The skinny on yogurt

women-over-50-eat-yogurtHere’s the “skinny”on Yogurt. I often recommend yogurt as a healthy snack to my patients because it has countless health benefits. But not all yogurts are healthy, and not all yogurts are created equal. I often recommend yogurt to patients suffering form Candida. Candida Albicans, also known as a thrush, yeast or fungal infection, can overgrow and become a problem that can cause irritating signs and symptoms that are related to many common illnesses. The probiotics, which is the healthy bacteria in the yogurt, will decrease the candida growth. But when a person chooses the wrong yogurt they can be doing more bad than good by feeding sugar to the Yeast.

Some yogurts are sugar bombs. Six ounces of yogurt should contain about 12 grams of natural sugar. Every 4 grams on top of that is equal to eating a teaspoon of added sugar. If your yogurt has 20 grams or more of sugar, consider it a dessert – not a snack. For example, let’s look at Yoplait blackberry pomegranate yogurt, we may think it is good with all the healthy berries…but it has 27 grams of sugar and 170 calories! Another example, Stoneyfield Farm Fat Free Chocolate Yogurt has 180 calories, and 35 grams of sugar, defiantly considered a dessert!

This brings up the topic of calories, 170 calories is too high for a serving of yogurt. McDonald’s Carmel Latte also has 170 calories! To guarantee the slimming effects and belly flattening abilities that yogurt has, keep your yogurts under 110 calories for plain, and 130 calories for flavored. **Avoid non fat yogurts containing saturated fats, artificial flavoring and food dyes. They may have lower calories, but if they are full of chemicals you are not getting any benefit.

So what should you look for in a yogurt?
~At least 8 grams of protein. Thicker yogurts like the plain Greek yogurt will have even more.
~12 grams or less of sugar
~130 calories or less

Benefits of Yogurt (when you choose a good one)

-Healthy bacteria in yogurt strengthens your immune system
-Belly-flattening properties from the probiotics (healthy bacteria)
-Promotes healthy digestion and regulates bowel movements
-Keeps blood sugar levels stable
-Great source of calcium – 30% your daily intake in 6 ounces.
-Most dairy sensitive people can tolerate yogurt, the enzymes and probiotics break down the lactose in it.
-Good source of Protein *the watery layer that sometimes settles on the top of yogurt is whey protein and contains amino acids that build muscle, so don’t skim it off – stir it in and eat.

Yogurt Bonuses

*Add honey to your Yogurt, which is a prebiotic, a carb that helps the probiotics strive and grow.
*Yogurt can be used in place of sour cream in many dips – this will save some serious calories.
*Add Yogurt to a morning smoothie with fruit and water for a perfect thickness.
*Coat baked salmon in yogurt, the Vitamin D in fish helps you absorb the calcium in the yogurt better, and it’s yummy!

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