I love yogurt, but the sugar and carb count was too high a price to pay during my weight loss journey. I stay away from foods with a carb count above 10g and sadly yogurt falls into that category. The only exception to this rule is for berries, but I never eat the full serving size (keeping the net carbs under 6g).
Yesterday I got a wonderful surprise while reading 500 Low-Carb Recipes by Dana Carpender. Turns out the nutrition label on yogurt isn’t correct.
How is the content on food labels determined?
The government requires companies to calculate the carbs in food “by difference.” You see, food makers have to measure everything – calories, fats, protein, water and anything else – in food. Once done, the assumption is that everything leftover are carbs.
While it works with most foods, fermented milk acts differently. To make yogurt or buttermilk, bacteria are added and kept warm until the bacteria grows. This is what gives yogurt its thick texture and tangy taste. The bacteria eat up almost all the lactose (milk sugar) and turn it into lactic acid. So the standard nutrition calculation is counting that lactic acid as a carb.
In their book The GO-Diet, doctors Jack Goldberg and Karen O’Mara recommend counting 1 cup of plain yogurt as 4g of net carbs.
Which Yogurt Is Best For Low Carb?
I’m avoiding all nonfat or low fat yogurt. Also any flavored yogurt or with fruit added. Why?
The amount of added sugar. Food companies add a lot of sugar to replace the fat they took out. Otherwise the yogurt would taste like crap.
I’m going with plain full fat Greek yogurt. Full fat provides a more creamy texture and taste. Greek yogurt has the added protein that’s always awesome. Besides, I can add my own flavors — cinnamon, fresh berries or vanilla extract.
Strangely enough, finding a full fat Greek yogurt isn’t that easy. Thanks to our government pushing the unhealthy low-fat diet fad for nearly 60 years, none of the major American food companies make full fat Greek yogurt. If I wanted full fat Greek yogurt, I needed a Greek import.
Unfortunately, Wegmans only has one brand, Fage. Nothing wrong with Fage (it’s delicious), but I’d like the idea of trying different products and finding the best one for me. Sigh…
Oh well, I may have to head over to Whole Foods next weekend to see what they have on tap.