Yogurt is one of the oldest and most popular fermented foods. It is nutritious, and eating it may boost several aspects of human health. Yogurt can reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and it is said to aid in weight management.
The word yogurt is of Turkish origin, from the verb “yogurmak” which means to thicken. It is believed that yogurt existed as early as the 6th century BCE.
Asian herdsmen are believed to be the first people to use yogurt. They stored the extra goat’s milk in containers made out of goat stomach to preserve it and to their surprise, the milk became thick, tart, and was still edible.
What is yogurt and its nutritional value?
Yogurt or yogurt is a food produced by fermenting milk using bacteria known as yogurt cultures. The fermented lactose produces lactic acid, which acts on milk protein to give yogurt its texture and characteristic tart flavor.
Milk from water buffalo, goats, ewes, mares, camels, cows, and yaks is used to produce yogurt although cow’s milk is commonly used because of its availability.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of plain, whole-milk yogurt contains 61 calories, 88% water, 3.5g protein, 4.7g carbs, 3.3g fat, and 4.7g sugar.
Yogurt is a good source of minerals such as calcium, phosphorous plus vitamins like vitamin B12 and vitamin B2.
Is yogurt good for weight loss?
The short answer to this question is yes, yogurt can be a suitable addition to a balanced diet that can fundamentally help you lose weight.
In fact, several studies have come out asserting that yogurt is key to helping you shed weight. For example;
A 2-year study which involved 8,516 adults, showed that those who had more than 7 servings of yogurt per week were less likely to be overweight or obese than those who had 2 or fewer servings per week
In another study that involved 3,440 people, it was established that those who ate 3 and more servings of yogurt per week gained less weight and had smaller changes in waist circumference than those who ate less than 1 serving per week.
This is attributed to the properties discussed below.
1. It’s rich in satiating protein
Yogurt is high in protein which is a good source of energy and keeps you full longer. This helps to control appetite, thereby consuming fewer calories later on which contributes to weight loss.
2. Good source of calcium
Calcium promotes thermogenesis which improves metabolism hence helping weight loss. One cup of yogurt has about 50% of the calcium you need daily.
3. Yogurt contains probiotics
The fermented milk contains probiotics that encourage a healthy gut, which according to research can encourage weight loss and fat loss.
4. Yogurt is low in calories
Yogurt is a perfect replacement for high-calorie meals. Choosing food with a low-calorie density can help you lose weight while eating more.
How do we add yogurt to our diet?
There are many ways we can incorporate yogurt into your daily eating routine. These include;
- Replace sour cream in recipes with plain yogurt.
- Add yogurt to soups, chilies, and stews to give a creamy taste and texture.
- Eat yogurt as a post-workout snack. This gives you the right amount of carbs and proteins to help your body recover from a good workout.
- Mix yogurt with chopped fruits for a delicious fruit salad.
- Have a serving of yogurt as a dessert.
- Stir it into oats
- Add it to smoothies
- Use yogurt instead of butter to bake foods such as muffins and bread.
- Replace sour cream with whole milk yogurt on tacos and burrito bowls
How much yogurt should I eat a day in order to lose weight?
Although yogurt is nutritious and is essential for a balanced diet, it should be taken in moderation. The amount of yogurt to eat daily may depend on the type of yogurt you pick on.
This is because some yogurt is more nutritious than others, which means that their calories, protein, fat, and sugar content vary.
We think that since yogurt is a dairy product, figuring out how much one should take should be based on the recommended daily amount. According to the USDA’s chooseMyplate.gov, anyone above the age of 9 should have 3 cups of dairy per day.
Greek yogurt vs regular yogurt which is better?
Greek yogurt differs from regular yogurts because it is strained to remove the whey (the liquid that contains lactose and natural sugar that remains after the milk has curdled).
The resulting yogurt is thicker, creamier, and has less sugar, fewer carbohydrates, and more protein compared to regular yogurt.
Just like regular yogurt, Greek yogurt contains probiotics that help regulate your digestive system.
Therefore Greek yogurt provides a punch of more protein compared to regular yogurt, fewer carbs, less sugar, and acidity that makes it easier for the body to absorb other nutrients.
This makes Greek yogurt healthier compared to regular yogurt.
Other health benefits of eating yogurt
Apart from weight loss, yogurt has many health benefits. these include;
1. It is good for your bones
Yogurt contains calcium which is an important mineral for your bones and teeth. Calcium can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a degenerative bone disease. Protein in yogurt is also vital for bone health.
2. Suppresses appetite and hunger
Yogurt is a good source of protein. Protein makes you feel fuller for longer. This implies that you may eat less throughout the day after a high protein meal. Consuming fewer calories will contribute to greater weight loss.
3. Boosting metabolism
Protein diets increase thermogenesis which in turn boosts metabolism. This increases the number of calories a person burns per day. Therefore, including enough protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats may aid weight loss and boost metabolism.
4. Improving gut health
Yogurt is a good source of probiotics such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus which are said to promote gut health. Probiotics are good bacteria responsible for balancing healthy bacterial in the gut.
5. Encouraging good mental health
Research shows that consuming probiotic yogurt is good for mental health. According to a 2016 study, it was established that workers who ate 100 grams of probiotic yogurt a day or took a daily probiotic capsule experienced less stress, depression, and anxiety than those who did not.
6. Building muscle mass
Food rich in protein for example yogurt may help build muscle mass. According to research, high-protein foods may increase muscle mass in people doing resistance training.
Learn more food to help you gain muscle from our article here.
7. Lowering blood pressure
Research shows that yogurt may lower blood pressure. According to a 2013 meta-analysis that looked at 14 studies, with over 700 participants, it was established that fermented milk with probiotics helped reduce blood pressure.
Are there any downsides to eating yogurt?
Although yogurt is a good source of calcium, protein, vitamin D and potassium, Most yogurt brand contains added sugar and saturated fat that can contribute to problems such as weight gain, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
It is therefore important to carefully read the labels on the yogurt brand before buying to ensure that you are taking the healthiest type.
Yogurt is low in calories, rich in protein, calcium, and probiotics. It can benefit weight loss when used to replace high calorie, low protein foods. This is because it may help you feel full for longer, leading to lower calorie intake throughout the day.
Last but not least, always check product labels before picking on any yogurt brand. Most brands on the market contain added sugars and saturated fats which are known to cause weight gain, heart diseases, diabetes, and more.
Before you sign out, you may also need to know;
The most filling foods for weight loss
High fiber foods to add to your diet
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