Ditching dairy doesn’t mean you have to give up yogurt. Nor should you. In fact, dairy-free yogurts have many of the same digestive benefits dairy-based yogurts do, as long as you’re buying brands that contain live probiotics and cultures.

“For those who can’t handle regular cow’s milk or are choosing non-dairy alternatives, they will be better for gut health [as your body is] better able to absorb nutrients from milk alternatives,” says Yasi Ansari, RD a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a Los Angeles-based registered dietitian.

But some types of plant-based yogurts don;t provide much protein, or are filled with sugar, thickeners, or additives, so it’s important to read labels, and have realistic expectations when switching it up. That plant-based yogurt with fruit syrup in the bottom? Definitely not the best bet if you're avoiding carbs. “[Plant-based yogurts] can be healthy alternatives, but I’d recommend looking for unsweetened or low-sugar versions," Ansari says, "so look for labels with shorter lists of ingredients."

The good news is that plant-based yogurts can offer nutrients that dairy yogurts don’t typically have. Some varieties such as flax milk yogurt and hemp yogurt naturally contain omega-3 fatty acids as well as fiber. Others are fortified with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D and calcium, commonly found in conventional yogurt, to make them even healthier.

To find out which plant-based yogurts are the best (and which ones you might want to skip), we went on a taste-testing mission and uploaded the health and taste ratings of a mix of products to the Beet Meter. What are your favorites? Feel free to add your rating and share your comments below.

1. CocoYo Pure Living Coconut Yogurt 

Made from raw young coconut and raw young coconut water, CocoYo doesn’t try to mimic the taste of conventional yogurt, instead, it has a much tangier taste. Available in five flavors including cacao and ginger turmeric, each with 8 or fewer grams of carbs and 25 billion colony forming units per serving (commonly referred to as CFUs, the number of viable bacteria) per serving. It’s a little lower in protein than other yogurts, so mix yours with an ounce of nuts to get more oomph in your cup.


 2. Kite Hill Plain Unsweetened Greek-Style Yogurt

With a whopping 11 grams of protein per serving, this almond milk-based yogurt beats out every other contender on this list. The consistency is heavier than traditional Greek yogurts, but with the right choice of fruits, veggies, and a little liquid to smooth out the texture, it’s a filling base for a smoothie.


3. Lavva Original Plant-Based Yogurt

A mix of coconut, pili nuts, and plantains, Lavva is more like a cold fruit dip than a substitute for conventional yogurt. With both prebiotics and probiotics, and no added sugar (it naturally contains 7 grams of carbs per serving), this is a great choice for any time of day—and if you’re a piña colada kind of person, might we recommend the pineapple flavor?


4. Nancy’s Oatmilk Non-Dairy Yogurt

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the bunch, this gluten-free oat milk-based yogurt scores big on fluffiness, creaminess, and flavor. While it’s a little steeper than other varieties when it comes to carbs (the plain style has 9 grams per serving), with 6 grams of protein to balance it out, it’s more likely to keep you full. It’s available in four flavors: plain, vanilla, blueberry, and strawberry-hibiscus, so take your pick or bring them all home.


5. Cocojune Organic Cultured Coconut Yogurt

You can taste the difference between this dairy-free yogurt and others since it’s the cleanest vegan yogurt we tried. It’s made with simple ingredients such as coconut, cassava root, and probiotics. It doesn’t taste artificial, and the texture is smooth, creamy and silky.


6. So Delicious Oatmilk Triple Berry Yogurt

It’s no surprise that this oat milk-based yogurt is oh, So Delicious. The berry flavor and color looks just like the real thing. If you love berries, start your day off with this healthy yogurt which has no fat, 16 grams of carbs and 3 grams of protein. One downside: The consistency is thinner than yogurt, so add it to your granola almost like flavored milk.


7. Kite Hill Plain Yogurt

Kite Hill might be the most nutritious dairy-free yogurt of the bunch. With 4 grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein, it makes a great choice for breakfast. Make sure to stir this yogurt well to smooth out the texture. The only criticism of this yogurt was a chalky aftertaste, but add granola and berries on top to make a delicious parfait. 


8. The Coconut Cult Original Yogurt

Coconut Cult immediately will grab your attention, with its glass jar and bright colored packaging. (We love the fact that the resealable glass jar is eco-friendly.) After you’re done admiring the jar, your eyes will drift to the price tag and notice that a single eight-ounce jar is 10 dollars. This Coconut base has a bitter taste and some graininess to the texture, so if that isn't your thing add it to a smoothie.


9. Forager Unsweetened Plain Cashewgurt

Forager was the only yogurt that wasn’t either overly sweet or too bitter. The consistency looked more like pudding than yogurt when we first opened it. When you stir properly,  the texture becomes smoother. This yogurt would be great to thicken a smoothie.


10. CoYo Natural Coconut Yogurt

If you love coconut, you'll love Coyo Natural. With a tangy, rich texture that closely resembles Greek yogurt, Coyo would be a great addition to your morning smoothie. Grab the natural (aka plain) flavor to mix with any other ingredients you're in the mood for. You can also throw it in the freezer for a delicious frozen treat. With 390 calories, 38 grams of fat, and only 10 grams of carbs, it can be a luxurious, keto-friendly dessert.


11. So Delicious Plain Coconutmilk Yogurt Alternative

So Delicious is as close to the real deal as it gets. As you unwrap the yogurt, you might be fooled by how well the texture mimics real, dairy-based yogurt. The sweetness of the coconut took over our tastebuds and made us feel like we were eating a treat. After looking at the nutrition label, we realized it has 6 grams of saturated fat and 25 grams of carbs and less than 1 gram of protein. But this one was by far our favorite by far!


12. Anita's Plain Coconut Yogurt 

If you're looking for a legit greek-style yogurt with that creamy, thick consistency and authentic sour taste Anita's coconut yogurt is the best choice.  Despite the coconut base, the taste is very neutral and great served with granola or fruit.  Overall, Anita's is quite healthy with no added sugar or preservatives and chalked full of 300 billion live cultures per serving.   The only negative mark we gave this yogurt was for the very high-fat content which brought the health rating down to 3. That said, this is hands-down one of the best overall plant-based yogurts on the market and highly recommended as a dairy yogurt alternative.


Bottom Line: At first glance, you might be overwhelmed by all the brands and flavors to choose from (we know we were) but don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your favorite breakfast yet. Just because yogurt is dairy-free, doesn't mean it's automatically healthy, so make sure to check the labels.

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