toppings and mix-ins, strawberry and vanilla are battling for shelf space with fig and orange zest, and chocolate-coated corn flakes. With so many options, how can you know which yogurts are the best yogurts?

Our recommendations (✔✔) are plain unsweetened yogurts. We’ve listed the criteria—maximums for calories and saturated fat and minimums for protein and calcium—at the beginning of each section. We disqualified products with artificial sweeteners. Within each section, yogurts are ranked from least to most calories, then least to most saturated fat, most to least protein, and most to least calcium.

The Benefits of Polyunsaturated Fats in Your Diet

The benefits of polyunsaturated fats in your diet may include lower levels of inflammation and less buildup of plaque in arteries. This is important, because “Inflammation plays two key roles in coronary heart disease,” explains Penny Kris-Etherton of Pennsylvania State University.

First, it helps build the plaque that narrows arteries. The process starts when the immune system mobilizes to heal an “injury” in the artery wall, often caused by oxidized LDL cholesterol. Smoking, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar can also damage the arteries and lead to plaque buildup.“

[text_ad]

And every single step of the way, inflammatory signals produced in the plaque fuel the process,” says Kris-Etherton. After decades, the plaque—now filled with cholesterol, calcium, and cell debris—gets covered with a fibrous cap of smooth muscle cells. Then, once again, inflammation wreaks havoc.

Beware of Caffeine in Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt

More than 80 percent of American adults consume caffeine regularly. That’s no surprise, what with a coffee shop seemingly on every corner and in every supermarket, and tiny $3 bottles of 5-hour Energy popping up like mushrooms wherever there’s a checkout counter. It turns out, though, that there is also caffeine in ice cream and frozen yogurt.

How does caffeine work in the body?

Caffeine works mainly by temporarily binding to adenosine receptors in the brain. That prevents adenosine, which is a natural sedative produced by the brain, from occupying those receptors and making us feel drowsy. Adenosine levels build up during waking hours and then drop as we sleep.

People who don’t use caffeine regularly and who haven’t developed a dependence on it “usually become significantly more alert and better able to perform cognitive and motor tasks – such as paying attention during boring tasks or typing – if they’re given the right dose of caffeine,” says Laura Juliano, a professor of psychology at American University in Washington, D.C.