Is Yogurt Good For You?
It’s always surprising when you look at the ingredient list of so many so called “healthy products”, and one that recently caught my attention was that of many yogurts you see in the grocery aisle.
Combining excellent packaging and design yogurt containers scream out that they are fat-free or have no sugar added, but is yogurt really good for you?
Let’s take a closer look…
Downsides of Yogurt: Is Yogurt Good For You?
One word – Sugar! Look at most low-fat, flavored or fruit yogurt and you’ll find one culprit…Sugar and sometimes the worst kind – high fructose corn syrup. In just a small serving some yogurts can have upwards of 20 grams of added sugar, that’s equivalent to about 5 sugar cubes! And when it’s the high fructose corn syrup kind then that is a double whammy because it has been clearly linked with the obesity epidemic through causing a number of physiological effects.
So a quick take-away from this article is that it’s really important to look at the nutrition labels of yogurts and if you need help reading those make sure to read my article Nutrition Facts Label – How To Read.
Other things to be aware of include artificial sugars. Many zero-sugar yogurts use Aspartame or Sucralose (AKA splenda) and if you’re concerned about the possible negative health effects of these artificial sweetners then you might be surprised to find out how much of these are found in most of these yogurts.
And what about those who are lactose intolerant? Well yes, yogurt is made from milk so depending on your lactose-intolerance level yogurt could cause some havoc with your digestive system. However, it is interesting to note that some studies have shown that yogurt is not nearly as bad as milk for those who are lactose-intolerant. The reason being that the healthy bacteria found in yogurt (called probiotics) helps with digestion of lactose.
This is a great turning point for this article, as you may have already known yogurt definitely has a lot of positive health benefits as well.
Benefits of Yogurt: Is Yogurt Good For You?
The probiotics found in almost all yogurt is real major plus for your digestive tract. These bacteria help keep the healthy bacteria in our intestines operating at an optimal level. This helps boost our immune system as well as help fight the “bad” bacteria that we are exposed to on a regular basis (especially if you are one to eat out a lot!).
What else? Here’s a triple-play: Protein/Calcium/Vitamin D. Yogurt is a great source for these three nutrients which we all need to maintain healthy muscles and bones. That’s truly what make yogurt one of the better snack foods.
There’s more though! Did you know yogurt is also a great source of Vitamin B12? Vitamin B12 plays a major role in our brain and nervous system as well as the metabolism of every cell in our bodies. In fact, supplementation with B12 also helps with management of our daily energy levels (if you haven’t yet, check out my article on How To Boost Your Energy Level Cycle).
How Can We Make Yogurt Even Better?
Well first off, you’ll find the least additives in plain yogurt. And if that’s boring we can add vanilla flavored whey protein to give it a serious boost in taste (my favorite is Optimum 100% Natural Vanilla).
You may also want to try the organic kind so you get the highest quality ingredients with cows which are not full of hormones.
And what about Greek Yogurt? Greek yogurt is great, usually has more protein and is definitely creamier in texture (even the non-fat kind). Just be aware that most greek yogurts don’t have as high content of calcium because of the way that it is produced. A good idea is to have both regular and greek yogurt so you can enjoy the benefits of each.
Lastly, I think it’s important to add that it’s much better to get the plain yogurt and add your own fresh berries or other fruit. Most fruit yogurts contain fruit purees which are higher in fructose content and have less vitamins minerals of fresh fruit.
Conclusion: Is Yogurt Good For You?
Hopefully you got some good takeaways from this article and will now be more aware of the sugars that are added to most yogurts. Buying organic plain low-fat yogurt and then adding your favorite berries, some vanilla whey protein powder and even some high fiber cereal makes it a fantastic breakfast or snack idea.
What is your favorite yogurt and has this article made you see things a little differently? Please leave a comment below…