Yogurt: The Other Dairy Product

Yogurt is usually on most lists of healthy foods, and for good reason.  Yogurt is a great low-fat food packed with tons of calcium (45% in one serving), protein, and other vital nutrients like potassium, iodine, and Vitamin B.  Eating yogurt daily provides you with a ton of health benefits.  Yogurt can:

  • support your immune system,
  • lower bad (LDL) cholesterol, 
  • build strong bones, 
  • promote intestinal and vaginal health,
  • enhance your immune system,
  • lower blood pressure,
  • reduce inflammation, and
  • help you lose weight.

Yes, that’s right.  Yogurt can help you lose weight.  Amazing, right?  This calcium-rich food has been the subject of several research studies that looked at how effective it was at burning fat and promoting weight loss.  One study conducted by the University of Tennessee and published in 2005 was especially promising.  It found those dieters who ate three servings of yogurt a day, lost 22 percent more weight and 61 percent more body fat than those individuals who just cut calories and didn’t add any calcium to their eating regimen.  

Low-fat yogurt can provide you with just the right balance of fat and essential nutrients.  Besides eating it straight out of the container, it can be used in a variety of other ways.  For example, you can combine it with fresh fruit or whole-grain granola for a healthy breakfast or snack.  You can also substitute low-fat yogurt for mayo in many recipes.  It can serve as a base for salad dressing, and probably one of my favorites, using it to make fresh fruit smoothies.

Another great yogurt variety is Greek yogurt.  Greek yogurt has attracted a loyal following in recent years.  People loving a thicker and creamier yogurt have embraced Greek yogurt.  Fat-free varieties of this yogurt are said to be richer in taste, so you sacrifice none of the taste when you go fat-free.  Greek yogurt also has a higher protein content than regular yogurt.  On average, a standard 6-ounce serving of fat-free yogurt has roughly 9 grams of protein.  Fat-free Greek yogurt has between 16 and 18 grams.  

If you are interested in incorporating yogurt into your diet, there are a few things to consider when selecting a variety, especially if you are hoping to lose weight.  Check the label out thoroughly, particularly the fat content and fillers or “extras” used.  The calories and fat can add up quickly so be diligent.

Based on a 6-ounce single size serving, you want to look for a yogurt that has:

  • Less than 120 calories,
  • Less than 4 grams of fat,
  • Less than 30 grams of sugar,
  • At least 6 grams of protein,
  • At least 20 percent of your daily value of calcium, and
  • At least 10 percent of your daily value of calcium.

Yogurt is a good food to add to your diet, regardless if you are trying to lose weight or not.  The health benefits packed into a single serving, and its versatility should definitely earn it a special place in your refrigerator.