Carolyn Phillips: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Yogurt

Fit-inista Carolyn Phillips– our on air personal trainer– is back with more tips to get you in shape and what you need to do to stay that way!

Yogurt isn’t necessarily as good for you as many people think, so Carolyn is here to give you the complete rundown, to help you make you own decision if it’s the right thing for you to include in your diet.

There’s a LOT of yogurts out there, but there’s basically four types– traditional, Greek, frozen and now non-dairy yogurt.

For traditional yogurt, you need to look at the sugar content.  Many of them contain 40 grams of sugar… that’s 10 teaspoons of sugar!  You could probably eat a piece of cake and it would be just as valuable (meaning the yogurt isn’t that great).  Another thing to look for is if it has live or active cultures– the probiotic seal.  This is one of the reasons yogurt can be good for you, so look on the label to see if your yogurt does have active cultures.

When it comes to Greek yogurt, it’s made by a different process– strained three times instead of two times, which makes it much creamier.  But this removes some of the calcium, so it’s actually not as good.  Marketing and branding pretends frozen yogurt is healthier than ice cream, but it’s really all the same thing.  It can be a nice treat, but don’t think you’re being “healthy” by choosing this instead of ice cream.  Non-dairy yogurt is made from coconut milk, almond milk, or flax seed.

So what are the pros and cons of these various yogurts?  On the PRO side, probiotics can help maintain a balance of bacteria to boost your immune system and promote healthy digestion.  Yogurt can also be a source of calcium, protein and active cultures.

For CONS, there’s the sugar issue, plus sometimes marketers skew the results on digestive benefits of yogurt, since most of these studies are founded by yogurt companies.  If you see the words HEAT TREATED, stay clear– that means the active cultures will be killed.  Much of your yogurt is also coming from cows treated with hormones, steroids and other things to plump them up and increase milk production.  if you eat yogurt from the milk of these cows, you’re going to be ingesting that.

For more from Carolyn Phillips, check out, or for all things stretching, life, love and happiness, go to Carolyn’s blog at

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