Tag: weight management

Greek Yogurt For a Flat Tummy

I used to hate the taste of yogurt. My mind was made up that there was no way there would ever be any type or flavor I could find that I might enjoy. I could not see myself getting past that yucky tang that comes with the taste of yogurt, that taste of sour milk repulsed me. I foolishly believed all yogurts were made equal, equally yucky that is…

But, I was totally wrong in my belief!

Today, plain, full fat Greek Yogurt is something I eat each and every day. 

About five or six years ago, my youngest daughter Molly told me how much better Greek yogurt tasted than regular yogurt. She talked me into trying Oiko’s brand Key Lime flavored Greek yogurt and I became hooked that day. Except there was one problem…

All key lime flavored Greek yogurts I could ever find were low fat versions, and after a while, I began tasting that tangy sour milk taste coming through. I tried other flavors of Greek yogurts but could not find any that had a flavor I could enjoy, and I was really burnt out on the key lime after about a year of eating it. This was all when I was eating an excessive amount of calories to fuel my power lifting regimen and did not care about sugar content which all the Greek yogurts in my local stores have as an ingredient.

Once I cut sugar entirely out of my diet, there seemed to be nothing I could eat in the way of Greek yogurts anymore. That is until my wonderful co-author Brenda Sue suggested I give plain, full fat Greek yogurt a try. I got to say, at first this sounded horrible to me. I could not see myself eating any plain Greek yogurt, but then she turned me on to several different ways to flavor it my own way, and best of all, do it without any added sugar at all.

Let me tell you, plain, full fat Greek yogurt is a creamy and versatile treat. I use sugar free Crystal Light to flavor it anyway I want. I also use powdered peanut butter, Saigon cinnamon, nuts and seeds to add further dimensions of texture and flavor to it as well. I love this stuff, and eat it every day now.

And best of all, this treat is about as healthy and good for cutting body fat as they come.

Greek yogurt makers add an extra step to their process so that excess water, lactose, and minerals drain out. What’s left is a creamy, rich yogurt. Plain Greek yogurt is a nutrient-packed snack that has many health benefits. A cup of it can help you meet the recommended dietary guideline of three daily servings of dairy products. People who have lactose intolerance may also find Greek yogurt easier to digest because of the bacterial breakdown of the milk’s sugars. An average serving, depending on the brand, can have 12 to 17.3 grams of protein!

Yogurt has a much higher amount of protein than milk.

Your body uses protein to build:

bones

muscles

cartilage

skin

hair

blood

Protein is also one of the three nutrients that provide energy. It also transfers substances, such as oxygen, across cell membranes. Getting the right amount of protein for yourself is important for your immune system, nerves, and fluid balance.

You’ll need more protein to maintain muscle mass as you age. For the average adult , 65 years old or older, the amount of protein needed increases to between 1 and 1.2 grams per kilogram a day, according to the Mayo Clinic. For those who are active in sports or weight training, you will need up to 1 to 1.2 grams per pound of body weight.

Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, especially if you need to avoid meat. If you enjoy chia seeds, add 2 tablespoons of them for a protein and fiber boost. Probiotics keep you regular and happy

Greek yogurt is packed with probiotics.

Many people find that dairy is positively correlated with inflammatory responses or processes, however, that’s not the case not when it comes to Greek yogurt. Research has actually been shown to prove that Greek yogurt that contains probiotic strains of Lactobacillus actually promotes the formation of a desirable anti-inflammatory environment in the blood system. The effects of probiotics may be a consequence of the body working against potentially pathogenic/pro-inflammatory endogenous microbiota in the digestive system. A healthy tummy means a healthy body in a lot more ways than one.

Probiotics are healthy bacteria that help boost your immune system and decreases stomach issues, such as diarrhea and pain.

These healthy bacteria normally live in your intestines,  having good microorganisms in your intestines helps keep you healthy. Without a healthy balance of good bacteria from probiotics, too much bad bacteria can build up and cause damage to our immune systems.

And just as stress and emotions can trigger stomach issues, your gut can send signals the other way around, too. One study found that probiotics could also affect the brain,  and that probiotic supplements can reduce an individuals tendency for distress and thoughts about sadness, including thoughts about hurting others or themselves.

Calcium is key to keeping healthy

Another benefit of Greek yogurt is that it’s high in calcium. Calcium is key to building strong muscles and helping your vital organs function. Your body also doesn’t produce calcium on its own. Without enough calcium, children may not grow as tall as possible and adults can be at risk for osteoporosis.

A serving of Greek yogurt has 18.7 percent of your daily value for calcium.

Greek yogurt is an excellent option for older adults who want to maintain their bone health. It’s also ideal because it’s convenient and easy to eat, especially for those who have trouble chewing.

Greek yogurt is a great source of  vitamin B-12

Your body needs vitamin B-12 for red blood cells to form, brain functions, and DNA synthesis. Many might choose to supplement vitamin B-12 into their diet, but Greek yogurt offers a powerful, natural alternative. One serving of Greek yogurt can have up to 21.3 percent of your daily value. People who are vegetarian usually lack vitamin B-12 because the vitamin is naturally found in animal products, such as fish, meat, and eggs. Greek yogurt is an excellent, meat-free way to add more to your diet.

Potassium balances out sodium

One serving of Greek yogurt can have up to 6.8 percent of your daily potassium intake value.

Potassium helps lower blood pressure and balance out the sodium levels in your body. If you have high sodium levels or a diet high in sodium, you may want to eat foods high in potassium so that your body can pass the excess sodium when you go to the bathroom.

Keeping your waist in check

Greek yogurt is also an excellent source of iodine. Your body doesn’t naturally make iodine, so it’s important to get enough through the foods you eat. Iodine is important for proper thyroid function, and the thyroid is essential for healthy metabolism.

People today tend to be iodine deficient, which can cause serious problems, including rapid fluctuations in weight. For people with weight problems, increasing iodine levels in their diet increases the thyroid’s activity and, in turn, increases their metabolism promoting weight loss.

Another major benefit of Greek yogurt is the fact that it’s easy to prepare and relatively portable. It’s one of the fastest ways to add more protein to your diet without having to spend hours preparing and cooking protein dishes. Adding a few servings of Greek yogurt to your smoothies instantly gives them a huge protein boost. There are probably thousands of smoothie recipes that utilize Greek yogurt and most of them take just minutes to prepare, making Greek yogurt one of the best weight loss foods in terms of convenience. That makes a major difference because a lot of packaged foods and processed foods become popular because they are simply convenient. If you can come up with several recipes that are easy to make and don’t take a lot of time to prepare then you’ll be less likely to want to snack on junk foods between meals.