The One Yogurt You Should Never Eat
Yogurt’s moment as an ultimate health food is still going strong. Case in point: A new study in over 6,500 men and women, published in Nutrition Research, found that people who ate more than two servings of yogurt a week had better overall diets, consuming more potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins B2 and B12. That’s one reason they were healthier, too, with lower triglycerides, glucose, and systolic blood pressure than those who ate yogurt less often.
Yes, yogurt eaters have more nutritious eating habits. The study found they tend to consume fewer calories from processed meat, refined grains, and beer, and more produce, nuts, fish, and whole grains than yogurt-skippers. (Yogurt doesn’t have to be a breakfast-only option. See these 9 Surprisingly Delicious Ways to Use Greek Yogurt to spark some creativity in your next recipe!)
“But even after accounting for the healthier diets of yogurt consumers, we found that eating yogurt itself leads to a healthier diet because it supplies three nutrients that many Americans don’t get enough of: potassium, calcium, and vitamin B12,” says study coauthor Paul Jacques, D.Sc., director of the Nutritional Epidemiology Laboratory at Tufts University.
We know your grocery store is stocked to the gills with options, so here’s how to make a smart pick:
First, avoid the yogurts that are akin to “flavored milk jellos,” as registered dietitian Alexandra Caspero, owner of weight-management and sports-nutrition service Delicious-Knowledge.com, calls them. Check out the ingredients label—it should basically contain cultured milk and cultures (the GI-healthy probiotics like S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, etc.). Want to know what other foods you should avoid? Check out our list of 25 New Healthy Foods That Aren’t.
Prefer Greek yogurt instead of the traditional kind? Either is fine. Aside from the differences in protein (per cup: over 20 grams in plain Greek versus 10 g in regular), you’ll be getting the same nutrients and probiotics. “There’s nothing ‘magical’ about Greek yogurt, although more protein can aid in satiety,” says Caspero. Here are Caspero’s top yogurt picks:
1. Oikos 0% Vanilla Greek Yogurt
Yes, it’s flavored, but with organic sugar and no added colors or flavors, it’s a solid pick for 170 calories and 22 g of protein per cup.
2. Stonyfield Fat-Free Plain Yogurt
“With 10 grams of protein and 110 calories per cup, this is a good choice to add into smoothies, oatmeal, or cereal with a tiny drizzle of honey or maple syrup,” Caspero says.
3. So Delicious Dairy Free Cultured Almond Milk Greek Style
“Great for guys who can’t tolerate dairy for whatever reason,” Caspero says. “Though almond milk is traditionally lower in protein, this yogurt is pumped up with pea protein for 7 grams per container and only 140 calories.”
—By Jessica Girdwain, Men’s Health
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