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What are the Different Types of Yogurt?

Yogurt comes in a delightful variety, each offering unique benefits and tastes. From creamy Greek yogurt, rich in protein, to the probiotic-packed kefir, the choices cater to diverse dietary needs and preferences. There's also plant-based options like almond and coconut yogurt for the lactose-intolerant or vegan. Intrigued by how these yogurts differ in nutrition and use? Join us as we examine further.
Thomma Grindstaff
Thomma Grindstaff

Yogurt, also spelled as yoghurt, is a dairy food created by fermenting bacteria that is present in milk, and it comes in many different varieties. Plain yogurt refers to types that are not flavored. Varieties that are fruit-flavored typically have pieces of fruit mixed with it, such as blueberry, strawberry or banana. Many people enjoy frozen yogurt as a substitute for ice cream. Types vary depending on where they are made.

Though all types are nutritious, plain yogurt tends to be more rich in nutrients than its fruit-flavored counterparts. There is no sugar added to plain varieties, and while it is less caloric than fruit-flavored versions, it is richer in calcium and contains nearly twice as much protein. Plain yogurt is usually made from cow's milk, but it can also be made from sheep's milk or goat's milk. Unflavored types vary depending on whether the type of milk used in making it is whole, low fat, or nonfat.

A bowl of yogurt.
A bowl of yogurt.

Fruit-flavored yogurt is popular because of its taste, but its sugar content tends to be high. Because its consistency resembles custard, it is sometimes called custard-style. Varieties flavored with fruit may also be referred to as French-style or Swiss-style.

People who are lactose intolerant can still enjoy yogurt because of changes that occur during fermentation. The process of making this product actually creates an enzyme, lactase, which is needed by lactose-intolerant people in order to properly digest dairy products. This is why some people prefer frozen yogurt over ice cream. Frozen versions, however, contain roughly the same amount of fat and sugar as ice cream, and freezing it destroys the majority of the live bacteria that promote good health.

Man making yogurt.
Man making yogurt.

Yogurt is made and enjoyed all over the world. European-style is particularly creamy and smooth because it is made in big vats where the curds can be stirred well. Greek versions, which are strained three times while they are being made, resembles sour cream in their smoothness and thick consistency.

Skyr, or Icelandic yogurt, isn't actually yogurt at all but an extremely soft, nonfat cheese. Dahi is a version from India that comes in sweet and sour varieties and is frequently eaten as a dessert or as an appetizer. Raita is a sauce for dipping that is made from dahi. Zabadi is a type from the Middle East that is popular in drinks. The fat content of Rahmjoghurt, a creamy German yogurt, tends to be around 10% higher than that of other versions made and sold in Western countries.

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Discussion Comments


I like Middle Eastern labna. It's made by removing the water from plain yogurt. It kind of tastes like cream cheese, it's yummy.


@anamur-- Dahi is plain yogurt made from whole fat milk. People usually make dahi at home, so I think the restaurants probably do too.

Store bought yogurts always taste different and there will be less flavor if you buy non-fat yogurt.

Dahi is not just used for raita in India but also to make lassi (yogurt smoothie). It's also used in many dishes, especially to marinate meats.

Neighboring countries like Bangladesh have varying versions of dahi. For example, they have a sweet version with mango, that is also eaten with meals.


What's the difference between dahi and yogurt?

I love raita. I eat it with my meals whenever I eat out at an Indian restaurant. Since I like it so much, I decided to make it at home. I bought the spices and plain yogurt from the store and mixed everything together. But it's not the same as the raita I eat at stores. I guess they are using dahi, that's why. But what is the difference between dahi and the plain low fat yogurt we get from the grocery store exactly?

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    • A bowl of yogurt.
      A bowl of yogurt.
    • Man making yogurt.
      By: areafoto
      Man making yogurt.
    • Fermenting milk in a yogurt maker.
      By: star athena
      Fermenting milk in a yogurt maker.
    • A cup of yogurt.
      By: NilsZ
      A cup of yogurt.
    • Frozen yogurt.
      By: sonnenklang
      Frozen yogurt.
    • Greek yogurt has a high protein content that is approximately double that of traditional yogurt.
      By: asife
      Greek yogurt has a high protein content that is approximately double that of traditional yogurt.