For people who are trying to lose weight, yogurt is a great alternative to high calorie items such as desserts, sauces, dips and more. Not only is yogurt less fattening, it is also so much healthier compared to other dairy products. Although yogurt is also a milk product, it is more beneficial to the body in a lot of ways because it provides the nutrition that the body needs such as calcium, protein and other vitamins but with less calories and the added benefit of probiotics.
Yogurt is made usually from cow’s milk or buffalo milk, but they can also be made from the milk of other mammals such as from goats, or yaks. The milk is made to undergo bacterial fermentation, which then yields the yogurt and gives it its distinctive tangy taste.
Yogurt is probably best known for its microorganism content or more commonly known as good bacteria. For best effects, choose yogurt that says “live microorganisms” or “live culture” on the label. What these good bacteria do is they balance out the microflora in the intestines, promoting good digestion. It has been shown to also aid people who are suffering from lactose intolerance, constipation, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer. Moreover, it has also been shown to help women with diabetes have decreased episodes of vaginal yeast.
The high calcium content of yogurt also means that our body gets much of the recommended daily intake from it. Calcium makes out teeth and bones strong, and daily consumption f yogurt can help prevent osteoporosis, or the thinning of the bones as we age. In order to facilitate better absorption of calcium, calcium is best taken with Vitamin D. Many yogurt products are fortified with Vitamin D for this reason, so check your product label.
Yogurt is also great in aiding those who wish to lose fat. In one study, it has been shown to reduce the body fat by 61% more and by 81% in abdominal fat more than those who did not consume it. Not only that, because of its high content, yogurt has also been shown to encourage fat oxidation by as much as 20 times more compared to those who consume little calcium in their diets.
Yogurt has also been proven to help boost the immune system and help the body fend off infections. It helps the body’s immune cells better fight off pathogens that cause diseases. Yogurt has also been shown to help reduce incidents of allergy.
It also helps lower the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol in the body, while increasing the levels of HDL or good cholesterols. Likewise, it also helps lower blood pressure, and the combination of these two health benefits means that the risk of cardiovascular diseases, strokes and diabetes is lowered. It would be best however, to choose the low-fat or non-fat variants of yogurt to maximize this benefit.
Yogurt is always listed as one of the healthiest foods on the planet if you consult the lists. Yogurt is so versatile that you can eat it as a dessert, chilled and topped with fresh fruits (best that you do it with fresh fruits instead of purchasing the flavored ones which may contain too much sugar). It can also be used in marinades and sauces such as in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes, as well as dips when mixed with lemon, garlic or chives. It can also be used as a good substitute for topping baked potato in lieu of cheese or cream. Smoothies can also be made using yogurt, added with fresh chopped fruit and crushed ice.