Yogurt: Definition, Types, Nutrient Facts, Health Benefits, and More


Yogurt, a versatile dairy product, has been a staple in diets around the world for countries. Not only is it a delicious addition to meals and snacks, but it also offers a plethora of health benefits that make it a superstar in the world of nutrition. If you’re a healthy eater you probably have in your refrigeration. The dairy food provides nutritional benefits especially for people who are looking to boost gastrointestinal health. But some brands of it can be high in sugar, fat, and calories depending on the type that you can buy. Compare yogurt nutrition and yogurt calories to choose the right product for your diet. For more research you can also visit Medical News Today.

What is Yogurt?

Yogurt is created by mixing heated milk with bacteria, such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. This mixture is then left to sit at a warm temperature (around 110-115 F) for a few hours. During this time the bacteria work their magic, fermenting the milk and turning it into yogurt. Sometimes, other helpful bacteria like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are added to enhance the flavor and texture of the yogurt.

What are Nutrition Facts of Yogurt?

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 cup (8 ounces or 235g) of plain whole milk yogurt. Such as:

  • Calories: 149
  • Fat: 8g
  • Sodium: 113g
  • Carbohydrates: 11.4g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 11.4g
  • Protein: 8.5g
  • Phosphorus: 233g
  • Calcium: 296mh
  • Riboflavin: 0.34g


A single cup of plain whole milk contains approximately 11.4 grams of carbohydrates, making it a good low-carb snack option. Of course the carbohydrates count will vary depending on the type of milk and flavor used in it, but largely the carbohydrates makeup comes from the natural sugar found in it.


In one serving of plain whole milk you can expect about 8 grams of fats. Swap to a low fat it or a skim milk based it for a lower fat count.


Alongside other dairy based foods it is a good source of protein. One cup of it brings 8.5 grams of protein.

Vitamins and Minerals:

Plain yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and is high in phosphorus and riboflavin. But it also provides more naturally occurring sugar (from lactose) and saturated fat than most people would expect to find in a healthy food.


There are approximately 149 calories in one cup of plain whole milk. Of course the calories count will ultimately differ if the yogurt has additional fruit or toppings or is made from a different milk. If you are buying it to include in your healthy diet always remember to check the nutrition facts label and ingredients list. Some of its products contain just a few ingredients like milk and fruit but others may contain quite a bite of added sugar, corn syrup, and other ingredients like cornstarch or gelatin that increase the calorie count. And if you are comparing the calorie count of yogurt be sure that the containers you are evaluating are the same size. Some products are lower in calories simply because the package is smaller. Here’s how some of the popular brands of plain it stack up per serving.

  • Fage Plain Nonfat Yogurt: 90 calories, 5g carbohydrate, 18g protein 5g sugar.
  • Yoplait Plain Nonfat Yogurt: 130 calories, 20 carbohydrates, 12g protein, 13g sugar
  • Siggi’s Plain Nonfat Yogurt: 130 calories, 10g carbohydrate, 25g protein, 7g sugar
  • Dannon Plain Nonfat Yogurt: 120 calories, 18g carbohydrate, 10g protein, 15g sugar

When is Yogurt Good for You?

Whether yogurt is a healthy choice depends on the person eating it and the kind of it. It can have a lot of protein, calcium, vitamins, and live bacteria called probiotics. These bacteria can be good for the gut. They can help keep bones and teeth strong and prevent stomach problems. Low fat yogurt with less fat can be a good source of protein if you’re trying to weight loss. Probiotics might make the immune system stronger. Some people say they might also help the brain work better, but we need more research to be sure. In 2014, researchers found that eating it might lower the chances of getting type-2 diabetes. Other dairy products didn’t seem to do this. Some scientists think that yogurt with probiotics can protect children and pregnant women from the bad effects of heavy metals. It is also a good choice for people who have trouble chewing their food. For people who don’t eat dairy or animal products or have allergies or problems with dairy there are non dairy yogurts. It has less lactose, a sugar in milk, because the bacteria use it up when they make it.

When Is Yogurt Bad for You?

Not every yogurt is good for you. Some have too much added sugar or other things that aren’t healthy. Plain yogurt without extra sugar or other stuff can be good for you if you want to eat healthy. But some brands add sugar, fake sweeteners, and other things that aren’t good for you. Every yogurt has some natural sugar in it. But it’s better to choose yogurt with less than 15 grams of sugar per serving. Less sugar is better as long as it doesn’t have fake sweeteners. Some research doesn’t support the idea that eating yogurt is always good for your health. This makes experts question if companies can say yogurt is healthy just to sell it. But people who eat yogurt eat healthy in other ways too.

What are Yogurt Flavored Products?

Some packaged foods like cereals and bars say they have “real yogurt” but they only have a little bit of yogurt powder. Yogurt powder is heated which kills the good bacteria. Its coatings are made of sugar, oil, whey, and yogurt powder.

What are the Types of Yogurt?

There are different types of it. Such as:

Low Fat or Non Fat Yogurt:

Low fat yogurt, also called reduced fat yogurt, is made with 20% milk. Non fat yogurt also known as fat free yogurt is made with skim which has zero percent fat.

Kefir Yogurt:

Kefir is a type of yogurt that you can drink. It has probiotics and you can easily make it at home by adding kefir grains to milk and letting it sit for 12 to 24 hours.

Greek Yogurt:

Greek yogurt is thick and creamy and it can handle heat better than regular yogurt. It’s often used in Mediterranean style cooking and dips. To make it regular it is strained to remove the liquid whey. This makes it thicker and has more protein but it has less calcium. You can find it in full fat, reduced fat, and non-fat options.

Skyr Yogurt:

Similar to Greek yogurt, skyr( pronounced “skeer”) is a type of Icelandic style yogurt. It’s dense, creamy and has a lot of protein. Skyr needs four times more milk to make compounds to regular yogurt and it has 2 to 3 times more protein.

Frozen Yogurt:

Frozen yogurt is often thought to be healthier than ice cream. But many frozen yogurts have even more sugar than regular ice cream. Also, not all frozen yogurt have live and active cultures, which are good for you. Some use heat treated yogurts which don’t have these good bacteria.

Non Dairy Yogurts:

Non dairy yogurt alternatives include soy and coconut milk yogurt.

What are the Health Benefits of Yogurt?

The health benefits of it. such as:

Rich Nutrients:

It has almost all the nutrients your body needs. It’s rich in calcium which keeps your teeth and bones healthy. One cup gives you 49% of your daily calcium needs. It also has a lot of B vitamins, especially vitamin B12 and riboflavin, which might help prevent heart disease and certain birth defects. One cup also has 28% of your daily phosphorus, 10% of magnesium, and bone health. It doesn’t naturally have vitamin D, but it’s often added to it. Vitamin D is good for your bones and immune system and might lower the risk of some diseases like heart disease and depression.

High in Protein:

It has a lot of protein, about 12 grams in an 8-ounce serving. Proteins help boost your metabolism, which means you burn more calories throughout the day. Having enough protein also helps control your appetite by making you feel full. This might help you eat fewer calories overall, which is good for managing your weight. In one study, people who smacked on it felt less hungry and ate 100 fewer calories at dinner compared to those who had snacks with the same calories but less protein. Greek yogurt, which is thicker and has more protein than regular yogurt, can make you feel even fuller. It has about 20 grams of protein in a 7 ounce serving. Eating Greek yogurt might help control your appetite and make you feel less hungry compared to other dairy products like whole or skim milk.

Digestive Health:

Some yogurt has live bacteria, called probiotics, which can be either part of the starter culture or added later. These probiotics might help with digestive health when you eat them. But many yogurts have been pasteurized which means they’ve been heated to kill bacteria, including the beneficial ones. Even labeled as having “live, active culture” might have lost some probiotics due to storage conditions and other factors. To get the most effective probiotics it’s best to check the label and choose one with live, active cultures. Certain probiotics found in it, like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus have been shown to ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common colon disorder. One review of multiple studies found that when people with IBS regularly ate it with Bifidobacteria, half of the studies showed a significant improvement in abdominal pain associated with IBS. Another study found that it, with Bifidobacteria, helped digestive symptoms and quality of life in women with minor digestive issues. Additionally, some studies suggest that probiotics may help prevent diarrhea and constipation caused by taking antibiotics.

Strengthen Your Immune System:

Eating it regularly, especially if it has probiotics, can strengthen your immune system and lower your chances of getting sick. Probiotics can help reduce inflammation which is linked to many health issues from viral infections to the gut problems. Studies show that probiotics might also help lessen how often long and how severe a common cold is. Its immune boosting effects are partly because of its minerals like magnesium, selenium and zinc, which are important for a healthy immune system. It’s added with vitamin D might improve immune health even more. Vitamin D is being studied for its potential to prevent illnesses like the common cold and flu.

Heart Health:

The fat content is often debated for its impact on health. It mainly contains saturated fat along with a small amount of monounsaturated fatty acids. In the past, saturated fat was thought to cause heart disease but recent research suggests it’s more complicated. Still fat free and low fat, its options are popular in the United States. When considering saturated fat, it’s important to think about where it’s coming from and what other types of fats are being consumed. Saturated fats from whole milk dairy products like it may not have the same effects on health as those from processed fast foods. There isn’t clear evidence that the fat in it is harmful to health. In fact, it might even have some benefits for heart health though more research is needed. Some studies suggest that saturated fat from whole milk products can increase HDL good cholesterol which is good for heart health. Other research indicates that eating it may lower the risk of heart disease. Additionally, dairy products like it might help lower high blood pressure which is a big risk factor for heart disease. This seems to be especially true for those already diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Weight Management:

Greek Yogurt, in particular, has properties that can help with weight management. Firstly, it’s high in protein which combined calcium can increase levels of hormones that reduce appetite. Several studies have shown that eating it is linked to lower body weight, less body fat, and smaller waist size. One review found that eating full fat dairy products including it may actually reduce the risk of obesity. This goes against what was previously thought about full fat dairy and weight gain. Other studies suggest that people who eat it tend to have a better overall diet. This is because it is nutrient rich but relatively low in calories.

Building the Muscle:

The protein in traditional or Greek yogurt can also help your body to build and maintain muscle. Recent studies have shown that Greek yogurt can help in boosting strength and muscle, as well as improving body composition when consumed post exercise.

Improves Bone Strength:

It is also a good way to boost your calcium intake especially if you are a non-milk drinker. Calcium helps to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and famously helps maintain strong bones. The National Institutes of Health recommends adults consume at least 1000 mg calcium per day.

Boosts Gut Health:

Thanks to its probiotic properties it has long been recognized as a gut friendly food. Studies have confirmed that adding dairy yogurt to your diet can help reduce fat and support its gut microbiome, which is critical in a healthy gut and digestive system. However, it’s important to note that probiotics differ by brand. While more research is needed on the role of probiotics on health. There are some  brands like Activia advertise probiotics in their products. Not all it has probiotics so if you’re looking to get probiotics from it be sure to read the nutrition label and ingredient list to make sure that it contains live active cultures. Finally remember that there are multiple strains of bacteria that can be added so not each brand will have the same kind.

Different Varieties:

Plain yogurt is a simple yogurt that contains no added fruit, flavoring, or added sugars. However you can find many different varieties of it from low fat to full fat and made from different milks. In recent years, manufacturers have produced cashew milk yogurt, almond milk yogurt and even skyr (or Icelandic yogurt). Greek yogurt is another popular option for healthy eaters. Greek yogurt is thicker and less sweet than traditional yogurt. The product is strained to remove much of the sugar, lactose and liquid whey. As a result some brands of Greek yogurt have less sugar and more protein than traditional versions of yogurt. So how does Greek yogurt nutrition compare to traditional yogurt? Greek yogurt calories are usually about the same. Total 2% plain yogurt provides 150 calories, 4 grams of fat and 20 grams of protein. It also provides 8 grams of sugar.

Yogurt May Not be for Everyone:

Some people need to be cautious with their intake as it may cause adverse effects especially in those with lactose intolerance or a milk allergy.

Lactose Intolerance:

Lactose intolerance happens when the body doesn’t have enough lactase, the enzyme needed to break down lactose, the sugar in milk. This can cause digestive issues like stomach pain and diarrhea after eating dairy products including it. However, some people with lactose intolerance might be able to handle it. Some of the lactose in yogurt breaks down during the making progress and the probiotics in it might help with digestion.

Milk Allergy:

Milk products like it contain proteins called casein and whey, which some people are allergic to. If you have a milk allergy, eating it can trigger a range of reactions from hives and swelling to life threatening anaphylaxis. It’s important to avoid it if you have a milk allergy.

Added Sugar:

Many yogurts have a lot of added sugar, especially those labeled as fat. Eating too much sugar can lead to health issues like diabetes and obesity. That’s why it’s important to check food labeled and see if added sugar is listed in the ingredients.

How to Choose the Best Yogurt for Your Health?

  • Choosing plain, unsweetened it is a good option because it has minimal ingredients and no added sugar. You can add nutrient rich toppings like nuts, seeds, and fruits to enhance its flavor.
  • Whether you go for low fat or full fat it depends on personal preference. Full fat, it may have more calories but it’s packed with nutrients and can be more satisfying in terms of taste and hunger.
  • Make sure to pick it’s that have live and active cultures to get the health benefits of probiotics.

How Yogurt is Prepared?

Yogurt is a common dairy product made by fermenting milk with bacteria. These bacteria called “yogurt cultures,” ferment the natural sugar in milk called lactose. This fermentation process creates lactic acid, which makes the milk proteins thicken and gives yogurt its special taste and texture. It can be made from different kinds of milk. Those made from skim milk have no fat, while those made from whole milk have full fat. Plain yogurt without added colors is a thick, white liquid with a tangy taste. But many brands add sugar and artificial flavors. It is a great snack all by itself. But you can also add toppings or other ingredients to make it a meal. Try any of these ideas. Such as:

  • Use a yogurt based dressing as a drip for savory crunchy vegetables like broccoli, carrots, jicama, or celery.
  • Top yogurt with fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or melon to satisfy your sweet tooth.
  • Sprinkle yogurt with nuts such as almonds or walnuts or with seeds such as flax seeds for crunch and flavor.
  • Drizzle plain yogurt with honey for a burst of sweetness.
  • Season with cinnamon, vanilla or your favorite extract to get flavor without adding calories.
  • Make a creamy rich dessert by mixing dark chocolate chips or cocoa nibs into vanilla, coconut or coffee flavored it.
  • Add it to your blender when making a healthy smoothie for a creamier consistency.
  • Make a delicious meal parfait by layering oats, fruit and vanilla yogurt.

Could Eating Yogurt Help Treat Depression?

Researchers discovered that Lactobacillus, a friendly bacteria found in live cultures it, improved depressive-like behavior in mice by changing their gut microbiome, the collection of microorganisms in the intestines. The study team from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, believes that these probiotics might have similar effects in humans. Lead researcher Alban Gaultier, PHD, from the  Center for Brain Immunology and Glia at Virginia says, The hope is that we can improve health and mood simply by changing our diet or the bacteria we consume instead of relying on complex drugs with side effects. Many studies suggest that the gut microbiome plays a key role in mental health. For instance research from 2014 showed that probiotics which increase friendly gut bacteria reduced anxiety and stress in adults.

Low Lactobacillus Levels Led to Depression Like Symptoms in Mice:

In this new study published in the journal Scientist Reports, Gaultier and his team wanted to find out if the gut microbiome affects depression. First, they looked at the gut bacteria of mice before and after they were stressed. When you’re stressed you’re more likely to be depressed and we’ve unknown that for a long time, says Gaultier. The team found that stress made the mice Lactobacillus in their guts which caused them to show symptoms similar to depression. Further research showed that the amount of Lactobacillus in the gut affects a substance in the blood called kynurenine. Other studies have linked kynurenine to depression. In this study, when the mice had less Lactobacillus their levels of kynurenine went up and they showed symptoms of depression. This is the most consistent change we’ve seen in different experiments and settings that look at gut bacteria, says study co-author Loana Marin, also from the Center for Brain Immunology and Glia. We consistently see that Lactobacillus levels match how the mice behave.

Lactobacillus Supplementation Reversed Depression like Symptoms:

Next the researchers gave stressed mice a type of Lactobacillus called Lactobacillus reuteri in their food for 3 weeks. After this, not only did the mice have more Lactobacillus in their bodies, but their depression-like symptoms also went away. These results show that having Lactobacillus in your diet might help treat depression by increasing kynurenine levels. But the researchers say we need a lot more research to be sure about this. There’s been some research in humans and animals showing that this substance, kynurenine can affect behavior, says Marin. It’s made when the body has inflammation which we know is linked to depression. But we still don’t know exactly how it affects the brain. This is what we want to study next. For now the researchers say it’s okay for people with depression to eat it. But they should still talk to their doctors before stopping any medications.

Best Probiotics for Men in 2024:

Probiotics are helpful bacteria that are naturally found in the body. Some people might find that taking probiotics supplements can be beneficial for their health, especially for boosting the immune system and improving digestion.

What are Probiotics?

A probiotic is a type of live microorganism that contains bacteria or yeast. These helpful bacteria are naturally found in the digestive system and can also be found in supplements, yogurts, other fermented foods, and beauty products. The number of bacteria in a probiotic product is measured using (CFU) (colony-forming unit), often in billions. Some people may benefit from probiotics with higher CFU counts. There are many different strains of bacteria that are considered probiotics but the most common ones are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Probiotics can assist with digestion, produce vitamins, and fight off harmful bacteria. They may also help regulate the digestive and immune system. Research from 2020 suggests that probiotics may help reduce constipation and antibiotic associated diarrhea, as well alleviate symptoms of ulcerative colitis and treat gum diseases. A review from 2020 suggests that probiotics may have benefits for:

  • Digestive health
  • Food allergies
  • Brain function
  •  Reducing inflammation

Best Probiotics for Men:

Below we list some of the best probiotics for man. Such as:

  • Ritual synbiotics
  • Persona daily probiotic
  • Pure encapsulations probiotic GI
  • Thorne bacillus coagulans probiotics
  • Care/of probiotics blend
  • Garden of life probiotics for men
  • Florastor daily probiotic supplement
  • Culturelle digestive daily probiotic
  • Nature made digestive probiotics advanced dual action


Why is yogurt better than milk?

It has about 15 to 17 grams of carbs while Greek yogurt has 8 to 9 grams. It has more protein, lactose calcium as well as many vitamins than milk so it’s considered the best. Along with taste it also has many such qualities which gives you many health benefits.

Can I eat yogurt at night?

Eating yogurt before bed or at night is generally safe and can have some potential benefits. Here are a few points to consider: Digestive and Sleep: It is generally easy to digest for most people especially if it contains live and active cultures that aid in digestion.

Is yogurt good for skin?

The presence of probiotics in it helps to restore the natural balance of bacteria on the skin, which can help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause infections. The soothing and cooling properties of it can also help to reduce inflammation and relieve itching associated with skin infections.

Can I eat yogurt after a meal?

Yes, you can eat it after a meal. It is versatile food that can be enjoyed at any time of the day, including after a meal. It can be a healthy and satisfying dessert or a snack option. It contains beneficial bacteria known as probiotics that support gut health and aids digestion.

Does yogurt brighten skin?

Yes, it is true it can help whiten your skin naturally. The lactic acid present in it acts as a natural exfoliant which helps to remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and brighten your complexion.

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