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Is Yogurt really a Healthy Choice?

If you are searching for a healthy breakfast or snack, you may very well grab a yogurt.  Yogurt has gotten a really great reputation for being healthy, even substituting ice cream as a ‘healthier’ option.  Besides the fact that yogurt is a great source of calcium, iodine and phosphorous, among other vitamins and minerals, yogurt’s biggest claim to fame is that it contains live active bacterial cultures which may help you to live longer and may fortify your immune system.  Unfortunately, along with these great health benefits comes a ton of sugar.  Refined sugar, otherwise known as simple carbohydrates, provide very little nutrition and a load of unnecessary, empty calories.  Further, most traditional yogurts that don’t have sugar are loaded with artificial sweeteners, which, as we know, are no good for you.  Lastly, if you are interested in getting fiber and protein which makes you feel fuller for longer, traditional yogurt doesn’t cut it.

So does this mean that yogurt isn’t a healthy snack or breakfast?  Not necessarily.  Here is a great way to make yogurt a healty choice:

    1. Choose a yogurt that is low in sugars.  And choose one that is plain.  If you choose one with fruit on the bottom, you are going to get a whopping amount of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.  Fage Greek Yogurt in particular is the best choice and great tasting too.  In addition to lower sugar content, it has a higher protein content, making it more filling and nutritious. Look at the chart below:

Yogurt Facts

  1. Use real fruit. For some sweetness, add a 1/2 cup of berries…either fresh or frozen.  Real fruit will provide you with fiber in addition to the natural sugars, which will help to keep you more satisfied longer.  The fruit that already comes in yogurt (like Dannon’s Fruit on the Bottom) has preservatives and added sugars.  If you want a little more sweetness, consider using a very tiny amount of stevia.
  2. Get in a little Fat. For an even more satiating experience, choose Fage’s 2% Fat which provides you with a little fat to keep you satiated even longer.
  3. Make it Fiber-licious.  To really boost your fiber intake, add a 1/4 of raw oats or some flaxseeds to your yogurt.  This will give it more texture and fiber, keeping your digestive tract happy and healthy.

So go ahead, have some yogurt for your breakfast.  Just be smart about the kind you eat.  It can be a great choice!

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