12 Healthy low-carb yogurts for better blood sugar

Yogurt is packed with beneficial probiotics—and, often, sugar. Get the scoop on how to choose the best options for your metabolic health.


Yogurt generally has a rep as a healthy food. It’s a good source of calcium. It contains live and active cultures that can that promote diversity in the microbiome, which benefits gut health and may help lower inflammation throughout the body. And research suggests that people who eat yogurt regularly have better markers of metabolic health—including insulin levels and body fat—compared to those who don’t consume the breakfast staple. It’s also versatile: You can eat it alone, top savory dishes, or add it to smoothies.

But there’s one major catch: Many brands are pumped full of extra sugar. As this video demonstrates, it’s hard to find flavored yogurt not loaded with added sugars. Take Yoplait Whips! Lowfat Yogurt Mousse Cherry Cheesecake, which has 18 grams of added sugars, or Dannon Strawberry Fruit on the Bottom, which has 21 grams—more than 4 teaspoons of sugar in a 5.3-ounce container.

To make the dairy aisle even more overwhelming, there are countless options, from regular to Greek and Icelandic yogurts. There’s also a wide variety of non-dairy yogurts. While some are low in sugar, they can contain flavors and additives to create a creamy texture.

To help simplify your search, we came up with a list of guidelines to help you sort through the health benefits of particular brands, plus a list of our favorite picks to find in the grocery store.

How to Shop for the Healthiest Yogurts

Some varieties are packed with protein and healthy fats with little sugar, while others cram in more sugar than ice cream. For the healthiest yogurt, follow this checklist.

1. Little to no additives

The best yogurts are made with only dairy or non-dairy milk and probiotics such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.To achieve a creamy consistency, some yogurt brands use emulsifiers, such as guar gum and carrageenan. Although they’re safe to eat, research suggests that these two ingredients may trigger inflammation in the gut. Other yogurts use thickening agents, such as starch. While small amounts don’t have much effect, be wary of brands that have it closer to the top or middle of their ingredients list. That means there’s a significant amount of these additives.

2. No added sugars

All dairy products contain a naturally occurring sugar called lactose, which doesn’t spike blood sugar by as much as refined sugars. A 1-cup serving of plain yogurt contains about 9 grams of this sugar, while the same amount of Greek yogurt contains around 6 grams. Lactose plus added sugars make up the total sugar amount on product labels. When shopping, zero in on the added sugars. Also, double-check product names. Some brands feature similar-looking options with different ingredients. For example, one company’s vanilla yogurt packs 12 grams of sugar per 5.3-ounce serving, while its unsweetened version has zero added sugars.

If you prefer a flavored yogurt, choose one made with a natural sweetener, such as stevia or monk fruit, instead of sugar or an artificial sweetener. Although the science is complicated, studies suggest that artificial sweeteners can impact the body’s ability to process insulin and glucose over time. Even better, top plain yogurt with some fresh fruit like frozen berries, or a homemade grain-free granola. (Don’t be fooled by “fruit on the bottom” marketing—it’s often just a sugary jam.) You’ll get bonus fiber to promote healthy digestion and blood glucose levels.

3. Extra benefits

Yogurts high in protein content can help fend off hunger and stabilize blood sugar. Plain Greek yogurt packs in more protein than the regular kind, with 10 grams of protein per 100 grams compared to 5 grams in plain yogurt. Non dairy-based yogurt is usually lower in protein, so consider combining with another source, such as nuts or seeds.

4. Serving size

Yogurt containers come in all shapes and sizes. Keep in mind that the recommended portion for one serving of yogurt is ¾ cup, or a 6-ounce container.

12 Yogurt Brands That Are Good for Metabolic Health

Whether you’re looking for a non-dairy, super-thick, creamy, or flavored yogurt, the following picks are the cream of the crop.

Fage Total 5% Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is strained more than the typical kind, so it’s thicker and denser. It also packs in more protein and calories. But to cut costs, some brands use thickening agents, such as corn starch and pectin. This version only contains Grade A pasteurized skimmed milk and cream and live active yogurt cultures. If you’re watching your intake of saturated fat and calories, the low-fat 2% and nonfat Fage yogurts are also good choices with similar protein and nutrient profiles.

Per serving (3/4 cup): 160 calories, 9 g fat (6 g sat), 5 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 5 g sugars, 15 g protein, 60 mg sodium
Price: $4.99 for 16 ounces

Stonyfield Organic 100% Grassfed Greek Whole Milk Plain Yogurt

This creamy yogurt is made with only organic whole milk and live active cultures. Plus, the milk comes from cows that graze on grass instead of feed. Research shows that grass-fed dairy products are higher in healthy omega-3 fats, which help reduce inflammation.

Per serving (3/4 cup): 150 calories, 6 g fat (3.5 g sat), 7 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 5 g sugars, 16 g protein, 65 mg sodium
Price: $9.79 for 24 ounces

Nancy’s Organic Probiotic Whole Milk Greek Yogurt Plain

This family-owned company uses organic milk plus 11 strains of probiotics to create a creamy Greek yogurt that’s higher in protein—20 grams per serving—than its counterparts.

Per serving (6 ounces): 160 calories, 6 g fat (4 g sat), 7 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 7 g sugars, 20 g protein, 50 mg sodium
Price: $6.99 for 32 ounces

Icelandic Provisions Yogurt Low Fat Plain Skyr

Popular in Iceland, skyr (pronounced “skeer”) is a thicker, creamier version of yogurt. Unlike Greek yogurt, which is regular yogurt that’s strained to remove the whey, skyr gets its consistency from the Icelandic skyr culture and milk. Technically classified as a cheese, skyr is heated to form curds before it’s strained. It’s slightly lower in calories than other yogurts.

Per serving (3/4 cup): 100 calories, 2.5 g fat (1 g sat), 6 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 6 g sugars, 14 g protein, 55 mg sodium
Price: $8.99 for 30 ounces

Trader Joe’s Organic Creamy Cashew Cultured Yogurt Alternative, Plain Unsweetened

This dairy-free yogurt is made with organic cashews, coconut cream, and live active cultures. It’s more affordable than other plant-based yogurts.

Per serving (3/4 cup): 140 calories, 9 g fat (1.5 g sat), 11 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 4 g protein, 10 mg sodium
Price: $4.99 for 24 ounces

Kite Hill Almond Milk Plain Unsweetened Yogurt

The main ingredient in this plant-based yogurt is almond milk. Although it has a creamy consistency, it also contains 3 grams of fiber (from citrus fiber) per serving. The flavored versions contain added sugars, so stick with the plain and stir in your own fruit.

Per serving (3/4 cup): 140 calories, 10 g fat (1 g sat), 9 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 4 g protein, 10 mg sodium
Price: $9.99 for 32 ounces

Culina Plain & Simple Plant Based Yogurt

This company’s founder created this yogurt when she had to remove dairy, sugar, and gluten from her diet. The coconut milk base ups the healthy fat content and lends a natural sweetness without any additives.

Per serving (6 ounces): 230 calories, 23 g fat (21 g sat), 3 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 2 g protein, 30 mg sodium
Price: $9.79 for 16 ounces

Forager Project Organic Probiotic Cashewmilk Unsweetened Plain Yogurt

Made from organic cashew milk, this yogurt is creamier than most of the other vegan alternatives. Bump up the protein by topping it with nuts or seeds.

Per serving (5.3 ounces): 130 calories, 9 g fat (3 g sat), 9 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 3 g protein, 10 mg sodium
Price: $2.59 for 1 5.3-ounce container 

Lavva Dairy Free Pili Nut Yogurt, Raspberry

This yogurt is made from coconut and pili nuts, a rich, buttery tropical nut harvested in Southeast Asia. Free from added sugars, this yogurt gets its flavor from fresh raspberries, plantains, and a touch of lime juice for a little tang. It’s also available in strawberry, blueberry, mango, and vanilla.

Per serving (5.3 ounces): 140 calories, 11 g fat (7 g sat), 9 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 7 g sugars, 2 g protein, 65 mg sodium
Price: $8.49 for 16 ounces

Two Good Greek Yogurt

Some flavored yogurts serve up as much sugar as soda. But this brand is sweetened with stevia, so it contains only two grams (and no added sugar) per serving. The individually packaged cups make them a good option for kids’ on-the-go lunches and snacks.

Per serving (1 5.3-ounce cup): 80 calories, 2 g fat (1 g sat), 4 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 12 g protein, 35 mg sodium
Price: $5.49 for 4 cups

Siggi’s Lower Sugar Skyr

Available in vanilla and strawberry flavors, this creamy skyr is sweetened with stevia. It delivers a protein punch for a moderate number of calories, with 14 grams per 100-calorie serving.

Per serving (1 5.3-ounce cup): 100 calories, 3 g fat (1.5 g sat), 4 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 14 g protein, 35 mg sodium
Price: $6.65 for 4 cups

Cocojune Kids Organic Dairy-Free Yogurt Banana Strawberry

This coconut-based yogurt comes in a squeezable pouch that’s perfect for little hands. It’s flavored with strawberries, bananas, and sweet potatoes, so it’s free of added sugar. Plus, it contains probiotics and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.

Per serving (1 3.2-ounce pouch): 80 calories, 4 g fat (4 g sat), 9 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 1 g protein, 10 mg sodium
Price: $2.99 for 1 pouch

*The prices in this article reflect those listed by the retailer at the time of publication. Prices and local store availability may vary.

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