Yogurt’s impact on your health
So you work out, get eight hours of sleep and manage your stress levels fairly well. And you eat healthy, too. But do you eat yogurt? If not, you might want to start—and regularly, too. A recent study published in the journal Nutrition Research reveals that eating yogurt frequently enriches our diet in a variety of ways, improving our overall health.
Yogurt covers quite a bit of healthy ground since it makes up for many of the other nutrients you might not get enough of—or at all—in your diet. This includes key ones such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin B12, which help keep your body in a healthy state. And if you do manage to get these nutrients in your diet, yogurt actually helps your body absorb them better, according to study results.
Participants in the study reported, on average, eating 2 ¼ cups of yogurt a week. With that, they were found to have a better-quality diet, higher potassium intakes and were 55 percent less likely to have inadequate intakes of vitamin B12 compared with those who don’t eat yogurt.
Americans reportedly do not do well in meeting dietary guidelines for dairy products in general. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend three daily servings of low-fat dairy, including milk, be it cow, soy or, yes, yogurt, for those age 9 and older. One cup of low-fat yogurt is equal to 1 cup of low-fat milk but offers approximately 50 percent more in the way of nutrients such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.
In addition to the nutrients yogurt provides, it also has a number of other benefits as well, such as the probiotic properties that help keep your gastrointestinal tract functioning normally, says Jennifer Steele, registered dietician at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
Steele recommends yogurt to her patients who want to lose weight. “It’s a nice dessert alternative to pudding,” she says. “Plain yogurt is also a nice substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream so people can use that on a baked potato instead, for example. It saves you calories and is high in protein.”
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