Can You Eat Too Much Yogurt


Yogurt contains nutrients that help with bone health and a microorganism that helps keep our digestive tracts healthy. We are advised to eat it often due to its benefits but consuming too much may not be as beneficial; this leads to the question: “can you eat too much yoghurt?” 

What is Yogurt?

Yoghurt is a fermented dairy product obtained after heated milk is introduced to healthy bacteria Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. This process produces lactic acid, a probiotic that helps to keep harmful bacteria under control.1,2

Types of yoghurt

There are many different types of yoghurt available to purchase in stores; they typically contain animal or plant milk, and sometimes, thickeners, stabilising agents, or fruits for enhanced texture and taste.3 Yoghurt may also be fortified with Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidus, which are also healthy bacteria.4 When buying yoghurt, you can get them as plain yoghurt, which is yoghurt with its natural tart taste, and sweetened yoghurt with added sugar or flavour.

You will find different varieties of plain yoghurt and sweetened yoghurt:

  • Whole milk yoghurt - This is made with milk that has its characteristics intact and contains about 4% fat.
  • Low-fat yoghurt - This contains about 2% of fat.
  • Non-fat yoghurt - It is made with skimmed milk and contains 0% fat.
  • Greek style yoghurt - This type of yoghurt is thick and creamy, free of whey and contains a higher amount of protein than carbohydrates.
  • Drinkable yoghurt - This is a variant of yoghurt that doesn't require a spoon to be used. It has added water to make it a lighter consistency than regular yoghurt.

Health benefits of yoghurt to the body

Yoghurt contains an array of vitamins and minerals such as proteins, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, magnesium, iodine, calcium, phosphate, zinc, potassium, amino acids, and vitamin D.1,2,3  

The taste and the nutrients you get from animal-based yoghurt are mainly dependent on the age, lactation stage, and genetics of the animal. Additionally, the food the animal eats, the season of the year and environmental factors can also be a factor in taste and nutritional content.1

Data suggests that yoghurt consumption has many benefits: optimal bone health; lower cholesterol levels; increased antibody function; reduced risk of cancer of the colon and type 2 diabetes; smaller chances of thickening of the arteries; and reduced buildup of plaque in the arteries.5 It has been shown to reduce the frequency of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and high blood pressure in adults.6,7

In addition to the benefits mentioned earlier, yoghurt consumption has been shown to help in weight management by encouraging weight loss over time and improving nutrient intake. Yoghurt consumption aids digestion, and in children aged 4-18, it facilitates lower pulse rates and blood sugar.5

Can you overeat yoghurt?

You can potentially overeat yoghurt if you eat the wrong type for you or if the portion and frequency of consumption are not controlled. Knowing which yoghurt is best for you and what amount to consume is vital, bearing in mind any health condition you may have.

Which type of yoghurt is better?

When buying yoghurt, be sure to check that it has the seal of the National Yogurt Association and that it has “live and active cultures” or  Lactobacillus bulgaricus written on the label. They may also have probiotics added.

For optimal health, it is best to eat plain and unsweetened yoghurt.2 Plain yoghurt is the simplest and most natural type of yoghurt. It has no added sugar, colour, or other additives. Plain yoghurt offers the same nutritional value as milk, boasts the highest amount of calcium than other types of yoghurt, and retains all the benefits introduced during the fermentation process while providing fewer calories.3

To get the best out of your plain yoghurt, especially if you don’t like the tartness, you may add honey and blended or whole fruits for flavour, colour, and sweetening. Adding fibre-rich foods like granola and nuts also helps to boost the nutritional value.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to knowing which variety is better than the other. The best way to decide is by checking the label to see which variety contains what you need because their compositions differ. In the absence of a health condition, many people on a healthy lifestyle journey opt for yoghurt that aligns with what they want to achieve. Some people prefer low-fat yoghurt, some choose non-fat yoghurt, while others are on a low-carb diet and prefer plain greek yoghurt.

When is the best time to eat yoghurt?

The best time to eat yoghurt is in the morning, either with breakfast or on an empty stomach, to enable probiotics to get to the intestines alive for optimal gut health. As opposed to when it is eaten after a meal, the good bacteria may no longer exist due to the effects of stomach acid on the food during digestion. No doubt that the stomach produces acids on an empty stomach, but the amount of acid is not as much as when there is food in the stomach. However, people with stomach issues like chronic gastritis should aim to eat yoghurt at least an hour after having a full meal.8,9

When is yoghurt bad for you? 

  • Dairy-based yoghurt is bad for you if you have a milk allergy. In this case, ensure you eat only yoghurt made from plant milk.
  • If you eat yoghurt made with unpasteurized milk, that is, milk that did not go through the heating process, you risk having intestinal infections. The heating process (pasteurisation) kills off harmful bacteria while fermentation naturally adds good bacteria.
  • Sweetened yoghurt contains added sugar which may be problematic for a person with diabetes: it can cause a spike in your blood sugar. Whole milk may also cause issues for someone with high cholesterol.
  • With the presence of Kidney stones, consuming yoghurt may increase the amount of calcium in your blood, making your condition worse.
  • Yogurt, especially Greek yoghurt, can suppress your appetite and if you are aiming for weight gain, you see that you are losing weight instead.10 On the other hand, eating a lot of sweetened yoghurts can add 500 calories and up to 100g of sugar to your diet, causing weight gain.11,12
  • Although lactose intolerant people can eat yoghurt without issues, there is a chance of experiencing bloating, gas, or nausea if you overeat yoghurt, especially non-greek yoghurt due to the presence of carbohydrates and lactose in the whey. The same also goes for people with carbohydrate intolerance.
  • Frequent eating of sweetened and artificially flavoured milk products such as yoghurt has been shown to cause early puberty in children.13
  • Eating yoghurt that has expired or spoiled can be prevented by storing your yoghurt at the optimal temperature and consuming it within the days specified on the pack.

What is the recommended amount of yoghurt you can eat?

An article by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests that one cup of dairy-based yoghurt or fortified plant-based yoghurt counts as one of the three dairy servings recommended for ages ten and above. You get 30-45% of the recommended daily allowance for calcium in one cup of dairy low-fat or non-fat yoghurt whereas 1 cup of frozen yoghurt provides about 10% of the daily value for calcium. If you're choosing plant-based yoghurt, aim for those fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Soy yoghurt contains the closest nutritional profile to dairy-based yoghurt.14

  • Babies 12 - 23 months - 1 ⅔ to 2 cups
  • Ages 2 to 3 years old - 2 to 2½ cups
  • Ages 4 to 8 years old - 2 ½ cups 
  • Ages 9 and older - 3 cups 


Although packed with many benefits, such as improving bone health, metabolism and maintaining a healthy amount of good bacteria in our body, having too much yoghurt may be bad for you. It is best to keep it moderate, store it properly after opening, and ensure you are taking the yoghurt right for you.


  1. Banerjee, Ujjwaineee & Halder et al. “VARIETY OF YOGURT AND ITS HEALTH ASPECTS - A BRIEF REVIEW”. International Journal of Innovative Practice and Applied Research, ISSN: 2349-8978. 7. 2017, pp. 56-66. Available on
  2. Boston, 677 Huntington Avenue and Ma 02115 +1495‑1000. “Yogurt.” The Nutrition Source, 24 Aug. 2017,
  3. The evolution, processing, varieties and health benefits of yogurt [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 15]. Available from: 
  4. Moore JB, Horti A, Fielding BA. Evaluation of the nutrient content of yogurts: a comprehensive survey of yogurt products in the major UK supermarkets. BMJ Open [Internet]. 2018 Aug [cited 2023 Jan 15];8(8):e021387. Available from: 
  5. Hobbs DA, Givens DI, Lovegrove JA. Yogurt consumption is associated with higher nutrient intake, diet quality and favourable metabolic profile in children: a cross-sectional analysis using data from years 1–4 of the National diet and Nutrition Survey, UK. Eur J Nutr [Internet]. 2019 Feb [cited 2023 Jan 15];58(1):409–22. Available from: 
  6. Zhang S, Fu J, Zhang Q, Liu L, Lu M, Meng G, et al. Association between habitual yogurt consumption and newly diagnosed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Eur J Clin Nutr [Internet]. 2020 Mar [cited 2023 Jan 15];74(3):491–9. Available from: 
  7. Buendia JR, Li Y, Hu FB, Cabral HJ, Bradlee ML, Quatromoni PA, et al. Long-term yogurt consumption and risk of incident hypertension in adults. Journal of Hypertension [Internet]. 2018 Aug [cited 2023 Jan 15];36(8):1671–9. Available from: 
  8. Melbourne DSR and PSA University of. Making the most of probiotics [Internet]. Pursuit. 2019 [cited 2023 Jan 15]. Available from: 
  9. Adolfsson O, Meydani SN, Russell RM. Yogurt and gut function. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [Internet]. 2004 Aug 1 [cited 2023 Jan 15];80(2):245–56. Available from: 
  10. Ortinau LC, Culp JM, Hoertel HA, Douglas SM, Leidy HJ. The effects of increased dietary protein yogurt snack in the afternoon on appetite control and eating initiation in healthy women. Nutr J [Internet]. 2013 Dec [cited 2023 Jan 15];12(1):71. Available from: 
  11. The not so sweet truth of added sugars [Internet]. Mayo Clinic Health System. [cited 2023 Jan 15]. Available from: 
  12. Tremblay A, Panahi S. Yogurt consumption as a signature of a healthy diet and lifestyle. J Nutr [Internet]. 2017 Jul [cited 2023 Jan 15];147(7):1476S-1480S. Available from: 
  13. Gaskins AJ, Pereira A, Quintiliano D, Shepherd JA, Uauy R, Corvalán C, et al. Dairy intake in relation to breast and pubertal development in Chilean girls. Am J Clin Nutr [Internet]. 2017 May [cited 2023 Jan 15];105(5):1166–75. Available from: 
  14. What to look for in yogurt [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 15]. Available from: 
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Chimezirim Ozonyiri

Bachelor of Science - BS, Microbiology, General, Tansian University, Nigeria

Chimezirim has several years of experience in the healthcare, non-profit, and education sectors. She is passionate about health promotion and began her journey into health and lifestyle writing over two years ago.

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