Low carb diets call for foods to be low in carbohydrates. Labels on yogurt depict them as being high carb. Is there a low carb yogurt option?
The purpose of a low carb diet is to cut back on carbohydrates to stabilize insulin levels and prevent insulin spikes after eating. Under this ideology one would not be able to consume yogurt.
If you look at the labels on containers of yogurt, the average serving of yogurt contains ten to twenty grams of carbohydrates. This technically makes it a food not suitable to those on strict ketogenic low carb diets.
However, the method of figuring out carbohydrates in fermented products is not the most accurate. The method done is “by difference”.
The difference method adds up all the parts of the product. This includes: water, fats, and proteins. It is then assumed the rest of the content are carbohydrates.
Now let’s take a look at why eating yogurt on a low carb diet is okay…
Is Yogurt Low Carb?
Products like yogurt, kefir, and buttermilk contain bacteria. These bacteria are naturally found in the intestines. Their purpose is to break down food.
What do bacteria do in yogurt? Considering yogurt is a dairy product, it is known that yogurt contains lactose. Lactose is milk sugar which comprise the carbohydrates found in yogurt. However, an important process happens between manufacturing and you consuming the product at home.
In the finished product, the active bacteria are busy at work consuming the lactose for energy. This lactose is then converted to lactic acid which is NOT a carbohydrate. This is the reason behind the low carb yogurt theory.
By the time you’re eating this creamy dairy product on a low carb diet, the bacteria have eaten almost all of the carbohydrates! Thus, it can be assumed according to this article that half a cup of yogurt contains 2 grams of carbohydrates.
For a full cup of no sugar added low carb yogurt, expect approximately 4 grams of carbohydrates. This data was tested and proven in a laboratory by Dr. Goldberg, co-author of the Go-Diet.
What Are the Low Carb Yogurt Options?
Now that you know why yogurt can be consumed on a low carb diet, you may be wondering about the type of yogurt that can should be consumed. Which is better? Nonfat? Low fat? Normal fat? The answer is they are all equally as good for you.
Keep in mind, when following a low carb diet, higher fat foods are always preferred. This is because dietary fat burns more efficiently in the human body. It also leaves the body feeling satiated longer.
So, look for full fat plain yogurt. Greek yogurt is lowest in carbs because some of the whey has been removed. You can also strain the yogurt yourself to remove the whey and obtain the thick Greek style yogurt.
Yogurt is a great food to incorporate into the diet. It is rich in B vitamins. Yogurt is also rich in cultured bacteria that are essential for digestion health. These bacteria prevent indigestion, gassiness, and diarrhea.
Do not be fooled by the carbohydrate count you read on yogurt’s label. The actual number of carbs has been proven to be mere fractions of what consumers put on their labels. So go ahead an enjoy eating yogurt on a low carb diet!