A New Reason to Love Yogurt (Aside From It Being Delicious)

Grab a spoon and get snacking.

July 18, 2014

In recent years yogurt, especially Greek, has become a snacking staple. Add granola or fruit on top and you’ve got an easy, cool, high-protein summer snack that will leave you satiated for hours -- without overloading on calories. So it comes as no surprise that people who made yogurt a strong part of their diets in a recent study gained less weight over the years than people who didn't. That's right, eating yogurt can keep your waistline in check

Scientists followed over 8,500 men and women over the course of about six years. Participants logged their yogurt consumption every two years, indicating how often they indulge ranging from fewer than two times per week to over seven times per week. Researchers measured their average yearly weight change, and found that yogurt lovers -- those who had over seven servings per week -- had a lower incidence of weight gain and obesity than those who ate yogurt the least. This inverse association was even stronger among yogurt eaters who boosted their diet with fruit.


More: 4 Easy Home Improvements for a Slimmer Waistline

Since yogurt is a great source of probiotics, it tends to lead to better gut health, says Liz Weinandy, MPH, RD, LD, of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. "There is some really exciting research out there showing that people who have better gut flora or more beneficial bacteria in their guts tend to weigh less," she adds. "The way our gut flora affect our overall health is just starting to be discovered and it may be that it affects many different aspects of our health from our weight to our thought processes."

One great thing about yogurt is that it's versatile, so we love this recipe from The New Abs Diet Cookbook that puts a fun and festive spin on a traditional parfait (Bonus: It's high in fruit, too!):

Blackberry Parfait Martinis
(Makes 4 servings) 
Nutrition per serving: 210 calories, 7 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 90 mg sodium, 3 g fiber

1/4 cup crushed cashews
2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup crushed graham crackers
1/2 cup diced strawberries or tropical fruit
2 cups blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries

Directions: 1. Coat a skillet with cooking spray, add the cashews, and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes.

2. Making thin layers, divide the yogurt, graham crackers, strawberries, and blackberries among 4 martini glasses, ending with yogurt. Top with large blackberries and the warm cashews.