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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Foods That Fight Fat #2: Yogurt

Our second Super Fat Fighter is yogurt.  A calcium-rich food, yogurt has up to 50% more calcium per ounce than milk.  Calcium-rich foods have slimming superpowers.  If you get too little of this mineral your body may be more likely to pack away calories as fat.  Yogurt is a potent source of calcium and better yet, it's probiotics may help keep belly fat under control.

More reasons to incorporate yogurt into your daily routine:

1.Yogurt is easier to digest than milk. Many people who cannot tolerate milk, either because of a protein allergy or lactose intolerance, can enjoy yogurt. The culturing process makes yogurt more digestible than milk. The live active cultures create lactase, the enzyme lactose-intolerant people lack, and another enzyme contained in some yogurts (beta-galactosidase) also helps improve lactose absorption in lactase-deficient persons.

2. Yogurt contributes to colon health. When eating yogurt, you care for your colon in two ways. First, yogurt contains lactobacteria, intestines-friendly bacterial cultures that foster a healthy colon, and even lower the risk of colon cancer. Secondly, yogurt is a rich source of calcium - a mineral that contributes to colon health and decreases the risk of colon cancer.

3. Yogurt can decrease yeast infections. Research has shown that eating eight ounces of yogurt that contains live and active cultures daily reduces the amount of yeast colonies in the vagina and decreases the incidence of vaginal yeast infections.

4.Yogurt can lower cholesterol. There are a few studies that have shown that yogurt can reduce the blood cholesterol. This may be because the live cultures in yogurt can assimilate the cholesterol or because yogurt binds bile acids, (which has also been shown to lower cholesterol), or both.

5. Yogurt is a "grow food." Two nutritional properties of yogurt may help children with intestinal absorption problems grow: the easier digestibility of the proteins and the fact that the lactic acid in yogurt increases the absorption of minerals. And even most picky-eaters will eat yogurt in dips and smoothies and as a topping. 

Selecting your Yogurt can be confusing, especially since every grocery store seems to have an overwhelming selection of flavors and brands.  We suggest when choosing your yogurt, you go for a low-fat, plain yogurt (we enjoy Greek style) and add your own fresh fruit or pure extracts to get the flavor you desire. WE LOVE FAGE brand! Although all yogurt has some degree of natural sugar, pre-flavored yogurts added sugar and artificial flavorings can be extreme.  

Herbed Spinach Yogurt Dip
2 cups

1 1/2 cups Greek style yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fresh basil, minced
2 tsp avocado oil
Pinch sea salt
1 cup organic baby spinach, diced

Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.  Place mixture in refrigerator and chill for approximately 1 hour before serving.


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