In recent weeks we’ve looked at why you should add coconut oil, dark chocolate, and wholemeal bread to your diet for optimal weight loss. Here’s another power food to put in your arsenal: low fat yogurt.
Yogurt is a versatile food: you can eat it as a snack at home or on the go. You can have it by itself or with fruit, muesli, honey, or even chocolate chips if you have a sweet tooth. Many people incorporate them into their fruit smoothies, while others make frozen yogurt.
Mireille Guiliano, author of the runaway hit French Women Don’t Get Fat, tells the health website WebMD, “Yogurt is the perfect food because it is high in calcium, [and]has carbs, protein and fat, which are what you need in every meal,” and that most French women eat yogurt at least once daily, and some multiple times a day.
Medical research has shown that foods high in calcium like yogurt and other dairy products help weight loss in addition to keeping your bones strong.
The International Journal of Obesity published a study on low-fat yogurt in April 2005, showing that obese adults who cut 500 calories out of their diet each day in conjunction with eating three serving of low-fat yogurt lost weight and gained a smaller waist. This group lost 22% more weight, 61% more body fat, and 81% more stomach fat than the control group. For those of you who read our recent article on visceral fat, the dangerous kind of fat found around the abdomen, then you’ll know how important a diet heavy in low-fat yogurt can be in maintaining your health and weight – it could even save your life!
We recommend you eat at least two servings of low-fat or non-fat yogurt a day. Steer clear of the fattier varieties at your local supermarket, whose fat and sugar content may be high enough to negate any health benefits. If you’re not sure if your favourite yogurt is good enough for your diet, read the fat, sugar and calorie content on the nutritional label and compare it to the zero or low fat brands.
If you experiences gastrointestinal, immune system issues or if you’ve been on anti-biotics, yogurt will give you other major benefits: its live cultures give your gastrointestinal tract a supply of good bacteria. Some argue that organic yogurt has the highest quantity of good bacteria.
Get Creative With Yogurt
If the prospects of eating a small tub of yogurt several times a day isn’t appetizing or if you suspect you’ll get bored quickly, there are plenty of ways to jazz it up so you can keep your yogurt consumption fresh and exciting.
As we mentioned above, many people love mixing sliced fruit or sweets into their yogurt. Here are some healthy and interesting condiment suggestions:
• Granny Smith apple slices and cinnamon
• Strawberry and kiwi
• Honey and cinnamon
• Dark chocolate chips and muesli
• Raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries
Here are some other creative uses of yogurt:
• Use it in place of cream, sour cream, or mayonnaise in recipes.
• Use it in place of sour cream as a garnish in soups, nachos, lamb chops, and more.
• Use it to make frozen yogurt (you may need an ice-cream maker, but it’s not always essential).
• Use it on pancakes, pikelets, waffles, or raisin toast. It’s an excellent replacement for maple syrup, butter, or cream cheese.
• Use it in place of water when you’re eating spicy dishes. It’s commonly eaten alongside hot curries in India, and is often made with mint, making it a cool and refreshing dipping sauce.
• Use it in place of oil or butter in sweets.
• Use it in marinades
• Use it as part of a salad dressing.
• Mix it with a bit of cornstarch when mixing it into a hot dish (the cornstarch prevents the yogurt from separating).