After discovering that conventional dairy (as in pasteurized, store bought) caused some unfavorable symptoms for me, I decided it was in my best interest to look for an alternative yogurt option.
These days, there are SO many to choose from. It wasn’t too hard to find 15 different ones across 3 stores, and I tried them all (and I know there are still many more out there). I stayed away from soy, so those aren’t included here.
I have compiled the choices I found and ranked them based on flavor and nutrition. Below is a chart with the nutrition information. Here is how I ranked them: First flavor, then nutrition. No matter how good something is for us, we won’t eat it consistently if it doesn’t taste good. I don’t even advocate doing so- there is too much delicious AND healthy food out there for us to be eating things we don’t enjoy. The bigger issue might be about training our tastebuds to actually like healthier foods better, but I digress.
Prioritizing flavor doesn’t mean I’m recommending Gogurt! I tried to stick with options that had mostly clean ingredients and went from there. So the number one dairy-free yogurt on this list is the one that tastes the best (to me), but it also has a letter grade of A for nutrition. From there, if I liked the taste of three yogurts the same, they’re ranked by nutrition. Flavor is ranked 1-10, 10 being the best, and nutrition is ranked with letter grades A-D (didn’t have any F’s because I didn’t buy any of those). Colors on the chart indicate the type of yogurt: blue for coconut, yellow for almond, pink for cashew, green for oat.
I chose vanilla flavors for all the yogurts I tried, to maintain a constant as best I could. Some are “Vanilla Chamomile” or “Vanilla Cinnamon,” but all are vanilla. If your top priority is nutrition or you need to choose based on avoiding certain ingredients or sugar content, but you want to actually enjoy the yogurt, I recommend adding fruit, granola or nuts. Even the ones I didn’t enjoy that much tasted pretty good when mixed with toppings. I tried mostly coconut yogurt varieties, and that is because a) they seem to be in the most abundance in stores and b) I tend to like them the best. The latter is likely related to coconut milk being higher in fat than nut-milks, which contributes to satiety and flavor. There was also this strange phenomenon of most nut milk yogurts tasting like icing to me, which wasn’t ideal.
Please keep in mind that these are my personal taste opinions and professional nutrition opinions. Your tastes could be totally different, so read my descriptions on the right of the chart and that might help you decide if we align! I do have a certification as a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, but my nutrition assessment is relatively surface and I did not dig deep into each company and their ingredient sourcing. This started as a fun little project and its intent is to inform and share my opinions. Constructive feedback and comments welcome. If I continue to try more brands as they become available in my area, I will update the spreadsheet!
Below is my Winner! Culina brand! Taste: 10, Nutrition: A