My petite 6 year old niece overheard our conversation the other day (okay, eavesdropped…) as we went on about weight loss programs and diets.
My sister (her mom…) mentioned something about Greek yogurt and weight loss and that’s when she jumped out from her hiding, arms akimbo, pouting her lips in a twist, and just went, “Mom, have you been feeding me Greek yogurt? Can I get it for grandpa and Uncle Charlie this Christmas mummy…?”
Poor skinny little thing (but awesomely adorable)… we laughed all afternoon… lost a few calories too!
Interlude: grandpa George and uncle Charlie have some weight issues and they are significantly pot-bellied!
Moving on Swiftly…
With its thick creamy texture and a sweet-sour taste that some describe as tangy, Greek yogurt remains one of the most preferred type of yogurt for many yogurt enthusiasts, specifically those looking to shed off a few pounds without giving up on their favorite foods.
So much has been said about this Mediterranean-style yogurt and its suitability for weight loss diets, but as to whether the claims are true or mere myth…it still remains largely debatable.
Now let’s put this matter to rest by looking at a few facts relating to weight loss “dieting” and Greek yogurt. This yogurt is not what you’d call a “fat busting super-food”, but here are a couple of things about Greek yogurt that will really amaze you…
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Nutritional Fundamentals on Greek Yogurt
A simple serving of about 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt (non-fat) is enough to supply your body with only 100 calories (6g Carbs, & 17g Protein).
Some people may argue that non-fat regular plain yogurt has fewer calories (95 calories)…and thus better than Greek yogurt but the truth is that this 5-calorie difference is negligible and it doesn’t matter that much either when you really think about it…
Despite the giving you less calories, regular plain non-fat yogurt has more Carbs (13g) and less Proteins (10g).
This means more carbs that can be turned into fat, and less proteins to help you metabolize…thus less advantage…
With that being said, you’ll want to note that Protein is an integral part of any successful weight-loss diet.
According to the FSN (Food Science and Nutrition, 2015), their published study asserted that daily protein intake as part of your weight-loss diet was good for muscle mass preservation, the ability to burn calories, and better control of your hunger pangs throughout the day.
In short, Protein is good for your metabolism and this is where Greek yogurt beats regular yogurt hands-down!
At least 30% of your daily meal plan should contain foods rich in proteins.
More On Greek Yogurt and Nutritional Value…
A cohort study conducted in 2005 by the IJO (International Journal of Obesity) revealed that (despite not being Greek yogurt par se…) yogurt was a very important element in weight loss diets.
The study included 2 groups, the control group that was fed on low-calorie foods only, and the evaluation group that received both low-calorie foods plus yogurt.
The authors of this clinical study concluded that in addition to regular exercising, yogurt with high protein content was a viable inclusion in weight-loss diets/programs.
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Do We Get Sufficient Calcium From Greek Yogurt?
For starters, an average adult needs about 1, 000 mg to 1, 200 mg of calcium every day. So how much of this can we get from Greek yogurt?
Well, as a dairy product with notable amounts of calcium, a single serving of Greek yogurt contains 109 mg of this vital mineral. Regular yogurt has about 339 mg of calcium.
This means you have to supplement your diet with more calcium rich foods such as cheese fortified foods, or regular fresh milk to reach your daily recommended calcium intake target.
Servings and Tips
As clearly elaborated above, Greek yogurt is a fine addition to weight loss meal plans because of its high protein and calcium content, as well as low-calorie count.
A cup or two of Greek yogurt are good for you each day.
You can add fruits of your choice to bump its nutritional value.
The US Department of Agriculture however recommends a limit of 3 cups of any combination of dairy products in a day.
Too much of dairy intake may not present negative effects on most people, but it may cause a few problems for lactose intolerant individuals with possible cases of bloating or indigestion.
Additionally, you can use Greek yogurt as an ingredient in your cooking.
If you need to dress your baked potatoes with a healthy topper, add more protein to your fruit smoothies, or whip up something “gourmet” that requires the use of yogurt, yet totally healthy, then Greek yogurt is an ideal ingredient to ensure that your meals are not only healthy, but tasty as well…
FYI: Too much of something is always not good… and too much Greek yogurt (even non-fat…) will only end up making you fat!