Different Types of Yogurt Explained

Feb 24, 2023
Healthy Eating
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Several containers of yogurt

Your grocery store probably has dozens of different brands and varieties of yogurt. Maybe you’ve tried some of them or maybe you’ve stuck with the same brand for your entire life. We’re here to tell you that the world of yogurt is varied and exciting, and you should know the difference between different kinds. In addition to being delicious, yogurt is also rich in protein, calcium, and probiotics, which can support digestive health. Here are some of the most popular types of yogurt explained.

Table of Contents

Traditional Yogurt
Greek Yogurt
Icelandic Yogurt/Skyr
Australian Yogurt
French-Style Yogurt
Non-Dairy Yogurt

Traditional Yogurt

Yogurt parfaits

Traditional cow’s milk yogurt is the most common type of yogurt available in most U.S. grocery stores. It is made by fermenting cow’s milk with live cultures of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, which give it a tangy taste and a creamy texture.

Yogurt has been around for thousands of years and has been used for everything from food to skincare. The possibilities are endless when it comes to how you can incorporate traditional yogurt into your diet.

Enjoy it plain or sweetened with honey for breakfast or as a dessert. If you don’t love the taste of yogurt but want the health benefits, add some to smoothies for added protein and natural probiotics. A fun way to enjoy yogurt is to make a parfait by combing it with fruit and granola for a tasty and healthy dish, like this one from Food Network.

Greek Yogurt

A bowl of Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is a thicker and creamier version of traditional yogurt. It is made by straining regular yogurt to remove the whey, which results in a higher protein and lower carbohydrate content. It also tends to taste tangier than traditional yogurt.

Many people enjoy Greek yogurt because of its texture and high protein content, making it a staple in the fitness community. Its thickness also makes it a great substitute for sour cream and mayonnaise in dips, dressings, and other recipes.

One delicious way to use Greek yogurt is to make your own tzatziki. Tzatziki is a traditional Mediterranian sauce or dip made from yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, olive oil, and various herbs such as dill or mint. It’s typically served with grilled meats, vegetables, or pita bread. We love this recipe by The Wanderlust Kitchen.

Icelandic Yogurt/Skyr

Skyr and fruit on a plate

Skyr, while referred to as Icelandic yogurt, is technically cheese, similar to ricotta or mascarpone. However, you will almost always see Skyr sold as a yogurt product in the United States, so we’ll refer to it as yogurt here.

Skyr is similar to Greek yogurt but has a milder flavor and a thicker texture because it is made with skim milk instead of whole milk. One of the most popular brands of Skyr is Icelandic Provisions, which sells unflavored and flavored products in most grocery stores.


Someone pours homemade Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that originated in Eastern Europe. It is made by fermenting cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or coconut milk with a combination of bacteria and yeast cultures.

It isn’t technically a type of yogurt, but Kefir has a tangy flavor and contains good-for-you probiotics that can support gut health, similar to most yogurt products. Kefir can be purchased in most grocery stores and is often flavored so that you can drink it straight from the bottle. You can also add Kefir to smoothies.

Australian Yogurt

Two containers of a yogurt dessert

Australian yogurt is a newer type of yogurt that has gained popularity in recent years. This type of yogurt is made the same way as traditional yogurt, but it is not strained, which results is a super rich and creamy product.

One of the most popular brands of Australian yogurt sold in the United States is Noosa, which can be found in most grocery stores. Because Australian yogurt is so rich, it can be enjoyed plain or even as a dessert when sweetened.

French-Style Yogurt

Yogurt in jars

French yogurt is distinct from other types of yogurt due to its pure ingredients, rich texture, and unique production method called post-set. In post-set, the ingredients are put in individual jars to set, instead of being mixed in a large vat and portioned off. This creates a made-to-order small-batch yogurt with a slightly different taste and texture from other yogurts.

French-style yogurt uses whole milk and live cultures, and true French yogurt is never made fat-free, giving it a distinct richness. Oui by Yoplait is the most popular kind of French yogurt in the U.S. Because this product is so rich, it is best enjoyed on its own.

Non-Dairy Yogurt

Coconut yogurt

Non-dairy yogurts are made with plant-based milk alternatives such as soy, almond, coconut, or cashew milk. They are fermented with live cultures and can have a similar texture and taste to traditional yogurt.

Non-dairy yogurts are a great option for people who are lactose intolerant or follow a vegan diet. They can also be used as substitutes for dairy yogurt in many vegan recipes, including this vegan yogurt cake by My Quiet Kitchen, which uses thick cashew yogurt.

There are many different types of yogurt available, each with its own unique taste and texture. From traditional cow’s milk yogurt to Greek yogurt to non-dairy options, there is a yogurt out there for everyone.

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