Yogurt may be listed alongside broccoli and salmon on the Center for Science in the Public Interest's "Best Foods" list, however, you shouldn't assume all types of yogurt are as healthy as the plain, unsweetened variety the Center recommends. Nonfat yogurt and full-fat yogurt vary in nutritional value, and this can have an affect on your dieting efforts if you eat a lot of yogurt.
An 8 oz. serving of nonfat yogurt contains 120 calories, while 8 oz. of full-fat yogurt has 170 calories. A difference of 50 calories per serving can be significant if you often eat yogurt; 10 servings of yogurt per week would add up to a 500 calorie difference, which is equivalent to two jelly donuts. If you had two servings of yogurt per day, the daily calorie difference would be equivalent to an 8 oz. can of soda, which contains 100 calories.
Like many dairy products, yogurt is naturally rich in fat. For this reason, consuming nonfat yogurt can be beneficial if you are on a low-fat diet. An 8 oz. serving of full-fat yogurt has 4.5 g of fat, with 3 g of saturated fat. Although fat is rich in calories, it is essential for health. The American Heart Association suggests consuming 50 g to 70 g of fat daily, with 16 g or less of saturated fat.
The carbohydrate content of nonfat yogurt and full-fat yogurt does not vary much. An 8 oz. serving of full-fat yogurt contains 20 g of carbohydrates, with 17 g of sugar. Nonfat yogurt is slightly lower in carboyhdrates, with 18 g total and 17 g of sugar.
Protein is vital for your body becuase it helps promote healthy skin and muscles. The protein content in both full fat and nonfat yogurt are close -- an 8 oz. serving of full-fat yogurt contains 11 g and nonfat yogurt contains 12 g per 8 oz. You should get between 50 to 65 g of protein a day, according to the National Institutes of Health's Medline Plus.
- Center for Science in the Public Interest: Ten Worst and Best Foods
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Mountain High Fat Free Plain Yogurt
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Activia Plain Yogurt
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Dunkin' Donuts Jelly Filled Donut
- American Heart Association: Know Your Fats
- Medline Plus: Dietary Proteins