Today I’d like to suggest making one simple swap in your diet. It’s so obvious it feels silly to write about. But considering the fact that cafeterias in schools, offices, and airports provide non-organic, sugary fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt as the only “healthy” breakfast option, I have to address this issue.
Here’s the thing. Yes, yogurt is a healthy food. I often eat it for breakfast because is gives me protein and probiotics, and I love the taste of full fat yogurt. The problem is, I don’t consider most supermarket brands to be real yogurt. These brands have made their way under the health halo of yogurt being good for you. People might even think, hey! They have fruit in them too–that’s even better for you. Sure, I guess they are still a much better alternative to a chocolate frosted donut for breakfast, but I can’t endorse them when there’s a superior choice in yogurt.
First of all, regular and organic dairy is probably nutritionally similar, but buying organic reduces the use of antibiotics in livestock. Most conventional brands do not use organic dairy. Then there’s the issue of additives. In a popular supermarket brand of fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt, the ingredient list includes some strange stuff that isn’t real yogurt or fruit: sugar, fructose syrup, high fructose corn syrup, modified corn starch, kosher gelatin, sodium phosphate, malic acid, natural flavor, and calcium phosphate. In a 6oz (not even one cup) serving of this yogurt there is 25 grams of sugar! Let’s not even talk about how devoid of nutrients the “fruit” on the bottom probably is.
So here’s the swap. Make your own fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt. It will take you less time to assemble this at home than it will to wait in line at the cashier to buy your pre-made yogurt with the nasty additives. Get some real, plain yogurt, preferably organic. This should only have 12-14 grams of sugar in one cup of yogurt and you’ll see from the ingredient list that it is not added sugar. Then get some fresh or frozen organic fruit, either berries or chopped up fruit. Put your fruit on the bottom of a mason jar, top with a cup of yogurt, screw the cap on and take your breakfast with you! If you must, add a teaspoon or two of jam or honey, but if you’re getting good fruit, you shouldn’t need the extra sugar. There you go. Brekkie has been upgraded.