What food is the perfect breakfast treat, mid-day snack, or creamy desert? Yogurt. Whether you like adding fresh fruit, honey, or just scooping it straight from the tub, chances are you love yogurt.
But have you ever paused mid-spoonful and wondered: is yogurt good for you? Is there such thing as too much of a good thing?
Is Yogurt Good for You?
Yes, there are several reasons why eating yogurt can be good for your body. Yogurt is a great breakfast dish because its protein will keep you feeling full for longer.
But what is yogurt made of? Why is yogurt good for you? When consumed in moderation, yogurt can provide you with a high amount of these essential nutrients.
Plenty of Protein
Yogurt is surprisingly high in protein. It contains about 12 grams of protein per 8 ounces (227 grams) of yogurt.
Adults need about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, depending on exercise levels. A breakfast yogurt with 12 grams of protein is a great place to start!
Yogurt is rich with calcium, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. Calcium is essential for the health of your bones and teeth, especially as we age.
B vitamins, particularly B12 and B6, aid enzymes in breaking down food and producing hemoglobin. Hemoglobin gives red blood cells their color and helps transport oxygen throughout the body.
One of the healthiest aspects in yogurt has to be the amount of probiotics and live bacterial cultures. This might sound gross, but probiotics play an essential role in our gut health.
In our stomachs, intestines, and beyond, there is a whole ecosystem of bacteria and fungus living in harmony. Sometimes this microbiome can become unbalanced, and one creature, like yeast, can grow unchecked.
Consuming probiotics, the good bacteria, restores the balance of bacteria and fungus and keeps our body’s microbiome in check.
How to Keep Yogurt Healthy
Although we’ve listed several benefits to eating yogurt, this food is best consumed in moderation and under certain conditions. Here are a few things you can do to keep yogurt a healthy part of your diet.
Avoid Excess Sugars
Some pre-packaged yogurts can be full of excess sugars and artificial colors and flavors. While they may still have some protein and vitamins to offer, the harm to your body from excess sugar outweighs the benefits of the yogurt.
If you want to make your yogurt a little sweeter, consider added sweetener with a low glycemic index, like agave.
Watch Your Toppings
You’ve probably come across nifty pre-packaged toppings in the yogurt aisle. Some of these aren’t so bad, but others, like chocolates and candies, are obviously unhealthy. Keep it healthy by sticking to fruit fruit, nuts and seeds, and granola.
Seek More Live Cultures
Over-processed yogurts and dehydrated yogurt powders contain fewer (if any) beneficial probiotics. Some products at the grocery store are labeled as “made with real yogurt,” but the beneficial aspects of the yogurt have largely been removed.
More often than not, these products are made from dehydrated yogurt powder, which contains no probiotics. The less processed the yogurt, the more health benefits it will have.
Make Yogurt at Home
Store-bought yogurt these days is a deviation of the real thing. So what’s the healthiest yogurt? Homemade yogurt.
Making yogurt at home allows you to control the flavors, sweeteners, and other ingredients. It also ensures you’ll have a final product chock-full of probiotics.
The Truth is Sweet
So, is yogurt good for you? Yes, when consumed in moderation, yogurt is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and probiotics which will keep your body systems running smoothly. A serving of yogurt in the morning is a great way to jumpstart your metabolism!
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