by Mike Levinson
Rich, creamy and tart, Greek yogurt is a decadent dream for you if you often crave healthy snacks. This diva of dairy goods is gaining more and more popularity as nutritionists and health experts around the world agree that snacking on Greek yogurt is an incredibly smart and gratifying choice.
Here are five wonderful reasons why:
1. For Heart Health
The trouble with snacking is that a lot of the things you probably like to eat are high in fat and cholesterol–two things that can cause trouble for your heart if you eat the wrong kinds. Greek yogurt takes the guesswork out of the equation; you will not be wondering if the fat and cholesterol in your snack are okay to eat. A six ounce serving of Greek yogurt contains zero grams of saturated fat and cholesterol. Just keep the sugar content low by finding lower sugar greek yogurts.
2. For Bone Health
Greek yogurt is made from a highly concentrated form of milk, so you’re actually getting more calcium per mouthful than you would if you drank a glass of fresh milk. The composition of Greek yogurt averages at about 20 percent calcium, making it an effective bone strengthener. This also makes it an ideal choice to get the extra calcium that you will need later in life.
3. For Weight Reduction
Greek yogurt can count itself among high satiety index foods. This means that six ounces of Greek yogurt will make you feel fuller than six ounces of clear soup. Even if you eat exactly the same amount of each, Greek yogurt simply feels more satisfying than soup, making you eat less of it in comparison.
4. For Muscle Accretion
If you are a fitness buff, you will be glad to know that Greek yogurt is also 30 percent protein, making it a rich source of muscle-building material. Combined with its low-fat properties, this makes it a tasty, guilt-free treat for you.
5. For Tasty Food Combinations
Another thing that makes Greek yogurt great for snacking is that its flavor is flexible enough to allow for a wide variety of tasty and healthy toppings. If you are in the mood for something fruity, you can mix in your favorite berries with Greek yogurt for a zesty dessert. Breakfasts are both creamy and crunchy when you’ve got granola in your yogurt. If you’re looking for something simple to wind down with, a spoonful or two of honey makes Greek yogurt taste divine.
Not only do many foods taste good on Greek yogurt, but Greek yogurt also goes great on other foods. Try it out as a dressing on your next salad. Bring out your saucepan and dazzle your taste buds with Greek yogurt pasta sauce. Use it as a sauce for chicken, beef or fish. The world for experimentation is wide open with Greek yogurt. The only limit is your imagination.
Mike Levinson, a Calabasas resident, is a former amateur bodybuilding champion and registered dietitian who holds dual degrees in sports nutrition and physical education. He has worked extensively as a nutritionist with the California Angels baseball team and with famous athletes such as Charles Oakley, JT Snow and Sean Rooks. He also worked as a nutritionist for the Chicago Bears and the Oakland Raiders.