Though I love my 0% Greek yogurt and Icelandic skyr, I’ve made it one of my nutrition missions to make full-fat dairy less intimidating. Occasionally, a client or patient looks at me sideways when I encourage full-fat dairy over fat-free, but more and more often, the look on their face is one of relief.
Aside from the fact that it tastes great, there are some reasons to love full-fat dairy. The fat in whole milk yogurt and cheese actually helps us absorb some of the nutrients in there like vitamins A and D. It also gives that meal or snack some additional staying power, since fat slows digestion and helps us feel satisfied. There’s also been some research over the past few years poking holes in the notion that fat-free is the way to go. I feel like we’re also seeing more of an emphasis on portion control to support a realistic “all things in moderation” approach to eating. Rather than eating huge portions of fat-free foods, the message is to enjoy a smaller portion of “the real deal” in the context of daily calorie and nutrient needs.
One thing I want to share from my extensive label-reading and compare-athon-ing is that a lot of whole milk yogurts are not scary-high in calories. Just a note: if you’re watching your saturated fat intake, keep in mind that the current American Heart Association recommendation is that saturated fat should make up no more than 10% percent of your daily calorie intake—that’s about 13 grams for someone on a 2,000 calorie diet, so this may be a helpful guideline when trying to figure out where and how often to include whole milk yogurt in your diet.
Made from the milk from pasture-raised organic Maple Hill Creamery cows fed all grass, all year round. The company actually sought out and got independent PCO certification, so check the cup for the label. It’s also worth pointing out that these are organic, non-GMO, and Kosher certified as well.
I loved the rich taste and texture of these yogurts and found them very satisfying. I tried plain, vanilla, strawberry, and blueberry. Though the plain was my favorite (duh), the flavored varieties were not overwhelmingly sweet, and the sugar content clocked in at under 15 grams—not outlandish compared to a lot of flavored yogurts on the market. That said, I’d still encourage you to get the plain and add your own touch by adding fruit, a spoonful of jam, cinnamon, honey, or maple syrup, or by mixing in stuff like ground flax, chia seeds, coconut flour, cocoa powder. Again, for the calorie-conscious, these all had 150 or less—nothing to be afraid of!
These yogurts are also made from pasture-raised cows, are organic, non-GMO, and Kosher certified. As a strained yogurt devotee, I was way into these. Again, the plain was my favorite. The fluffy, filling texture was perfect for breakfast or a snack. What I liked about the flavored varieties was that the sidecars allow you to control how much or how little of the flavoring you use. I still feel like the sugar content is a bit high if you use the whole thing, though the 12 grams of protein in those does help balance that slightly. The plain yogurt clocked in at 14 grams protein. How about keeping it real by using half the flavoring?
Stay tuned! I’ve got a yogurt-based recipe coming your way later this week.
Do you like yogurt? What’s your favorite way to eat it?
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