Is it healthy to put yogurt in smoothies?

Quick Answers

Putting yogurt in smoothies can be a healthy choice for many people. Yogurt provides protein, calcium, probiotics and other nutrients. However, the type of yogurt matters – plain, unsweetened yogurt is best. Added sugars or artificial sweeteners in flavored yogurts should be limited. Portion size is also key – a small amount of yogurt blended into a smoothie is reasonable, but drinking very large smoothies with lots of yogurt can add excess calories. Moderation and balance are key when adding yogurt to smoothies.

Nutritional Benefits of Yogurt

Yogurt is a dairy product made by fermenting milk with live bacteria cultures. It provides a range of nutritional benefits:


Yogurt is a high-protein food. A 6-ounce serving of plain yogurt contains about 10 grams of protein. Getting enough protein is important for building and repairing muscles, supporting bone health, keeping hunger satisfied and maintaining energy levels. Blending yogurt into a smoothie boosts the protein content.


Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium. Calcium is essential for building strong bones and teeth. It also supports muscle and nerve function. A 6-ounce serving of yogurt provides about 30% of the recommended daily calcium intake. Adding yogurt to a smoothie is a tasty way to get more of this important mineral.


The live cultures in yogurt provide probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support digestive and immune system health. Getting probiotics from foods like yogurt is better than taking supplements because foods provide additional nutrients. Just be sure to choose plain, unsweetened varieties – added sugars may reduce the viability of the probiotics.

Vitamin B12

Yogurt is fortified with vitamin B12, meaning it’s added during processing. Vitamin B12 supports red blood cell formation and neurological function. Those following plant-based diets may especially benefit from the B12 in yogurt. A serving provides about half of the recommended daily B12 intake.

Other Nutrients

Yogurt also contains smaller amounts of potassium, phosphorus and vitamins B2 and B5. It’s low in fat when choosing low-fat or non-fat varieties. Overall, yogurt provides a nutritional package of protein, calcium, probiotics and other vitamins and minerals.

Benefits of Yogurt in Smoothies

Adding yogurt to smoothies has several benefits beyond the nutrients it provides:


Yogurt creates a thick, creamy texture in smoothies. This makes the smoothie more satisfying and milkshake-like. The creaminess comes from the fat and protein in the yogurt.

Better Mouthfeel

The rich, smooth texture yogurt provides improves the mouthfeel of a smoothie. The yogurt coats the mouth and makes the smoothie taste thicker.

Protein Boost

As mentioned earlier, yogurt significantly boosts the protein content of smoothies. This helps make a smoothie a more balanced snack or meal.


The live cultures in yogurt provide probiotics that support digestive health. Getting these beneficial bacteria from food is better than a supplement.

Stabilizes Smoothies

Yogurt helps stabilize the ingredients in a smoothie and prevents separation. This makes smoothies with yogurt last longer after blending without separating.

Overall, yogurt adds nutritional value, creaminess, protein and probiotics to smoothies. Just a small amount can provide big benefits.

Downsides of Yogurt in Smoothies

However, there are some potential downsides of adding yogurt to smoothies:

Added Sugars

Many flavored yogurts contain added sugars like cane sugar, honey or fruit juice concentrates. These sweeteners add calories and should be limited on a healthy diet. To avoid added sugars, choose plain, unsweetened yogurt.

Artificial Sweeteners

Some flavored yogurts are sweetened with artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose rather than added sugars. While lower in calories, artificial sweeteners are highly processed and linked to negative health effects with frequent consumption. It’s best to skip artificial sweeteners and flavor yogurt naturally.

Higher in Calories

While yogurt has many benefits, it’s still a high-calorie food. A 6-ounce serving provides about 150 calories. Adding a full cup of yogurt to a smoothie could add 250+ calories – turning a light snack into a high-calorie beverage. To avoid excess calories, use a small amount of yogurt.

Can Cause Bloating

Some people experience bloating or gas from the lactose in dairy products like yogurt. Those with lactose intolerance may want to avoid yogurt or choose lactose-free varieties. Always pay attention to your individual response.

Overall, the concerns with yogurt in smoothies come from choosing sweetened yogurt or adding too much. Stick to 2-4 ounces of plain, unsweetened yogurt per smoothie to maximize benefits while minimizing drawbacks.

Best Yogurts for Smoothies

With so many yogurt options in stores, which ones are best for smoothies? Here are some things to look for:

Plain and Unsweetened

Choose plain yogurt without any added sugars or artificial sweeteners. The yogurt will blend into the smoothie and take on its natural sweetness from fruits and vegetables.

Low Fat or Non-Fat

To limit calories, saturated fat and cholesterol, choose low-fat or non-fat yogurts. These options provide all the nutritional benefits of yogurt without excess saturated fat.

Live Cultures

Look for yogurts that contain live, active cultures to get probiotics. These are optimal for digestive health. Greek yogurt tends to be very high in probiotics.


For a more natural dairy option, look for yogurts made from grass-fed cow’s milk. These contain higher levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fats compared to conventional dairy.


Organic yogurts are made without antibiotics, synthetic hormones, pesticides or GMOs. For the purest yogurt, look for certified organic.

Some examples of healthy yogurt options are plain Greek yogurt, skyr yogurt or kefir. Always read nutrition labels and choose unsweetened varieties made from milk and live cultures only.

Smoothie Recipes with Yogurt

Here are some delicious and nutritious smoothie recipes that use yogurt:

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Smoothie

– 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
– 1 small banana
– 1 cup strawberries
– 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
– 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
– 1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Very Berry Yogurt Smoothie

– 1 cup coconut water
– 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
– 1/2 cup blueberries
– 1/2 cup raspberries
– 1/2 cup blackberries
– 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds

Green Yogurt Smoothie

– 1 cup spinach
– 1/2 ripe avocado
– 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
– 1/2 banana
– 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
– 1/4 cup cucumber
– 1 tablespoon lime juice

Carrot Cake Yogurt Smoothie

– 1/2 cup carrot juice
– 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
– 1/2 banana
– 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
– 1/4 cup rolled oats
– 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
– Pinch of nutmeg
– 2 pitted Medjool dates

Tips for Adding Yogurt

Here are some tips for smoothly incorporating yogurt into smoothies:

– Stick to 2-4 ounces yogurt per smoothie – less is more with yogurt.
– Always pick plain, unsweetened yogurt varieties.
– Low-fat or non-fat yogurt works well in smoothies.
– For probiotics, choose yogurts with live cultures.
– Add yogurt last and blend briefly to prevent overmixing.
– Store yogurt-based smoothies in an airtight container and drink within 24 hours.
– Consider pairing yogurt with fruits like berries, bananas, pineapple and mango.
– Greek yogurt blends especially smoothly due to its thick texture.

Nutrition Facts

The nutrition facts for a 6-ounce serving of plain, non-fat yogurt are:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 100
Fat 0g
Carbs 11g
Fiber 0g
Sugars 11g
Protein 10g
Calcium 30% DV
Vitamin B12 50% DV

As you can see, even just 6 ounces of yogurt provides 10 grams of filling protein, 30% of the daily calcium needs, half of the recommended B12 and under 100 calories. This shows why yogurt is such a nutritious addition to smoothies.

Portion Control

While yogurt is very healthy, portion control is still important – especially when blending into smoothies. Here are some tips:

– Stick to 2-4 ounces of yogurt per smoothie. Around 1/4 – 1/2 cup is plenty.
– Measure your yogurt servings using a measuring cup or food scale. Don’t just eyeball it.
– Read nutrition labels and be aware of serving sizes – many yogurts have 2 servings per container.
– Avoid using yogurt to make oversized smoothies of 32 ounces or more.
– Split a large yogurt-based smoothie into two smaller servings.

Moderation and awareness of serving sizes is key to keep yogurt-based smoothies from becoming too high in calories.

Cost Analysis

How much does it cost to add yogurt to homemade smoothies? Here is a sample cost analysis:

Item Cost
1 quart plain yogurt $3.99
1 pound frozen mixed berries $5.99
1 banana $0.30
Total for 2 Smoothies $10.28
Per Serving Cost $5.14

Based on typical grocery store prices, adding yogurt to a berry and banana smoothie costs around $5 per large serving. Of course, costs vary based on the ingredients used. Overall yogurt is an affordable addition to smoothies compared to more expensive superfood mixes or protein powders. Making yogurt smoothies at home saves money compared to purchasing them.


Yogurt is a nutritious and protein-rich addition to smoothies. Plain, unsweetened varieties provide protein, calcium, probiotics and other vitamins and minerals. Yogurt also improves the creaminess, mouthfeel and stability of smoothie recipes. However, be mindful of added sugars in flavored yogurts and portion sizes. Stick to 2-4 ounces of yogurt per smoothie for the best nutritional balance. Overall, yogurt can be a healthy part of a balanced smoothie as long as you choose wholesome ingredients and practice moderation. Blend up yogurt-based smoothies at home for a nutritious and affordable breakfast, snack or light meal any time of day.

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