What keeps French women thin and effortlessly stylish from the cradle to the grave?
You might think it’s Chanel No 5, but according to Mireille Guiliano, the author of French Women Don’t’ Get Fat, the answer is yogurt.
Yogurt is a nutritionally complete food with a side of probiotics that delivers the exact amount of protein, fat, and carbs you need in any given meal or snack. Regularly choosing yogurt kick-starts weight loss and helps maintain your weight over time.
Try one of these yogurt brands to lose weight and keep it off. As for style, you find that within.
Yogurt Brands Quick
Why Only Some Yogurt Helps You Lose Weight
You already eat yogurt, so why is it that it is the secret to European weight loss? The difference lies in the ingredients list.
Visit the dairy aisle in your local supermarket, and you have dozens of options to choose from across different brands and even product types within those brands. Each of those comes with a list of ingredients that dramatically impacts the nutrition value of the yogurt.
Those yogurts with the wild flavors, colors or packaging might include ingredients that set your weight loss goals back. Many of the best-known yogurt brands contain:
- Added sugar
- Artificial sweetener
- Artificial colors
Choosing yogurt brands with too much sugar or nasty additives negates the health benefits of eating yogurt in the first place.
Best Yogurt Types to Help You Lose Weight
Conventional wisdom might send you directly to the low-fat, skim natural yogurt section, but you can do better. There are three types of yogurt best suited to help you lose weight—and none of them are new, improved, or come with catchy titles.
If you want to maintain your weight by controlling your dietary fat intake, start by buying a yogurt known as skyr.
Skyr is an Icelandic invention that isn’t technically yogurt in the sense that you know it. Making skyr involves a process that includes straining cheese made from skim milk. The taste and texture aren’t far off from Crème Fraiche. Yes, it’s cheese, but you find it in the yogurt section.
Skyr comes with a nutritional profile that nearly matches that of yogurt. A serving of plain skyr comes with:
- 100 calories
- 17g protein
- 0g fat
- 3g sugar
If your diet plan includes adding more fat to your day, then Greek yogurt is a better option for you. Greek yogurt features low-fat or full-fat milk, and it is closer to traditional yogurt for those who wary of trying something new.
One cup of non-fat Greek yogurt’s nutritional profile includes:
- 80 calories
- 23g protein
- 81mg sodium
- 0g fat
- 7g sugar
- 8g total carbs
Overall, skyr packs more of a protein punch and often uses less sugar. However, sugar content depends on the brand. Skyr also offers a thinner texture that’s less tangy.
Regular probiotic yogurt is by no means “bad” for you when you buy a high-quality brand. However, if you want to make the most of your meals, it doesn’t offer the same nutritional value as skyr or Greek yogurt. For example, a regular non-fat yogurt has a nutritional profile that includes:
- 137 calories
- 14g protein
- 0g fat
- 189mg sodium
- 19g total carbs
- 19g sugars
By sticking with a more traditional form of yogurt, you’re giving up some of the protein and getting more sugar.
If your goal is to minimize your sugars and include more protein to maintain weight loss, then choosing yogurt isn’t the same as eating a sleeve of Oreos, but it could certainly be more helpful to your goals.
Try These Yogurt Brands to Maintain Your Healthiest Weight
What brands should you make a bee-line for on your next trip to the grocery store? We round up our favorite healthy yogurt products here including Greek yogurt, skyr, and the best traditional yogurt types.
Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
Fage is a no-frills, full-nutrition style of yogurt that is creamy and delicious in its Total 2% form and just as delightful in its nonfat variety. Don’t believe us? Check out this ingredients list:
It’s true. Fage relies on the goodness of yogurt to work for itself in both flavor profile and nutritional benefit.
We recommend adding some seasonal fruit to the yogurt for a delicious breakfast or snack.
Alternatively, pick up one of Fage’s crossovers for a unique combination of yogurt and toppings including both sweet and savory. Try the Fage Crossovers Carrot Ginger with Pistachios for a delicious and even more nutritious snack.
But if you want to remain in total control, pick up the big tub of the traditional stuff. You can use it for breakfast, snacks, or even as a replacement for other creamy things in your cooking.
Smari Icelandic Organic Yogurt
Greek yogurt was a huge trend because unlike heavily processed yogurts, it retained the probiotics and nutritional content that manufacturers too often filtered out between the cow and the store. We’re here to tell you that you can do one better than Greek yogurt: Icelandic yogurt or skyr.
We mentioned the benefits of skyr before, but our favorite brand is Smari. Smari makes skyr from Jersey and Guernsey cows, a breed renowned for producing high-quality, high-fat milk with a sweet flavor.
The company also gets additional bonus points for creating a plain yogurt that’s as delicious as its flavored versions. More importantly, Smari flavored yogurts get their flavor from real blueberries, vanilla bean, and coconut.
Smari shines with its full-fat skyr, but it does produce the traditional non-fat version as well. Both come with epic amounts of protein (20g per serving) and leave your dairy cravings satisfied.
Stonyfield Lowfat Plain
Picking up a traditional yogurt? We recommend Stonyfield Organic.
Stonyfield’s ingredient list comes with a whole host of buzzwords and qualifiers like:
- USDA Organic
- Gluten Free
- Kosher Certified
- Pasture Raised
It’s everything you’d expect from a standard yogurt including excellent protein levels and no fat. One of the reasons we like Stonyfield is because it becomes more than a standalone snack. Stonyfield itself recommends using it in the kitchen to add it to sauces, substitute it for heavier dairy products, baking with it or adding it to marinades or dips.
Lowfat plain yogurt does double-duty in a way that Greek yogurt or skyr might struggle to keep up. Buy this for a more versatile product.
Siggi’s 4% Whole-Milk Skyr
Apply the same thing you just learned about Smari to Siggi’s, another Icelandic skyr brand to grace U.S. supermarkets with its presence.
We recommend the Siggi’s 4% Whole-Milk Skyr for those who want to add even more fat to their diet. Fat isn’t the bogeyman scientists made it out to be. A good dose of healthy fats helps maintain your current fat levels rather than add to them.
Most other skyr is non-fat because you traditionally make skyr using only skim milk. The whole milk product is Siggi’s attempts to appeal to customers who are now afraid of the idea of “non-fat” as well as those who have a strict macronutrient count to follow.
In a product category that still plays by the low-fat rules, Siggi’s 4% is a breath of fresh air for high-fat, low-carb diets or even those who just never bought into the idea of skim milk.
Dannon Light & Fit Greek Vanilla Nonfat Yogurt
So far, the options veer pretty far from the traditional American idea of yogurt especially if you grew up on Yoplait or Gogurt.
If you want something with a similar texture to the yogurt you loved, try Dannon’s Light & Fit Range, particularly the Vanilla flavor.
Dannon’s Light & Fit Greek comes with twice as much protein as traditional yogurt and ditches 40 percent of the calories. We like the light vanilla flavor, smooth texture, and the active cultures for gut health.
Drinkable yogurts tend to be smoother and act more like a perfectly blended smoothie than yogurt. If you’re looking for yogurt for a quick pick-me-up or you tend to take your breakfast to-go, we recommend indulging in Chobani’s drinkable version.
Chobani almost always comes with added ingredients. Typically, you should stay away from those because flavors are almost always artificial. However, Chobani made a name for itself by adding real fruit that you recognize to its yogurt pots. It did the same with Drink Chobani, a drinkable Greek yogurt.
Pick up one of the following flavors:
- Cherry Vanilla
- Chocolate & Cream
- Coffee & Cream
- Mixed Berry
- Orange & Cream
- Pina Colada
- Strawberry Banana
- Vanilla Bean
Chobani comes with half the sugar of other yogurts on the shelf, but it still adds carbs to your snack. If you’re still in the weight loss phase, you might be better avoiding flavored yogurts and adding your own touch with fresh fruits. Otherwise, Chobani Drink is a tasty treat for maintaining your weight.
Satisfy Cravings and Keep the Weight Off With These Yogurts
Yogurt is full of protein (and fat) that satisfies your hunger cravings and keeps you feeling full for hours. If you grew up on light pink, saccharine sweet yogurt, know that you not only have more options but some incredible yogurts will help you shed weight and keep it off.
Do you have a favorite yogurt brand? Share yours in the comments below.
Featured Image via Canva logo, text, filter added.