Adding yogurt to your diet may rev up your body’s fat-burning engines, speed weight loss, and trim your tummy, according to a new study.
Recent studies found that obese adults who ate three servings of 0% fat –free yogurt a day as part of a reduced-calorie diet lost 22% more weight and 61% more body fat than those who simply cut calories and didn’t bone up on calcium. Yogurt eaters also lost 81% more fat in the tummy area than non-yogurt eaters.
Many studies have reported that eating yogurt with active culture ( also called probiotics ) can improve bowel functions. Certain strains, such as L bulgaricus, S thermophilus, L casei, have been well studied for their health benefits on the bowel in humans. Look for the words “active culture” or “live culture,” or look for one of these strains on the labels such as Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidus. These types of cultures help keep our digestive systems strong and healthy.
Choose yogurt with lower sugar. Most yogurt drinks are catered to kids, and they are generally sweetened. So if you offer yogurt drinks to your kids on a regular basis, choose one with lower sugar level (less than 12 g, or 3 tsp, of sugar), but not added with artificial sweeteners. And don’t forget about kefir too!
For people with obesity and wanting to try at least 3 servings of yogurt in a day, please do so. I tried and the result is remarkable. Choose low kcal, high calcium, trans fat free and vitamin D fortified. In addition to being low in calories, look for a yogurt product that contains at least 15%DV (Daily Values) of calcium per 4 oz serving if you do not eat any other calcium-rich foods. If you eat at least 3 servings of yogurt a day, you would probably like to have one containing no trans fatty acids. Surprisingly, unlike milk, not all yogurt products are fortified with Vitamin D, so it pays to read the labels.
How to make your yogurt taste great at any time of the day?
Sprinkle flavored yogurt with sunflower seeds, chopped nuts or wheat germ for a pleasant crunch.
• Add chopped fresh fruit to plain yogurt. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup to satisfy your sweet tooth.
• Top low-fat granola cereal with yogurt instead of milk for a delicious breakfast or afternoon snack.
• Pack yogurt in lunch containers for a great noontime treat.
• Use nonfat plain yogurt instead of mayonnaise or sour cream in dressings and salads. For a creamier texture, drain the yogurt overnight in a coffee filter over a measuring cup. The leftover liquid can be used in breads, soups, or sauces.
• Use plain nonfat yogurt to top microwave chicken or fish for a moist and flavorful entree.
Layer vanilla yogurt with fresh fruit for a delicious dessert.