Whether it is starting your day with a giant fresh fruit and granola parfait, or grabbing a cup of fruit-flavored yogurt to go in the middle of a busy day, yogurt has a reputation as a healthy snack for the weight-conscious individual. While regular yogurt can be nutritious and packed with probiotics, its naturally sour taste means most of the yogurt we find on grocery store shelves is packed with enough added sugar to make you think twice.
Yogurt has a lot going for it from a nutritional perspective. Packed with calcium, vitamin D, and probiotic cultures to aid digestion, this high-protein food can help regulate your blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease, and even strengthen your immune system.
With regular whole milk yogurt, icelandic skyr from brands like Siggi, kefir, and Greek yogurt available, and nearly all of these varieties being offered in full-fat and low-fat versions, it can be hard to decide which variety is best.
Aside from levels of fat and protein, perhaps the most important factor in deciding on the healthiest yogurt for you is how many grams of sugar are included along with all that nutritional goodness. Products from companies like Siggi, Chobani, and others can be good candidates if you choose the varieties with as little added sugar as possible.
Part of the confusion over added sugar in yogurt is that it goes by many different names. While labeling requirements in the States help somewhat in understanding how much sugar is in the products we buy, knowing exactly where the sugar is coming from is more difficult. The list of natural sweeteners, additives, and artificial sweeteners you might find on yogurt labels could include:
If you are managing your sugar intake and looking toward low-sugar varieties, eating yogurt every day can be very healthy. Yogurt is a great source of non-meat protein and calcium among other nutrients. The active cultures found in yogurt can have powerful benefits in helping to maintain the health and variety of your gut bacteria. Increasing research points to the value of a healthy gut for your overall wellness, which leads many people to eat yogurt regularly in an attempt to keep everything running smoothly.
Finding sources of non-meat protein is sometimes hard for people who are used to eating a lot of meat, and this can be another great reason to eat yogurt regularly. If you are starting a weight loss program that involves an increase in the amount of exercise as well as making changes to your diet, you are likely going to find that your protein intake will need to increase. Research has suggested that eating too much meat can be bad for your health in the long term, so finding other plant and dairy-based sources of protein is a good way to get the protein you need without overdoing it at the meat counter.
Deciding between yogurt options can extend well beyond choosing how many grams of protein or the power of live active cultures you will find in a particular flavor. With some yogurt brands touting non-gmo or grass-fed cattle being used to produce their milk, there are many different factors to consider in finding the healthiest yogurt possible.
The sugar content of yogurt might not be the only concern people have when it comes to yogurt. If you are lactose intolerant, the prospect of eating any dairy products might seem alarming. Thankfully, the low lactose content in most yogurt means that many people who would avoid whole milk can eat yogurt without suffering the gastric consequences associated with an inability to digest lactose.
For many Americans, the company Chobani is synonymous with Greek yogurt. Though it was largely responsible for raising the mass-market appeal of this healthy, tangy yogurt variety, Chobani certainly is not the only Greek yogurt around. Companies like Fage Total and Oikos are also well-known, and generic versions can be found in grocery stores alongside recognizable brands.
Whether you are trying to pick out the best yogurt from Amazon or your local dairy aisle, understanding how the natural sugars and additives in yogurt will affect your blood sugar is an important consideration. Sugars and carbs you eat are readily converted into glucose, and even nonfat yogurt can still have enough added sugar to raise your blood sugar and prompt your body to store more of the energy in the food you eat as fat.
For individuals who have a known insulin sensitivity or who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a fruit-flavored yogurt from Yoplait may not be the best choice. Plain greek yogurt will have less sugar while still getting you the health benefits of probiotic cultures, protein, and healthy fats yogurt can provide.
For those looking to curb their sugar intake, switching from yogurt to sour cream is one way to avoid some of the sugar while still keeping the texture of a smoothie or finding a delicious complement to some fresh fruit for a low-calorie snack.
Some people can feel a bit overwhelmed when it comes to different yogurt options available. If you have been put on a diet by your dietitian or nutritionist that has strict limits to the amount of saturated fats or grams of sugar, it is good to know there is probably an option available that will get you what you need.
If you are looking to trim a few pounds by summer, or if you just want to fit into a beloved pair of pants, small changes in diet and exercise might get the job done. If you are looking at losing a significant amount of body mass, though, more serious measures may need to be considered.
No matter how much weight you are trying to lose, eating healthy food and getting more exercise is likely going to be part of the equation. Losing a lot of weight and keeping it off can take serious dedication, though, and it may even require medical intervention. If you have been fighting a losing battle against obesity, or have been warned by your doctor that strenuous exercise could put you at risk of a heart attack, jogging your way to a better body might not be a realistic option.
At True You Weight Loss, we know that there are many options available in helping people lose large amounts of body fat. Not every approach or treatment will work for every person, which is why we work hard to find the best solution that will allow you to keep enjoying the freedom from excess body weight for the rest of your life.
We offer a range of services to help a wide variety of people including procedures like endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, and even gastric balloons for people who need a more flexible solution to weight loss. We even perform bariatric revisions for those who have already undergone weight loss surgery and found that their unwanted body weight has returned.
If you are interested in learning more about the services we offer at True You Weight Loss, request a consultation today.