If you are looking for the best probiotic yogurts for a happy gut and a satisfied stomach, this article is perfect for you. We go over the seven best yogurts in each category: greek, icelandic, regular, no sugar added, drinkable, plant-based and lactose-free.
Yogurt is not only a great source of gut-friendly probiotics. It’s high in protein (some higher than others depending on the brand), high in calcium and tastes amazing, especially with some fresh fruit and granola or nuts and seeds.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are good bacteria that live in our body, especially our guts. They play an essential role in digestion, prevention of sickness, synthesizing vitamins and nutrients and breaking down and absorbing medications.
Luckily, we are able to increase the amount and diversity of probiotics in our gut through the foods we consume. Eating foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics (the food that feeds probiotics) can help us do so. Foods like yogurt, kimchi, kefir, miso, kombucha, sourdough, sauerkraut and fermented pickles contain probiotics.
You can also take probiotics in pill form, but I highly suggest speaking with your doctor before doing so. Research still hasn’t definitively shown that probiotic supplements are beneficial for healthy individuals. That being said, probiotics from food sources seem to be beneficial for all.
What to look for in a probiotic yogurt
When searching for a yogurt, consider protein, calcium and added sugar. Ideally, one container of yogurt should contain at least 10 grams of protein, at least 10% of your daily calcium recommendation and less than 10 grams of added sugar. Just remember 10/10/10 for short!
If added sugar is a big concern, you can always consider purchasing plain yogurt and adding your own fresh fruit and honey for sweetness. You can also purchase yogurt with no added sugar. Luckily this is being more popular and there are plenty of brands that offer this option.
You should also consider fat percentage. If you are looking for a low calorie option, nonfat or low fat is going to be your best option. That being said, whole milk yogurt tastes much better, plus there is emerging research to suggest full fat dairy may be beneficial.
The Best Greek Yogurt: Fage Total Greek Yogurt 2%
This deliciously creamy yogurt contains 7 grams of added sugar (this differs depending on the flavor), 12 grams of protein and 10% of your daily calcium recommendation. Plus, this brand offers a variety of flavors so you never get bored.
The Best Icelandic Yogurt: Siggi’s 2% Lowfat Yogurt
Icelandic yogurt is so unique because it’s especially high in protein and has a thick and creamy texture. This yogurt contains about 6 grams of added sugar, 15 grams of protein and 10% of your daily calcium requirements.
The Best Regular Yogurt: Stonyfield Farm Plain Whole Milk Yogurt
If you dislike the creaminess or thickness of greek or icelandic yogurt, this regular yogurt is a good option. It contains 0 grams of added sugar (so you can add your own fruit and honey on top), 6 grams of protein and 15% of your daily calcium requirement. While I wish it had a bit more protein, you can always add some nut butter, nuts or seeds on top for an extra boost.
The Best Low Sugar Yogurt: Dannon Light & Fit
This was my go to yogurt when I worked an office job because it’s super tasty by itself and the perfect snack. It contains about 2 grams of added sugar, 12 grams of protein and 10% of your daily calcium recommendation. The toasted marshmallow flavor is the best (in my opinion).
The Best Drinkable Yogurt: Activia Probiotic Dailies
If you don’t like the taste or texture of probiotic yogurt, this is your best shot. These taste just like those Danimals yogurt drinks you had when you were a kid. One drink contains 6 grams of added sugar, 3 grams of protein and 10% of your daily calcium recommendation.
These do fall short on protein, but they taste great and are easy to consume, so they made the list. Plus, the probiotic strain added to this yogurt is really well researched, which I love to see as a dietitian.
The Best Plant-Based Yogurt: Siggi’s Plant Based
These are the best plant-based yogurt I was able to find. They are high in protein, creamy just like greek or icelandic yogurt and taste great. One container contains about 7 grams of added sugar, 10 grams of protein and 4% of your daily calcium recommendation.
They do fall short on calcium, but honestly it’s difficult to find a plant-based yogurt that doesn’t. If you avoid dairy, try consuming a plant-based milk alternative or orange juice that is fortified with calcium. You can also get calcium through consuming canned fish with bones, calcium set tofu and calcium fortified breakfast cereals.
The Best Lactose-Free Yogurt: Fage Best Self Plain Yogurt
If you are lactose intolerant, but don’t want to eat a plant-based yogurt, this lactose-free yogurt is perfect for you. One container has about 0 grams of added sugar, 15 grams of protein and 15% of your daily calcium requirement. Add some fruit, honey, granola or nuts and seeds on top to add some more flavor and sweetness!