The Skinny on Your Yogurt

The Skinny on Your Yogurt

Yogurt has gone from an obscure Middle Eastern condiment or female only snack to an all around super food for all. It can be found in the traditional cup, kid friendly squeeze tube or the ever popular frozen kind.

Yes, yogurt is a nutritious snack but it can also mask a whole industry of sugar laden, fat forming ingredients duping consumers yet again. Take a gander at the skinny on your yogurt to see if you’re walking the walk or unknowingly replacing one bad habit with another.

Brewing the Stuff

Brewing is kind of how yogurt is made. Because of the beneficial microorganisms that are formed, yogurt sort of brews into itself. It is pasteurized milk that is heated with added good bacteria. It turns into lactic acid which is when the milk thickens and develops that tangy yogurt taste.

A Tasty Accident

Yogurt is believed to have been accidentally discovered. Milk was transported by ancient people in containers made from the dried stomachs of dead animals. With remnants of good bacteria still in these stomach containers, when ancient people went to retrieve the milk they kept discovering what we now know as yogurt.

Ok, it has Good Bacteria but What Else?

Yes, the good bacteria in yogurt could be beneficial to your health as scientists are finding that it enhances the gut which is ground zero for your immune system. When the gut is flourishing with good bacteria, it has been linked to various health advantages such as less depression, easier digestion and a boosted immune system.

Other nutritional benefits of yogurt include:

  • About 6-10 grams of protein per serving depending on the fat content (one 4 ounce piece of beef contains about 35 grams)
  • 415 mg or 42% of the recommended daily allowance of calcium
  • Good amounts of magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, vitamin D, and folate.

Science Healthy

A Tuft University news report stated that,

“Yogurt-eaters are more likely to have lower blood pressure and lower levels of circulating triglycerides (considered an indicator of heart health) and blood glucose. Those who consume more than three servings of yogurt per week appear to be better able to manage their weight.”

Professor Paul Jacques, a senior scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University comments,

“One thing we do know is that yogurt is a good source of nutrients…Yogurt is indeed a vitamin-and-mineral-dense source of high-quality protein, which may be why yogurt-eaters are less likely to be deficient in vitamins B2 and B12, calcium, magnesium and zinc.” (Tufts Now 7/14/15)

Scoop Carefully

Yogurts that have low fat such as the Greek brands where most of the fat is skimmed off the top contain more protein. However, there have been many “additions” to yogurt which are catering to the sugar addiction of many Americans. This can defeat the purpose of this otherwise healthy snack.

Don’t be fooled by sugar coated granola or candy bit options packaged in the cap to pour in for a more tasty treat. Also, avoid high fat yogurts as these have less protein and will, along with these sugar options, inevitably add to your waistline.

Go Yogurt Crazy

It’s okay, when choosing healthy yogurts you can just about add them (plain flavor) to anything including meat and poultry dishes, as a sour cream replacement for potatoes or soup, adding seasoning to make a savory vegetable dip or cutting half the oil called for in a baking recipe and replacing with yogurt.

Plus, it’s a win-win because you will not only be creating yummy dishes you will be making healthy meals.

Rethink your yogurt choices or start scooping today. It will definitely be a better choice than those bag of chips on the run.