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The Benefits of Greek Yogurt

Author: Medifast California

June 02, 2016

The Benefits of Greek Yogurt

Author: Medifast California

June 02, 2016

One of the hottest current food trends is Greek yogurt. You have probably noticed that the dairy section at your local grocery store is suddenly full of countless Greek yogurt options. You will find Greek yogurt, not just in traditional yogurt cups, but also in smoothies, granola bars, ice cream, covering raisins, and more.

Food fads come and go, and a sense of skepticism is a good rule of thumb. Does Greek yogurt live up to its hype? Is it really a powerful super food, deserving of its sudden popularity?

The surprising answer is: yes! Greek yogurt is a fantastic food to include in a healthy diet. Check out some of the health benefits of Greek yogurt below:

  • Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, calcium, zinc, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.
  • The prevalence of “free” amino acids in Greek yogurt means that the body can digest it more fluidly than milk. It also contains more protein than milk.
  • Additional B vitamins prevalent in Greek yogurt include substantial amounts of niacin and riboflavin.
  • The straining and removal of whey makes Greek yogurt thicker and creamier than traditional yogurt, also reducing the sugars and carbohydrates.
  • With 2Xs the protein, Greek yogurt is an ideal food in your weight loss program – it will leave you feeling full longer and help you avoid the sugar and carbohydrate “crashes.”
  • Natural probiotics encourage digestive health
  • High protein levels promote muscle development
  • A great source of calcium, Greek yogurt supports bone health
  • The lower level of lactose in Greek yogurt severely decreases the symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort associated with the digestion of dairy products such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea, etc…
  • For those suffering from moments or prolonged episodes of lactose intolerance, choosing dairy items with less lactose such as Greek yogurt can also support an increase in the body’s ability to process and soak up necessary nutrients and decrease the potential of malnutrition.
  • Greek yogurt also been found to be an excellent source of dietary minerals, much more so than milk. Also some studies suggest that the minerals found in Greek yogurt are more easily absorbed by the body than in other dairy products due to the yogurt’s acidic quality.
  • For older adults, Greek yogurt can be particularly valuable for enhancing the calcium and Vitamin D intake necessary to avoid many serious health implications. Health concerns potentially related to the prolonged malabsorption of calcium and Vitamin D include osteoporosis, frequent falling, poor balance, muscle cramps, weakness, bone fractures, etc…
  • Greek yogurt may also be an asset to the preservation and restoration of tooth enamel. Who knew that something as simple as adding some Greek yogurt to your diet could help you keep your smile brighter and healthier for years to come?

A recent study also found that Greek yogurt may contribute to weight maintenance and help to address obesity by contributing to the overall health and nutritional improvement in those who consume it. This is particularly important to note for the elderly, who are inclined to gain weight as they become less physically able and active in life. For many, the consumption of yogurt has helped to replace other snack foods that are poorer in nutrient value and higher in calories. In women, Greek yogurt has also been associated with higher HDL cholesterol–the good cholesterol that keeps our hearts healthy. When it comes to weight maintenance, a healthy metabolism is important.

Greek yogurt has also been shown to correlate with reduced blood pressure, a lower BMI and many more factors associated with metabolic variables and weight loss and maintenance. Now that you’ve learned about a myriad of reasons for incorporating Greek yogurt into your diet, it’s always crucial to make sure that you still using discernment when shopping in a market over-saturated with “Greek yogurt” options.

When it comes to choosing the right Greek yogurt, don’t get tricked by the “Greek yogurt” label – just because Greek yogurt has been included doesn’t mean the product is healthy. Ice creams, granola bars, and even yogurt cups can be loaded with added sugar, cancelling any of the health benefits from the yogurt itself. Stick to plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, or the light, low fat varieties in your diet program.

Greek Yogurt is Versatile

Greek yogurt is surprisingly versatile – able to replace a variety of unhealthy foods. Standing in for cream cheese, sour cream, butter, mayonnaise, and oil – Greek yogurt can be used in baking, sweet desserts, savory dishes, party dips, smoothies, and more. With endless possibilities, Greek yogurt can help you stay healthy, while still enjoying flavorful and complex foods. With thousands upon thousands of recipes available – take a look at how you can substitute Greek yogurt in your favorite meals. Try starting off with 100+ recipes, beautifully photographed, then visit Serious Eats Greek yogurt recipes. Find a star dish to enjoy again and again, or get ideas for a whole year’s worth of meals.

Medifast Tip:

On the Medifast 5&1 plan, 12 oz. fat free or 2% plain Greek yogurt can be used as the “lean” portion of your Lean & Green meal. Not a fan of plain Greek yogurt? No problem! Adding a Medifast Infuser is a great way to liven up plain Greek yogurt.

Make Greek yogurt part of your 2016 health diet plan.

About the Author:

Medifast California
The team at Medifast California
The team at Medifast California is committed to practicing what they preach. Experts in nutrition, health, counseling and exercise, they have the experience and tools to offer the support you need when you need it!

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