Frequent Yogurt Consumption May Help with Overall Weight Management
The continued issue of overweight in the U.S. population has led to an ongoing search for ways to help Americans better manage their weight. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans report that approximately two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight.1 Studies have shown that waist circumference and body weight often fluctuate over time,but typically increase with age.2 Weight gain often occurs steadily over time and the rate at which different people gain weight over the long term may be linked to lifestyle behaviors, such as diet and exercise. For this reason, food choices can play an important role in managing weight. One study reports that frequent yogurt consumption as part of a healthy dietary pattern has been associated with less weight gain over time.3
Yogurt has been shown to be associated with less weight gain over time
A prospective cohort of over 8,500 men and women has shown that yogurt consumption as part of a healthy eating pattern may be inversely associated with the incidence of weight gain.4 Another large, prospective study compared the intake of a variety of foods, including yogurt, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, among more than 120,000 U.S. men and women and showed that consumption of these foods was associated with less weight gain over time, with yogurt showing the best results.3 Other dairy products, such as low fat and non fat milk, had no measurable association with less weight gain.3 Longitudinal analyses reveal the ability of regular yogurt consumers to maintain their body weight over time.2 Overall, the results of these studies suggest that adopting a healthy eating pattern that includes yogurt may help prevent or slow weight gain over time.2,3
Yogurt is a good replacement for less healthful food choices
Consumption of better-for-youfoods, like yogurt, on a regular basis, has been shown to result in a decreased intake of foods considered to be less healthy.5 In fact, research has found yogurt consumption to be associated with better overall diet quality and consumers of yogurt are more likely to have a higher intake of other nutrient-dense foods, such as reduced fat dairy, fruits and vegetables, tofu and beans, nuts and seeds, poultry, fish and other seafood, and whole grains.6 Yogurt can also be an excellent source of high-quality protein, which helps with satiety and, together with calcium and vitamin D, helps promote muscle and bone strength.7
Cultures and fermentation
Yogurt, a fermented dairy product, contains cultures, proteins, and nutrients, whichpositively affect the gut microbiome and may be involved in human metabolism. This may help explain the potential role of yogurt in facilitating weight management.2 Cultures and fermentation can also increase the nutrient content (eg., B-vitamin content) and digestibility of foods,8 making them two smart choices and great additions to a healthy diet.
Yogurt has been shown to be associated with lower body fat in children
Approximately one-third of U.S. children are overweight and American children are consuming diets too high in excess calories and sugars and low in important nutrients.1,9 Adding yogurt to children’s diets may help improve diet quality and may result in lower body fat in children.Research has found that introducing one 6-oz. serving of low-sugar, vitamin D-fortified yogurt each day to children’s snack times would help children increase dietary intake of calcium, vitamin D, and potassium—all nutrients of concern in American children—without adding empty calories.9 Pairing fruit or vegetables with a yogurt snack may also increase dietary intake of fiber (another nutrient of concern) in children.9 A recent examination of NHANES data (2005–2008) has found that higher yogurt consumption was associated with lower measures of adiposity in U.S. children (ages 8–18), such as lower BMI-for-age, lower waist circumference, and smaller subscapular skinfold.10
Incorporating yogurt into every day
Yogurt has been enjoyed for centuries for its nutrition benefits, as well as its creamy, delicious taste.It is an easily accessible and convenient food andcanbe used as a substitute for other higher-fat ingredients, such as sour cream, mayonnaise, and cream cheese.
5 Simple Tips to Incorporate Yogurt Every Day
1. Substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise in recipes such as tuna salad or egg salad. 2. Make a smoothiewith yogurt, frozen fruit, and a handful of greens. 3. Use yogurt as a base for dips, dressings, and marinades. 4. Make a breakfast or dessert parfait with fruit, yogurt, granola, and a drizzle of honey. 5. Mix yogurt into cooked oatmeal.
Keep cool this summerwith this refreshing smoothie—great with breakfast or as a snack. This simple, delicious recipe provides protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C from the fruit,and omega-3s from the flax seed.
Click here for more tips and recipes for your patients.
Overall, including yogurt as part of a healthy diet may help improve diet quality and help avoidweight gain over time.
Increased consumption of yogurt has been associated with better weight management and better overall diet quality in both American adults and children. Yogurt is a versatile, nutrient-dense food thatcan easily be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle. Yogurt’s portability and creamy texture make it both a great snack and an ingredient substitute. Adding yogurt into an overall healthy eating pattern may be a simple way to promote better diet quality and healthy weight in Americans.
1 U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015. 8th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2015.
2 Wang H, Troy LM, Rogers GT, et al. Longitudinal association between dairy consumption and changes of body weight and waist circumference: the Framingham Heart Study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2013;38(2):299–305.
3 Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med. 2011;364:2392–2404.
4 Martinez-Gonzalez M, Sayon-Orea C, Ruiz-Canela M, Fuente CDL, Gea A, Bes-Rastrollo M. Yogurt consumption, weight change and risk of overweight/obesity: The SUN cohort study. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases. 2014;24(11):1189–1196.
5 Tremblay A, Doyon C, Sanchez M. Impact of yogurt on appetite control, energy balance, and body composition. Nutr Rev. 2015;73(suppl 1):23–27.
6Wang H, Livingston KA, Fox CS, Meigs JB, Jacques PF. Yogurt consumption is associated with better diet quality and metabolic profile in American men and women. Nutrition Research. 2013;33(1):18–26.
7 Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lemmens SG, Westerterp KR. Dietary protein–its role in satiety, energetics, weight loss and health. Br J Nutr. 2012;108 Suppl 2:S105–S112.
8 Patel A, Nihir S, Prajapati JB. Biosynthesis of vitamins and enzymes in fermented foods by lactic acid bacteria and related genera – A promising approach. Croat J Food Sci Technol. 2013;5(2):85-91.
9 Hess J, Slavin J. Snacking for a cause: nutritional insufficiencies and excesses of U.S. children, a critical review of food consumption patterns and macronutrient and micronutrient intake of U.S. children. Nutrients. 2014;6:4750-4759.
10 Keast DR, Hill Gallant KM, Albertson AM, Gugger CK, Holschuh NM. Associations between yogurt, dairy, calcium, and vitamin D intake and obesity among U.S. children aged 8-18 years: NHANES, 2005-2008. Nutrients 2015;7:1577-1593.