4 Types of Yogurt You Should Know About

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Do you ever feel overwhelmed by choices in the yogurt aisle of the grocery store? There are so many options these days, it can be hard to know where to start. First, it's good to know what yogurt is. Any dairy product fermented by bacterial cultures is considered yogurt. Learning about the differences between the varieties, however, can help you discover your new favorite breakfast, snack or recipe substitution. 

Plain

Made by heating milk, cooling it, adding bacterial cultures and letting the mixture ferment until lactic acid is formed. This process is the base for many other yogurts. It contains a lot of liquid, which makes it good for moistening baked products. It also is the mildest form of all the yogurts, which makes it an appealing option for children. 

Greek

Made using the same process as plain yogurt, but strained to remove some of the liquid after the milk has curdled. Nutritionally, Greek yogurt has more protein and fewer carbohydrate than regular plain yogurt, and has a denser mouthfeel. The resulting flavor is usually tangier, too.

Skyr

This thick, creamy, high-protein yogurt from Iceland might be a bit more hidden on the common American grocery store shelf. Skyr has the same slightly sour flavor as Greek yogurt, but has a milder flavor and mouthfeel.

Kefir

Kefir is a drinkable yogurt sold in bottles, using grains of a yeast starter to begin the fermentation process. Those with the acquired taste for it enjoy its carbonation and its thin consistency. People with lactose intolerance might be interested in giving this one a shot, as it contains a very low amount of lactose. 

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Carina Chiodo
Carina Chiodo is earning her Master of Science degree in nutrition and food science from California State University, Chico.