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Yogurt vs. Milk — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on April 10, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan
Yogurt
vs
Milk

Summary

Nonfat yogurt is richer in proteins, vitamins B2 and B12, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc, and lower in sugars. Low-fat milk is richer in vitamins A and D and calcium. Both are low in fat, and cholesterol and have low glycemic indices.

Introduction

Milk is considered the most common dairy product. Various types of processed milk obtain from all dairy products. Powdered or liquid forms of milk are available in the market. There are three types of liquid milk, full-fat, low-fat milk, and no-fat milk. By processing milk, we remove the fat content from it. You can also find milk with different premixed flavors like chocolate, and 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 used directly after fermenting to become a sour and salty yogurt. Yogurt has many uses in the culinary world. Milk consumption can be in different forms, liquid without any processing or cooking, used as a component in cooking, 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. The yogurt is considered 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. There is a slow absorption of carbs into 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.

One hundred 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. Casein absorption is slow, and that's one of the benefits of casein. Casein helps 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. Yogurt has a lower content of sugars. However, this difference is negligible, and they are both ranked as low glycemic index foods.

Fats

Nonfat 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 considered in this article are low-fat milk and nonfat yogurt.

The cholesterol content of both is 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

Fortified milk is milk that contains more vitamins A and D.

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

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

Vitamins B2 and B12 are also present in milk but not in great value.

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

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Yogurt
6
:
5
Milk
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 Folate +40%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +59.6%
Contains more Vitamin A +4800%
Contains more Vitamin D +∞%
Contains more Choline +17.2%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%
Equal in Vitamin E - 0.01
Equal in Vitamin B5 - 0.361
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 1% 1% 0% 0% 6% 65% 4% 20% 15% 6% 94% 9% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 12% 1% 36% 0% 5% 43% 2% 22% 9% 4% 59% 10% 1%
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 Folate +40%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +59.6%
Contains more Vitamin A +4800%
Contains more Vitamin D +∞%
Contains more Choline +17.2%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%
Equal in Vitamin E - 0.01
Equal in Vitamin B5 - 0.361

Mineral content comparison

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

On the other hand, yogurt is also considered 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 very remarkable amounts.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Yogurt
7
:
2
Milk
Contains more Iron +133.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +42.1%
Contains less Sodium -18.2%
Contains more Zinc +23.8%
Contains more Copper +70%
Contains more Manganese +200%
Contains more Selenium +193.9%
Contains more Calcium +13.6%
Equal in Magnesium - 11
Equal in Potassium - 150
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 33% 3% 8% 58% 13% 5% 15% 6% 2% 53%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 38% 2% 8% 41% 14% 6% 12% 4% 1% 18%
Contains more Iron +133.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +42.1%
Contains less Sodium -18.2%
Contains more Zinc +23.8%
Contains more Copper +70%
Contains more Manganese +200%
Contains more Selenium +193.9%
Contains more Calcium +13.6%
Equal in Magnesium - 11
Equal in Potassium - 150

Health impact

Cardiovascular health

Section reviewed by cardiologist Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan

This study found that the relationship between yogurt consumption and blood pressure is beneficial for people who have hypertension (1). As a result, both of these products have antihypertensive effects.

A reasonable intake of low-fat milk and dairy products, including yogurt, reduced plasma cholesterol levels, primarily LDL cholesterol, by 3-15% when compared to high-fat dairy products (2). According to this study, consumption of fermented dairy foods was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (3).

According to this study, milk contains two antithrombotic peptides, which are released from milk during digestion (4). 

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 exercises. (5)

For babies

Yogurt consumption in babies, four months old and onwards, has shown positive effects like the following: (6)

  • 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. 

Milk consumption reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes in patients prone to developing diabetes and reduces cardiovascular disease and stroke risks. (7)

Milk consumption has a positive effect on tooth mineral density and helps maintain healthy teeth. (8)

The intake of milk and yogurt in children and adolescents improved bone growth and bone formation during growth. (9)

Milk and yogurt, in addition to other dairy products, help protect against: (10)

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

Variations

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

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

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

Consuming milk or yogurt with a side of a fruit bowl or whole-grain cereal has optimal nutritive characteristics.

In addition to that, you can consume yogurt with salt and vegetables like tzatziki. However, control of sodium intake is of high importance.

Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: April 10, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Grigoryan

Infographic

Yogurt vs Milk infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Yogurt
1
:
4
Milk
Contains more Protein +202.4%
Contains more Fats +148.7%
Contains more Carbs +38.6%
Equal in Water - 89.92
Equal in Other - 0.75
10% 4% 85%
Protein: 10.19 g
Fats: 0.39 g
Carbs: 3.6 g
Water: 85.1 g
Other: 0.72 g
3% 5% 90%
Protein: 3.37 g
Fats: 0.97 g
Carbs: 4.99 g
Water: 89.92 g
Other: 0.75 g
Contains more Protein +202.4%
Contains more Fats +148.7%
Contains more Carbs +38.6%
Equal in Water - 89.92
Equal in Other - 0.75

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Yogurt
1
:
2
Milk
Contains less Saturated Fat -81.5%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +422.6%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +191.7%
64% 29% 7%
Saturated Fat: 0.117 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.053 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.012 g
67% 29% 4%
Saturated Fat: 0.633 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.277 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.035 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -81.5%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +422.6%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +191.7%

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Yogurt
1
:
1
Milk
Contains more Galactose +∞%
Contains more Lactose +104.7%
78% 22%
Starch: 0 g
Sucrose: 0 g
Glucose: 0 g
Fructose: 0 g
Lactose: 2.54 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0.7 g
100%
Starch: 0 g
Sucrose: 0 g
Glucose: 0 g
Fructose: 0 g
Lactose: 5.2 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0 g
Contains more Galactose +∞%
Contains more Lactose +104.7%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Yogurt Milk
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Yogurt Milk Opinion
Net carbs 3.6g 4.99g Milk
Protein 10.19g 3.37g Yogurt
Fats 0.39g 0.97g Milk
Carbs 3.6g 4.99g Milk
Calories 59kcal 42kcal Yogurt
Sugar 3.24g 5.2g Yogurt
Calcium 110mg 125mg Milk
Iron 0.07mg 0.03mg Yogurt
Magnesium 11mg 11mg
Phosphorus 135mg 95mg Yogurt
Potassium 141mg 150mg Milk
Sodium 36mg 44mg Yogurt
Zinc 0.52mg 0.42mg Yogurt
Copper 0.017mg 0.01mg Yogurt
Manganese 0.009mg 0.003mg Yogurt
Selenium 9.7µg 3.3µg Yogurt
Vitamin A 4IU 196IU Milk
Vitamin A RAE 1µg 58µg Milk
Vitamin E 0.01mg 0.01mg
Vitamin D 0IU 48IU Milk
Vitamin D 0µg 1.2µg Milk
Vitamin B1 0.023mg 0.02mg Yogurt
Vitamin B2 0.278mg 0.185mg Yogurt
Vitamin B3 0.208mg 0.093mg Yogurt
Vitamin B5 0.331mg 0.361mg Milk
Vitamin B6 0.063mg 0.037mg Yogurt
Folate 7µg 5µg Yogurt
Vitamin B12 0.75µg 0.47µg Yogurt
Choline 15.1mg 17.7mg Milk
Vitamin K 0µg 0.1µg Milk
Tryptophan 0.043mg Milk
Threonine 0.143mg Milk
Isoleucine 0.174mg Milk
Leucine 0.319mg Milk
Lysine 0.282mg Milk
Methionine 0.088mg Milk
Phenylalanine 0.174mg Milk
Valine 0.22mg Milk
Histidine 0.101mg Milk
Cholesterol 5mg 5mg
Trans Fat 0.006g Milk
Saturated Fat 0.117g 0.633g Yogurt
Monounsaturated Fat 0.053g 0.277g Milk
Polyunsaturated fat 0.012g 0.035g Milk
Omega-6 - Linoleic acid 0.01g 0.027g Milk
Omega-3 - ALA 0.001g 0.004g Milk

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Yogurt Milk
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
17%
Yogurt
15%
Milk
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
19%
Yogurt
14%
Milk

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 richer in minerals?
Yogurt
Yogurt is relatively richer in minerals
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 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.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

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