Why You Should Read The Label The Next Time You Buy Yogurt

Did you know you can use yogurt to make lasagna and tuna salad? Once eaten simply as a breakfast or snack food, yogurt today has become a healthier ingredient swap in many of your favorite recipes. According to Undeniably Dairy, Greek yogurt can replace sour cream in dips, ricotta cheese in lasagna, cream cheese in desserts, and much more. Talk about a food of many talents!

While yogurt may produce a similar taste and texture to richer ingredients, it often brings a variety of health benefits to whatever dish it's in. Cleveland Clinic shares that yogurt is high in protein, calcium, and probiotics, and has even been shown to help with blood pressure and cholesterol maintenance.

However, all yogurt is not created equal. With the myriad of yogurt choices available in grocery stores today, healthy options can be lined up next to ones that are closer to candy, and it's easy to confuse the two. To determine which one is right for you, you may want to look at the label before purchasing.

Some yogurts sneak in unhealthy ingredients

When it comes to unhealthier yogurts, the problem isn't in the yogurt itself; it's in whatever toppings or additives come with it. One of the main things to watch out for is added sugar, which can be labeled as sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, or agave nectar, among other names, according to Healthline. Sugar can pop up in various ways, ranging from grape jelly (less obvious) to cookie dough chunks sprinkled on top (more obvious).

According to registered dietitian Amy Shapiro (via Real Simple), yogurts made with monk fruit and stevia are better options if you're looking for a little sweetness. Because let's face it — a plain bowl of tart Greek yogurt isn't the most appetizing. Or, when in doubt, buy plain yogurt and throw in some real fruit for flavor.

Fat content is another factor to keep in mind. Huffington Post explains that full-fat yogurt will keep you fuller for longer than low-fat yogurt. According to Bon Appétit, the fat in dairy products even allows our bodies to better retain their nutrients.

If you're looking for a healthy yogurt, Healthline recommends finding one with as few ingredients as possible, none of which are added sugar. But if those candy-flavored yogurt concoctions are calling your name, reading the label first can give you a sense of what you're actually consuming.