Yogurt is a nutrient dense food

Yogurt is a nutrient-rich food

Yogurt is a nutrient-dense food - YINI

Yogurt contains both micronutrients – vitamins and minerals – and macronutrients, including proteins and fatty acids.

  • Yogurt contains high-quality protein, including all nine essential amino acids in the proportions needed for protein synthesis.
  • Yogurt is a rich source of calcium, providing up to 20% of daily calcium intake per 116 g or ~4-ounce portion (one average pot).
  • Yogurt also provides smaller amounts of many other micronutrients, including potassium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, iodine, vitamin A, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B5, vitamin B12 and in some countries, vitamin D.

Yogurt consumption helps meet nutrient intake requirements

Yogurt and other dairy products contribute to key nutrient intakes for adults and children. That is why most regional and national food-based dietary guidelines recommend the consumption of dairy products – and, when amounts are specified, two or three servings per day are typically recommended.


Many people fall short of meeting recommended intakes of certain nutrients in their diet. Close to 30% of men and 60% of women in the USA do not consume enough calcium and >90% do not consume enough vitamin D. Deficiencies of several nutrients persist in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia including calcium, vitamins A, D, B12 and zinc.
Yogurt contributes many of these nutrients. For example, 125 g (~4 ounces) of plain yogurt provides, among other nutrients, 20% of an adult’s recommended daily intake of calcium, 21% of riboflavin, 11% of vitamin B12, and 16% of phosphorus.

Data from the USA National Health Nutrition and Examination Survey (NHANES), the Canadian Community Health Survey, and the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey show that yogurt consumers have higher daily intakes of several key nutrients including riboflavin, vitamin C, folate, vitamin D, potassium, iron, magnesium and calcium.

Contribution of yogurt to daily energy and nutrient intake - YINI
Furthermore, regular yogurt eaters are more likely to meet or exceed nutrient recommendations for vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, riboflavin, folate, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc and iodine
Nutrient inadequacy in yogurt consumers versus non-consumers - YINI
“Yogurt is a nutrient-dense food containing a wide range of macro and micro-nutrients. Eating yogurt every day can help us meet our recommended levels of several key nutrients.” – Professor Frans Kok


Good diet quality is important for children and adolescents to support growth and development.
Teenagers are especially at risk of nutrient shortfall, and vitamin D, calcium, potassium, fibre and iron are of particular concern. Yogurt is a valuable part of a balanced nutrient-rich diet during childhood, contributing a substantial percentage of a child’s needs for micronutrients and macronutrients.

Data from the USA NHANES show that increasing dairy food consumption (milk, cheese and yogurt) to meet the recommended level in the USA for adolescents of three servings per day can make up for the shortfall of three nutrients of public health concern – calcium, vitamin D and potassium.

The UK survey data suggest that adding a 125 g (~4 ounces) pot of low-fat fruit yogurt per day to adolescents’ diets would increase mean calcium intake from below to above the Recommended Nutrient Intake.

Yogurt’s contribution to total and added sugar intake is relatively low

The World Health Organization recommends limiting the consumption of non-milk extrinsic sugars – which include those added to food by manufacturers or by consumers – to a maximum of 10% energy intake. However, many people in Western societies are exceeding this threshold.

Concerns that sweetened yogurt contributes to these excess sugar intakes are not supported by the scientific data. In the USA, a NHANES analysis found that flavoured yogurt contributes about 1% of added sugars to the diets of adults. This compared with 28.1% from soft drinks.

Added sugar intake increases throughout childhood and amounts to 15% of total daily energy intake among adolescents. While more than 50% of total sugars and 66% of added sugars in children’s diets come from sweet products such as cakes, sweets and sugary drinks, yogurt accounts for only 1–8% of total sugars and 4–9% of added sugar in children’s diets in Europe.



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