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.