How can you go wrong with yoghurt? A cultured food? A probiotic?……..What next?

As we have evolved on our food journey we have found the most important thing has been, simply knowing the food we put into our bodies. Gaining this knowledge has helped us gain this awareness, and with awareness comes change.Many yogurts in the supermarkets are full of refined sugar, skim milk, milk solids, many ‘numbers’, and questionably little nutrition.  We do make our own yoghurt when we have a surplus of raw milk, but most often, we buy yoghurt from the shops. We decided to investigate which store bought yogurts have the most nutritious ingredients (this often means the least ingredients too!)

When choosing a good store bought yoghurt look at your ingredients.  Does it contain:

• Full Cream (whole) milk,
• Cream (if you are lucky)
• A starter culture.

Be wary of:

• milk solids
• skim milk
• refined sugar
• flavours, thickeners, & colours

The more ingredients a product has listed, the more likely it is to be problematic. Let’s look closer at the ingredients in two yogurts.

Yoghurt A
Cow’s Milk, Honey (<10%) Vanilla bean extract, Starter Culture Lactase

Yoghurt B
Skim Milk, SUGAR, MILK SOLIDS, Water,Inulin, Gelatin, Maize Thickener (1442) FlavourFood Acid (331) Natural Colour (160b) Live Yoghurt Cultures

The first most prevalent ingredient in Yoghurt B is SKIM MILK. The second most prevalent ingredient is SUGAR. The third most prevalent ingredient is MILK SOLIDS.

What is wrong with skim milk?

  • Skim milk is heavily processed – pasteurised, homogenised, separated, and often has milk solids added back to it to improve flavour, colour and texture (see below for explanation about milk solids).
  • It has almost no nutritional value. After all this processing with heat and mechanical denaturing of proteins (pasteurisation & homogenisation) this product has had the life beaten out of it. Full cream milk is high in important fat soluble vitamins that can only be absorbed and assimilated by the body if eaten with FAT (the cream).
  • Skim milk does not keep you skinny – skim milk has historically been fed to pigs to ‘fatten’ them up before slaughter. Many people who had house cows, separated excess milk and kept the cream for human consumption whilst the skim milk was fed to fatten their pigs.
  • Skim milk is also often sweetened to make it more palatable as the fat has been removed.

What’s wrong with Milk Solids?

  • Milk solids are essentially skim milk that has been dehydrated. During the processing of milk solids, cholesterol is oxidised and toxic nitrates are formed.
  • Proteins in milk solids are very denatured and un-recognisable to the body. They are actually inflammatory.

Authorities do not require the addition of milk solids to skim milk to be listed on the ingredients list of skim milk. According to “Dairy Australia” milk solids are added to skim milk for ‘flavour’.

and what about all of these numbers in Yoghurt B…….1442, 331 & 160b?

1442 (Hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate) – stabiliser and thickener. Concerns for safety if consumed by babies. May affect digestion of food. Prohibited in food for infants. People on gluten free diets should avoid.

331 (sodium citrate; sodium di-hydrogen citrate) – may be GM, derived from plant or bacteria, may contain MSG or free glutamic acid if made from corn, sodium salt of citric acid. Advised to avoid if you have MSG sensitivity.

160b (Annatto extracts) – used to give a yellow or pinkish colour. Is usually plant derived. May be GMO. Can cause allergic and hyper-sensitive reactions, behavioural problems, hyperactivity, skin ailments (eczema, dermatitis, itching, hives, rash), sleep disturbances.

So what to buy if you don’t make your own?

Here are a few of the favourites we have found which contain nothing more than whole milk, sometimes cream and starter cultures. The way yoghurt should be.

Mungalli Greek Style Natural Yogurt
If you live up north this is easy to access and has nothing but whole milk and cultures.

Jalna GREEK Style Natural Yogurt
This is the only one of the Jalna pot set range that does NOT contain milk solids. The other varieties all contain milk solids.

Harris Farm Just Jersey
If you have a Harris Farm near you they have a great natural yogurt with only whole milk, cream and cultures.

Paris Creek
This is another great yogurt, however watch out for sugar used in the fruit varieties. The bush honey and vanilla and swiss style are the only two without added sugar.

Country Valley LUSH Natural Yoghurt (green tub)
Beautiful yoghurt made with two ingredients, milk and cultures.


  • ORGANIC FIVE:am –  Yoghurt have done a great job with their “ORGANIC” marketing angle and using squeeze packs which appeal to kids. All of their varieties contain milk solids and most organic sugar.
  • BARAMBAH – We were so bummed when we realised none of the Barambah range is milk solid free

Do you have other favourites which only contain the good stuff ? Please let us know!