Do You Know the 7 Different Types of Yogurt?

Due to the many health benefits, it's a good idea to include yogurt in your diet. Yogurt is made by fermenting milk or cream with a yogurt culture. The milk mixture is then incubated at a specific temperature to promote bacteria growth. It can be left plain or fruits, sweeteners, gelatin and other common ingredients are then added to the cooled yogurt. If you're looking for a food that's good for your gut, filled with protein, calcium and probiotics (good bacteria), consuming yogurt will help you with that. How should you choose between the types of yogurt, though?

Nowadays, the yogurt trend has really grown in popularity and brands like Chobani, Dannon and Stonyfield have increased their flavors and styles of yogurt. All of the options can be overwhelming at times, but you can figure out which type is for just you. Maybe you like regular yogurt with fruit on the bottom or yogurt drinks or even non-dairy yogurt.

Whichever yogurt you choose, there are a few things to check out on the ingredient list: avoid yogurt made with artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup as well as food coloring, which can really make yogurt into an unhealthy snack. Try and find a brand of yogurt that has "live active cultures" listed in the description. These active cultures all have different health benefits that are especially good for healthy digestion.

Whether your eating your favorite type of yogurt, making frozen yogurt or yogurt bark, here's a helpful guide on all the varieties of yogurt to help you out.

1. Traditional Yogurt

If you like the smooth, creamy texture in yogurt, traditional yogurt or milk yogurt is the right one for you. You can find traditional yogurt in all stores made by some of the most common brands. Traditional yogurt is unstrained and normally made with whole milk, skim or 2 percent. You can also choose from a regular yogurt with fruit on the bottom like strawberries or peaches if plain yogurt isn't your thing. You can also try making homemade yogurt at home.

Its important to also remember that this type of yogurt doesn't contain as much protein as something like Greek yogurt, but it's still a very healthy treat that's perfect for kids or adults. Brands like Dannon, make delicious milk yogurt in a variety of flavors.

2. Greek Yogurt

A personal favorite and double in the amount of protein, Greek yogurt continues to grow in popularity. Unlike traditional yogurt, Greek yogurt is strained to remove the liquid and whey and has a thicker consistency.

Most Greek yogurt contain less sugar and carbohydrates. Plain Greek-style yogurt is tangy and good for eating, but is also the ideal ingredient in Mediterranean cooking and different sauces, like tzatziki sauce.

Greek yogurt can be found in full fat, non-fat, low-fat, 0 or 2 percent and some brands are getting more and more creative with their added mix-ins, so be on the lookout for something that might interest you!

One of my favorite ways to enjoy Greek yogurt is by drinking it. More and more brands are now making these beverages or smoothies available, which makes a quick, protein-filled drinkable yogurt on the go!

3. Australian Yogurt

You might be asking yourself right now, "what on earth is Australian Style yogurt?". Well, this type of yogurt might be new to you but, it's the perfect in between to both regular and Greek yogurt.

Like traditional yogurt, it's an unstrained yogurt and has a delicious velvety texture. And since it's cooked slower and longer than regular yogurt, it has a super creamy texture. One particular brand, Noosa, infuses their yogurt with honey, so you won't miss out on that sweet, unique flavor.

4. Icelandic Yogurt

Skyr or Icelandic yogurt is a type of high-protein yogurt that's tangy and noticeably thicker and smoother than Greek yogurt. Along with being a high-protein treat, Icelandic yogurt has a low fat content and is high in calcium. You can enjoy Icelandic yogurt by itself, or mixed with fruit and nuts.

Try adding this yogurt to your morning smoothie for an extra boost of protein or in a yogurt parfait.

5. Non-Dairy Yogurt

If you're lactose intolerant or you follow a vegan diet, but you still want to enjoy yogurt, there are a bunch of non-dairy alternatives that can satisfy your craving.

Some products make their yogurt with different types of milk like: almond milk, coconut milk or soy milk. They're usually low in sugar or naturally sweetened and just as luscious as regular yogurt.

You also don't have to worry about missing out on the lack of protein, healthy fats or live active cultures because many non-dairy yogurt products are a great source of those health benefits.

6. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented yogurt drink that's known to be high in protein, calcium, minerals and vitamin D. Since kefir has a long fermentation process, that means it is filled with more probiotics, which help to support a healthy digestive system.

Kefir can be made with any type of milk (cow, goat, sheep, soy, rice, etc) and what makes it unique is the milk is blended with kefir 'grains' or cultures. These grains contain a variety of bacteria and yeasts which are good for your gut. The taste is slightly tart and you'll notice an effervescent, bubbly quality to it.

Pour it over cereal, granola or mix it in with your smoothie for a healthy breakfast and since it's easy to digest and super healthy, kefir is perfect for kids. These convenient squeeze pouches make a great snack on the go while giving amazing health benefits.

7. Lactose-Free Yogurt

It's not uncommon to be sensitive to dairy. For some, consuming dairy can cause pain or discomfort, but that doesn't mean you have to eliminate yogurt from your diet! Lactose-free yogurt is made with cow's milk, but has been treated to break down the lactose or milk sugar found in milk. It tastes very similar to regular yogurt and is a good source of protein, calcium and probiotics.

Did you know that you can even use this yogurt in baking, too? If a recipe calls for buttermilk or sour cream, a lactose-free yogurt would be a great alternative.

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