Yoghurt is the perfect take-out snack. You can enjoy it as is or you can make your own yoghurt parfait with granola, fruit and nuts. And because yogurt is made by fermenting milk, it contains live and active cultures that can help improve your gut health.
Unfortunately, some yogurts aren’t as healthy as others. Many companies sell yogurts full of added sugar and very low in protein, but still try to market them as “healthy.” If you’re trying to lose or control your weight and like to snack on yogurt, these unhealthier varieties can easily defeat your goals when consumed on a regular basis.
“The best yogurt for belly fat would be a low-fat variety with no added sugar or very little sugar“, says Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDNauthor of Finally full, finally slim and member of our Medical Expert Advisory Board. “Many yogurts contain far too much added sugar, which can contribute to belly fat.”
For example Yoplait Whips! comes with 18 grams of added sugar and Dannon Fruit on the Bottom has 15 grams, both have between 21 and 22 grams of total sugar (including the natural sugar in yogurt and fruit)! And The Greek Gods Honey Greek-Style Yogurt has 15 grams of added sugar for a total of 23 grams of sugar, though Greek yogurts are known for being healthier and lower in sugar.
Read on to learn more about how too much added sugar can contribute to excess fat around the abdomen and for more healthy eating tips check out the 6 Best High Protein Foods For Weight Loss.
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How a low-sugar yogurt can help fight belly fat
It’s important to first note that when we talk about the effects of added sugar on belly fat, we’re referring to larger amounts consumed on a consistent basis. We know that eating sugary yogurt occasionally doesn’t cause belly fat, but a diet high in added sugars and regular consumption of sugar-sweetened yogurt can contribute to excess fat around the stomach over time.
One way added sugar may contribute to belly fat is that sugar can be stored as fat in the body when consumed in excess. Added sugar is much more common in our food supply than it used to be. In fact, in the 30 years since 1970, according to a The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Article. The same article states that when your liver overflows with fructose, one of the simple sugars found in added sugar, it eventually turns into fat.
Eating foods high in added sugars, especially if they’re also low in protein and fiber, almost always makes you feel full and less satisfied. According to a report published in appetitethis may cause you to continue snacking or eating afterwards.
Protein can also help
Looking for a low-sugar yogurt that can help you satisfy your cravings while keeping the amount of added sugar down? Another helpful tip is to look for a low-sugar yogurt that is also high in protein.
Protein is known to help with weight loss by maintaining a properly functioning metabolism and keeping you fuller for longer, and studies have also found that it may help with belly fat specifically as well.
For a high-protein, low-sugar yogurt, try something like Yoplait YQ Protein Yogurt, which has just 1 gram of added sugar and a whopping 17 grams of protein. “I also really like FAGE 2% with the honey bag on the side because you can control how much you add,” says Young.