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Ask Tufts Experts April 2019 Issue

Q. How do I choose a healthy yogurt?

Add your own fruit to sweeten plain yogurt.

A. Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts’ Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging and executive editor of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter answers: “Given the most prominent yogurt choices on the market today, the first criterion should be the amount of added sugar. The best option is to choose plain, unflavored yogurt and customize it to your personal preferences by adding fresh, frozen, or dried fruit and/or flavorings such as vanilla and cinnamon.

“Greek- and Scandinavian-style yogurts and regular yogurt differ in texture. Greek and Scandinavian yogurts are creamier and have more protein and other nutrients per serving. Since Americans do tend to get enough protein in their diets, the best choice is the type you prefer the most. Another criterion should be the fat content, ranging from full fat (made from whole milk) to nonfat. Nonfat yogurt has half the calories as full fat yogurt and all the nutrients or a bit more. However, again, this is a personal choice in terms of what you enjoy the most and whether there are other sources of animal fat in your diet.”

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