Both yogurt and milk are dairy products made from cow's milk. You can find several varieties of milk and yogurt that differ in the fat percentage, sugar content and added vitamins. Yogurt tends to contain more sugar and calories than milk, making milk a better choice for you, especially if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight.
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The calorie content of milk and yogurt depends on the amount of sugar, protein and fat the products have. A cup of nonfat milk contains 82 calories, 8 g of protein and 12 g of sugar. While a cup of nonfat fruit yogurt contains over 230 calories, 11 g of protein and 47 g of sugar. Because yogurt contains more calories and considerably more sugar, milk is better for you when it comes to the nutritional content.
Yogurt and milk are good sources of vitamin B-12 and riboflavin or vitamin B-2. A cup of nonfat milk or nonfat fruit yogurt contains little over 1 mcg of vitamin-B12 and 0.4 mg of riboflavin. The recommended daily intake of these vitamins for adults are 2.4 mcg and around 1.3 mg. Both yogurt and milk contain over 45 and 30 percent of your daily requirement of these vitamins.
Yogurt contains more calcium than milk. A cup of nonfat fruit yogurt has 370 mg, while a cup of nonfat milk has only 300 mg. These correspond to 37 and 30 percent of your daily need. Yogurt also contains slightly more of phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. All of these are important minerals your body needs every day. Thus yogurt is a better source of minerals.
The sugar content of yogurt can vary between different brands and flavors. Check the label and pick a yogurt with a low amount of sugar. Use low-fat or nonfat dairy products to limit your intake of saturated fats. Ideally, use a nonfat milk that has been fortified with vitamin A and D. One cup of vitamin fortified nonfat milk provides 500 IU of vitamin A and 115 IU of vitamin D. These correspond to 19 to 23 percent of your daily vitamin A need and over 50 percent of vitamin D need, making milk a better choice than yogurt.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Nutrient Data Laboratory
- Council for Responsible Nutrition; Recommended Intakes of Vitamins and Essential Minerals; Annette Dickinson; June 2002