How to choose a healthy yoghurt

Are you eating a health food or a "dairy dessert"? We show you how to pick the healthiest yoghurts from the nutrition traps.
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02.Beginner's guide to yoghurt (or yogurt)

Greek yoghurtyoghurt-filler-aerial-bowl

is made by straining out the liquid whey, leaving the yoghurt thick and creamy. The association with the Mediterranean diet tends to give Greek yoghurt a healthy image. And while some brands can have higher protein, it can also have higher saturated fat (up to 7g compared with around 4g for plain yoghurt), which helps make it thick and creamy.

The removal of the whey also means Greek yoghurt often has lower calcium levels. Some brands also add cream, though this is not a traditional ingredient. Although yoghurts must conform to food standards pertaining to claims like “low fat”, there are no regulations in Australia specifying that a particular style of yoghurt, such as Greek, has to be made in a certain way or contain particular ingredients.

Greek -style

is not strained and often contain thickeners, which are added to create texture such as cream, milk solids, gelatine and gums.

Pot set

means that milk and live cultures are added straight to the pot, which, makers claim, means thickeners such as gelatine need not be added.

Natural or plain yoghurt

is simply yoghurt without flavouring or added sugar.

Leben -style

is a processing method where the yoghurt is made in a big vat and stirred before being added to the pot. Lactose-free yoghurt is made by adding an enzyme during processing that breaks down the lactose into simple sugars, so it’s safe for those who are intolerant to lactose.

Pouring yoghurt or yoghurt milk

has the same ingredients as thick yoghurt but is thinner and designed to be poured over cereal or drunk by itself.

Kefir yoghurt

is traditionally made by adding fermented kefir grains to room-temperature milk. Commercial powdered kefir starters are often used these days.


is an ethical–ecological approach to agriculture that focuses on the relationship of soil, plants and animals. Like organic, it emphasises sustainability and does not involve chemicals in production.


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