When you’re walking down your grocery store’s refrigeration aisle and choosing a yogurt to buy, chances are you reach for a low-fat option instead of a full-fat one. After all, it has less fat, so it must be healthier, right? Well, it turns out that a plain full-fat yogurt may be better for you in the long run, even if the reasons seem a little counterintuitive.
Much of the concern surrounding full-fat dairy products is how they could affect your cardiovascular system and weight. Most people believe that the more fat any food has in it, the worse it must be for their heart health and waistline. However, recent research has called those ideas into question. In fact, a new study just showed that eating yogurt twice per week could decrease your risk of heart disease by 17 percent. Scientists are currently taking a closer look at why this is, but they believe that it has something to do with the fermentation process that dairy products go through before they’re consumed. Additionally, scientists have discovered that the fat content of yogurt alone isn’t a major factor in weight gain.
Another important factor to keep in mind is that while they may have less fat, low-fat yogurt options can often have more sugar than their full-fat counterparts to make up for what they lack in taste. “If you’re having flavored yogurt, it might spike your blood sugar more, which leads to more of a crash later on,” registered dietitian Lauren Sharpe told HuffPost.
Of course, the healthiness of your yogurt is determined by what type you get and what you put in it. Depending on the brand, certain yogurt flavors may contain more added sugar no matter the fat content, so it never hurts to stick to a plain one when you can. Plus, if you mix in tons of sugary granola or other additions, you could end up doing more harm than good. That said, it’s a relief to know that you don’t necessarily need to worry as much about how much fat is in your yogurt going forward!