Yogurt: Boost Your Snacks.

Looking for a way to make your snacks stay with you longer? Try adding yogurt to your regimen.

Yogurt is a fermented byproduct of milk. Lactic acid produced by bacteria reacts with the lactose (sugar found in milk) to give yogurt its signature sour taste. As yogurt is a dairy product it is naturally high in calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Calcium is involved with building strong bones and muscle function. Riboflavin and B6 help with metabolism and vitamin B12 deals with neurological function and red blood cell formation.

There are so many brands and varieties of yogurt that my head spins when I go near the dairy aisle in the grocery store. What many consumers don’t realize is the best yogurt for you has the least exciting packaging and health claims. Many companies have created low-calorie, low-sugar, or even high-fiber (that one drives me crazy) yogurts and people do not know what to buy. So if you are ever in the market to purchase yogurt simply buy plain low-fat or non-fat Greek (or Icelandic, or any other higher protein variety.) Some brands are better than others, so label reading will be necessary.

Greek yogurt is high in protein. A small serving of five to six ounces can have almost 20 grams! Protein takes a long time to leave your stomach, so it keeps you fuller longer than carbohydrates alone do. Using yogurt as a snack can help curb your hunger if you know you will have a long period of time before your next meal.

So how do I enjoy yogurt? My standard yogurt snack has about six ounces of plain non-fat yogurt, about 3/4 cup fresh fruit, a small handful of nuts, topped with homemade granola for extra sweetness. Because plan yogurt has a sour taste, it can also be paired with vegetables as a snack. Mix finely chopped fresh herbs, like dill, basil or parsley, along with minced garlic to create a yogurt dip for your vegetables. It can be used as a healthier spread on sandwiches as well. Use your imagination! What is your favorite yogurt snack?

Photo credit to creative commons user Steve Wilhelm

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