Yogurt Nutrition
~ Breaking it Down ~

Yogurt is nutritious.  If you're looking for a calcium rich food that contains half the recommended daily iodine, plus B complex vitamins and protein, look no further.

Yogurt and Milk

Yogurt nutrition is similar to milk from which it was made.  One important difference is that the protein is partially broken down during fermentation.  This makes it easier to digest

Yogurt contains significant amounts of these necessary nutrients:   

  • iodine - 50% of recommended daily intake, necessary for proper thyroid function
  • calcium - 45% of recommended daily intake
  • potassium - 20% of recommended daily intake
  • B complex vitamins - 32% Riboflavin, 25% B12, 15% Pantothenic Acid; of recommended daily intake
  • high quality protein
  • most of the required essential amino acids

All this and other required nutrients for less than 160 calories (serving size: 245g / 8 oz). 

This page presents yogurt nutrition information published by Health Canada.  It's dry... but gives substance to claims about yoghurt's nutritional value.

If tables and data put you to sleep you may want to skip ahead to Calcium in Yogurt or Protein in Yogurt.


Calories In Yogurt

Homemade Yogurt

Homemade Greek Yogurt

Yogurt Nutrition Information

Nutrients in 245 g / 8 oz Plain 1% Milk Yogurt

Water                    
Energy
Protein
Saturated Fat
Total Fat
Cholesterol
Carbohydrate
Sugars, total

208.42 g
154 kcal
12.86 g
2.4 g
3.8 g
15 g
17.25 g
17.25 g


Yogurt Nutrition - Vitamins

Amount per 245 g / 8 oz serving                                     % Recommended RDA

Vitamin C
Thiamin
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Niacin
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
Vitamin B6
Folate, total
Choline, total 1
Betaine 1
Vitamin B12
Vitamin A, RAE
Retinol
Carotene, beta
Carotene, alpha
Cryptoxanthin, beta
Vitamin A, IU
Lycopene
Lutein + zeaxanthin
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
Vitamin D
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)

2 mg
0.108 mg
0.524 mg
0.279 mg
1.448 mg
0.12 mg
27 mcg
37.2 mg
2.2 mg
1.37 mcg
34 IU
34 mcg
5 mcg
0
0
125 mcg
0
0
0.07 mcg
2 mcg
0.5 mcg

4%
8%
32%
2%
15%
6%
7%


25%
0%







0%

1%

% RDA calculated from Health Canada's RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance).


Yogurt Nutrition - Minerals

Amount per 245 g / 8 oz serving                                     % Recommended RDA

Calcium
Iron
Magnesium
Phosphorus
Potassium
Sodium
Zinc
Copper
Manganese
Selenium
Fluoride
Iodine

448 mg
0.2 mg
42 mg
353 mg
573 mg
172 mg
2.18 mg
0.032 mg
0.01 mg
8.1 mcg
29.4 mcg
75 mcg

45%
1%
12%
35%
20%
8%
15%
2%
1%
13%

50%

% RDA calculated from Health Canada's RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance).


Calcium in Yogurt

Here's one place yogurt shines.  Curd is high in calcium relative to the amount of calories. 


245 grams (8 ounces) of yogurt supplies:

  • 45% of the 1,000 mg/day RDA of calcium for women 19-50 and men 
  • 37% of the 1,200 mg/day RDA of calcium for women 51-70 (RDA=recommended dietary allowance; Health Canada)

but only contains 8% of your daily calories (based on 2,000 calories/day).


Not only that, calcium from yogurt is more readily absorbed than calcium from milk and many other foods.  The reason for this is in the fermentation.  When milk is changed to yogurt, lactic acid is produced and the milk components are partially digested.  The combination of the high acid and increased digestibility greatly enhances calcium absorption from yogurt (Helferich, William and Westhoff, Dennis, All About Yogurt.  Prentice-Hall, Inc. New Jersey, 1980).

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Protein Value of Yogurt

Homemade Curd

This is a bit of a science lesson... don't go away, it won't be that bad.  :)

Proteins are made up of chains of amino acidsProteins are used efficiently when the proper balance of amino acids are present.  An example would be a bowl of cereal grains.  The proteins aren't used as efficiently because the amino acids are out of balance.  

In yogurt, the amino acids are quite nicely balanced.


Amino Acids

Tryptophan
Threonine
Isoleucine
Leucine
Lysine
Methionine
Cystine
Phenylalanine
Tyrosine

0.074 g
0.529 g
0.701 g
1.296 g
1.154 g
0.38 g
0.118 g
0.701 g
0.649 g

Valine
Arginine
Histidine
Alanine
Aspartic acid
Glutamic acid
Glycine
Proline
Serine

1.063 g
0.387 g
0.319 g
0.551 g
1.019 g
2.519 g
0.311 g
1.524 g
0.796 g


Protein that's easily broken down in the gut, absorbed and effectively used by the body is considered high quality.  The quality of the protein is a main factor when determining the protein requirement.  Protein in yogurt is high quality.

The PDCAAS (what??!!?) chart below compares the quality of protein in different foods.  Wikipedia explains; PDCAAS "is a method of evaluating the protein quality based on both the amino acid requirements of humans and their ability to digest it".

The BV (biologic value) was an older method of evaluating the quality of protein.

Just look at the quality of protein in yogurt... it's higher than beef, chicken and tuna.

Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS)

A PDCAAS value of 1 is the highest and 0 the lowest.

Food                                          BV       PDCAAS   Serving size          Protein (g)

whey protein (isolate)
salmon
egg, hard boiled
soy protein
yogurt, low fat, plain
chicken breast,boneless,cooked
ground beef, lean cooked   tuna, canned in water
peanut butter, chunky, unsweetened

159
76
93.7
74
84
79
80
83
83

1.0
1.0
0.97
0.96
0.95
0.91
0.91
0.90
0.52

1 oz/28 g
3 oz/85 g
1 large
1 oz/28 g
1 cup/8 oz/227 g
3 oz/85 g
3 oz/85 g
3 oz/85 g
2 tablespoons/32 g

24
18.8
6
23
12
27
24
23
7.7

PDCAAS Sources:
    Health Canada, Nutrient Value of Some Common Foods (1999)
    Tufts University School of Medicine; Harvard University
    USDA National Nutrient Data Bank

Reviewed and Prepared by: The Science Desk, Bariatric Advantage; https://www1.bariatricadvantage.com


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