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September 23, 2019 • Healthy Eating & Nutrition, Healthy Living

The Best Yogurt in the Grocery Store

yogurt granola

As dairy foods go – low-fat, plain yogurt is a superstar standout.  I want you to include it in your diet regularly. Here are 3 big reasons why you should:

  1. Yogurt is the richest and most bio-available source of calcium of any food.  An 8oz serving provides 30-40 percent of your daily calcium requirements. In addition to calcium, yogurt will also give you B vitamins, zinc and potassium.
  2. Yogurt contains probiotics. Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria like lactobacillus that reside in our colons and appear to be rapidly rising stars on the disease-fighting front. We have known for sometime that they play important roles in digestive function, but  have  recently recognized that they specific  health benefits too. Probiotics have been shown to be helpful for many conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, colic, IBS, traveler’s diarrhea, eczema, allergies, and upper respiratory infections.  Mounting evidence suggests they may also aid in weight management.
  3. Yogurt is easily digested and its nutrients are better absorbed.  The good bacteria in yogurt have predigested its lactose which means that even lactose intolerant folks can enjoy it.  These same bacteria also produce lactic acid which aids in the absorption of calcium and B-vitamins.

The Best of the Best

Ounce for ounce low-fat plain yogurt will give you the most nutritional bang for your efforts.  It has about half the calories of fruit-flavored yogurts, twice as much protein, more calcium, less fillers, and no added sugar.  “Greek-style” yogurt is available at all grocery outlets (FAGE is great) and takes health and taste to a whole new level.  This special yogurt has been strained to remove its liquid component giving it a rich and creamy texture that is truly decadent. This straining process also doubles its protein and lowers its sugar (lactose) content.

Here are some easy ways to bring plain yogurt into your dietary repertoire:

-Use it in place of milk in your cereal make a yogurt parfait by alternating it with layers of your favorite fresh fruit

-Use it in your dips to replace mayo or sour cream

-Add it to your salad dressings for extra creaminess

-Use it in your sauces to replace butter or heavy cream

-Enjoy some all on its own as a mid-afternoon snack

-If you prefer your yogurt a bit sweetened like I do, add some cut up fresh fruit or a prudent portion of honey or maple syrup.

*Avoid fruit flavored yogurts – many contain more sugar than a standard desert!

For more expert wellness advice, order my award-winning book, The Cookbook Companion!

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