Nutrition
December 6, 2016

Whole-milk and cream-topped yogurt: the latest nutrition craze?

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Say ‘hello’ to creamy full-fat yogurt.

 

If you’ve noticed the changing landscape of the yogurt at the grocery store, you’re not alone. Low-fat and Greek yogurt are now joined by a multitude of whole-milk and cream-topped varieties. From the probiotic push to hearty ancient grains to the explosion of gluten-free foods, full-fat dairy, particularly yogurt, has made its debut as one 2016’s hottest nutrition trends. If you’re still reaching for low-fat or fat-free yogurt, consider trying a whole milk or cream-topped product the next time you shop.

Get the skinny on full-fat yogurt

Unlike fat-free or reduced-fat, whole milk and cream-topped yogurt contains cultured, pasteurized whole milk as the first ingredient. Due to the higher fat content, full-fat yogurt is rich, smooth and creamy, similar to Greek yogurt. Whole-milk Greek varieties also are available.

Depending on the brand and flavor, one, 6-ounce container of whole milk or cream-topped yogurt typically contains:

140-160 calories • 4.5-7 grams total fat • 3-4.5 grams saturated fat • 5-6 grams protein

Is full-fat yogurt healthy?

Despite the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advocating for low-fat and fat-free dairy products, whole milk and cream-topped yogurt, along with other full-fat dairy products, can be incorporated into a nutrient-rich, balanced diet. These types of yogurt contain a combination of carbohydrates, protein and fat that aid in keeping you energized and feeling full for a longer period of time. In addition to feeling full, whole milk and cream-topped yogurt may be more satisfying in smaller quantities, thus, potentially leading to eating less overall.

A few recent studies published in prestigious journals such as the Journal of the American Heart Association have shown that there is no association between dairy fat/high-fat dairy foods and heart disease risk, obesity and type 2 diabetes. While additional research is needed to provide further supporting evidence, full-fat dairy products should not be deemed “unhealthy.” In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics supports whole milk consumption up until age 2 to promote healthy brain development in young kiddos.

Six tasty ways to enjoy plain/flavored full-fat yogurt

  • Served as a dip for fresh-cut fruits.
  • Topped with berries and low-fat granola.
  • Eaten as a standalone mid-morning or afternoon snack.
  • Blended into a fruit smoothie or yogurt-based popsicle recipe.
  • Mixed into a warm bowl of quick-cooking or old-fashioned oatmeal.
  • Used as a substitute for mayonnaise or sour-cream in your favorite dips or baked good recipes.

Lindsay MacNab, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, health nut and deep dish pizza addict from the wonderful windy city of Chicago. A 2015-2016 dietetic intern at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Lindsay was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and received both her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Diet & Exercise from Iowa State University. 

Dessert, Healthy Snacks

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