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Milk vs Yogurt - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Milk
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Yogurt

Introduction

Milk is considered as the most common dairy product. All dairy products are obtained by various types of processing milk. It can be sold as powder milk or liquid milk. Three types of liquid milk can be found, full fat, low-fat milk, and no fat milk. The fat content of the milk is removed by processing it. Milk can also be found with different premixed flavors like chocolate, strawberry among others. Non-dairy types of milk are also available in the market, however, this article will discuss dairy milk in specific.

Yogurt comes after processing and fermenting milk. It can be further processed and mixed with fruits and sugar to become sweet yogurt or can be used directly after fermenting, to become a sour and salty yogurt. Yogurt has many uses in the culinary world as it can be consumed as it is, can be used as a component in cooking, can be used as a topping, or consumed as frozen yogurt.  

In this article, we will be comparing the nutritional content of both yogurt and milk, the vitamin and mineral content, health impacts, and the variety of uses. 

The milk taken into consideration is low-fat milk with added vitamins A and D, and the yogurt taken into consideration is low-fat yogurt; unless specified otherwise.

Nutritional content comparison

Milk and yogurt have similar glycemic indices, 36 and 38 respectively, meaning that both have a low glycemic index. They are slowly absorbed in the digestive system, which prevents spikes in insulin levels

Protein

100g of milk contains 3.4g of proteins with 56g being the daily recommended value for the average sedentary person. 

The main components of milk protein are casein and whey.

100 grams of yogurt contains 10g of proteins. When compared to milk, yogurt is richer in protein content. Similar to milk the components of yogurt protein are mostly casein (80% of the total protein).

Casein is a type of protein that constitutes nearly 80% of milk and yogurt protein composition. The benefits of casein are that they are slowly absorbed by the body and help in muscle repair and growth. 

Carbohydrates

100g of milk has 5g of carbohydrates, from which 4g is lactose, and 1g is added sugars. 

On the other hand, yogurt has 3.6g of carbohydrates. Relatively speaking, yogurt has a lower content of sugars, however, this difference is negligible and they are both ranked as low glycemic index foods.

Fats

Non-fat milk and yogurt have negligible to no amounts of fats in them. Milk has 1g per 100g and yogurt 0g per 100g. It is good to note here that the milk and yogurt taken into consideration in this article are low-fat milk and nonfat yogurt. 

The cholesterol content of both is at 5mg per 100g which is negligible.

It is important to note that full-fat milk contains 3.5g of fat per 100g. Similarly, full-fat yogurt contains 3.3g of fat per 100g. 

Vitamin content comparison

The milk that is usually found in the market is fortified with vitamins A and D

Vitamin A content in milk is at 196 mcg per 100g. A cup of 250ml of milk would contain approximately 500mcg of vitamin A which is at 55% of the daily requirement for men and 70% daily requirement for women. 

Vitamin D content in milk is at 1.2 mcg per 100g. So 250 ml of milk has 3mcg of vitamin D, which is by average 15% of the daily recommended value. 

Vitamins B2 and B12 are also present in milk but not in remarkable values. 

Yogurt contains vitamin B2 at 0.278mcg per 100g and the daily requirement of men is 1.3mcg and for women 1.1mcg. This makes it a good source of vitamin B2. Another vitamin found in yogurt which is relatively higher than the content found in milk is vitamin B12.

Mineral content comparison

Milk is considered to be one of the best sources of calcium. It also contains some amounts of phosphorus, potassium, and selenium but not at remarkable amounts. 

Yogurt, on the other hand, is also considered to be a good source of calcium, both having high amounts of calcium, however, milk is richer in calcium. Yogurt is richer in phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. Generally speaking, they are not amounts that are very remarkable. 

Health impact

Bodybuilding

Milk and yogurt are rich in casein, which is a slowly absorbed protein in the digestive system. It helps maintain muscle mass, repair muscle, and induce muscle growth after weight training and different types of exercises. (1)

For babies

Yogurt consumption in babies, 4 months old and onwards, has shown positive effects like the following: (2)

  • Inducing normal gut microflora
  • Controlling infectious diarrhea
  • Reducing the risks of eczema in babies
  • Reducing food sensitivities

Various impacts

Milk consumption has shown improvement in weight control and additionally, it helps with weight loss while undergoing diets. (3)

Milk consumption reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes in patients prone to developing diabetes, in addition to that reducing risks of cardiovascular disease and stroke. (4)

Milk consumption has a positive effect on tooth mineral density, and help maintain healthy teeth. (5)

The intake of milk and yogurt in children and adolescents improved bone growth and bone formation during growth. (6)

Milk and yogurt, in addition to other dairy products, helps protect against: (7)

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer 
  • Gastric cancer

Variations

It is important to note that there are different types of both milk and yogurt.

For milk, there can be sweetened milk, condensed milk, chocolate milk among others. When consuming these variants of milk one must be careful of various contents which are added sugars, preservatives, added substances. 

When it comes to yogurt, added components can be fruits, sugar, sweeteners. So the nutritional content data in these cases will be different than what is stated in this article. 

Consuming milk or yogurt with a side of a fruit bowl or whole-grain cereal has optimal nutritive characteristics.
In addition to that, yogurt can be consumed with salt and vegetables like tzatziki, however, the sodium content has to be monitored. 

Summary

In summary, non-fat yogurt is richer in proteins, vitamins B2 and B12, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, and lower in sugars. Low-fat milk is richer in vitamins A and D, calcium. They are both low in fat and cholesterol. They are categorized as foods with a low glycemic index. 

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5952515/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31038676/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21559046/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5122229/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5122229/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18539555/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22081693/
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Profession: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: November 29, 2020

Infographic

Milk vs Yogurt infographic
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Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Milk
2
:
5
Yogurt
Contains more Calcium +13.6%
Contains more Iron +133.3%
Contains more Copper +70%
Contains more Zinc +23.8%
Contains more Phosphorus +42.1%
Contains less Sodium -18.2%
Equal in Potassium - 141
Equal in Magnesium - 11
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 2% 38% 14% 8% 4% 12% 41% 6%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 3% 33% 13% 8% 6% 15% 58% 5%
Contains more Calcium +13.6%
Contains more Iron +133.3%
Contains more Copper +70%
Contains more Zinc +23.8%
Contains more Phosphorus +42.1%
Contains less Sodium -18.2%
Equal in Potassium - 141
Equal in Magnesium - 11

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Milk
4
:
6
Yogurt
Contains more Vitamin A +4800%
Contains more Vitamin D +∞%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +15%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +50.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +123.7%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +70.3%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +59.6%
Contains more Folate +40%
Equal in Vitamin E - 0.01
Equal in Vitamin B5 - 0.331
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 0% 12% 1% 36% 5% 43% 2% 22% 9% 59% 1% 4%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 0% 1% 1% 0% 6% 65% 4% 20% 15% 94% 0% 6%
Contains more Vitamin A +4800%
Contains more Vitamin D +∞%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +15%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +50.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +123.7%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +70.3%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +59.6%
Contains more Folate +40%
Equal in Vitamin E - 0.01
Equal in Vitamin B5 - 0.331

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
16
Milk
17
Yogurt
Mineral Summary Score
15
Milk
17
Yogurt

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
20%
Milk
61%
Yogurt
Carbohydrates
5%
Milk
4%
Yogurt
Fats
4%
Milk
2%
Yogurt

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Milk Yogurt
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Milk Yogurt
Low Calories diet ok
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Yogurt
Yogurt is lower in Sugar (difference - 1.96g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Yogurt
Yogurt contains less Sodium (difference - 8mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Yogurt
Yogurt is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.516g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Yogurt
Yogurt is lower in glycemic index (difference - 12)
Which food is cheaper?
Milk
Milk is cheaper (difference - $2)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (5 mg)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Milk Yogurt Opinion
Calories 42 59 Yogurt
Protein 3.37 10.19 Yogurt
Fats 0.97 0.39 Milk
Vitamin C 0 0
Carbs 4.99 3.6 Milk
Cholesterol 5 5
Vitamin D 48 0 Milk
Iron 0.03 0.07 Yogurt
Calcium 125 110 Milk
Potassium 150 141 Milk
Magnesium 11 11
Sugar 5.2 3.24 Yogurt
Fiber 0 0
Copper 0.01 0.017 Yogurt
Zinc 0.42 0.52 Yogurt
Starch
Phosphorus 95 135 Yogurt
Sodium 44 36 Yogurt
Vitamin A 196 4 Milk
Vitamin E 0.01 0.01
Vitamin D 1.2 0 Milk
Vitamin B1 0.02 0.023 Yogurt
Vitamin B2 0.185 0.278 Yogurt
Vitamin B3 0.093 0.208 Yogurt
Vitamin B5 0.361 0.331 Milk
Vitamin B6 0.037 0.063 Yogurt
Vitamin B12 0.47 0.75 Yogurt
Vitamin K 0.1 0 Milk
Folate 5 7 Yogurt
Trans Fat 0.006 Milk
Saturated Fat 0.633 0.117 Yogurt
Monounsaturated Fat 0.277 0.053 Milk
Polyunsaturated fat 0.035 0.012 Milk
Tryptophan 0.043 Milk
Threonine 0.143 Milk
Isoleucine 0.174 Milk
Leucine 0.319 Milk
Lysine 0.282 Milk
Methionine 0.088 Milk
Phenylalanine 0.174 Milk
Valine 0.22 Milk
Histidine 0.101 Milk
Fructose 0 0

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Milk - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170872/nutrients
  2. Yogurt - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170894/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.