Yogurt: Junky Health Food?

Yogurt has long been associated with a broad range of health benefits, including a healthier weight. A new study published in Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases again found yogurt associated with a lower risk of overweight and obesity, especially in combination with higher fruit consumption.

The Greek Yogurt Diet

The authors conclude that “Yogurt should not replace fruit as a typical dessert in the Mediterranean diet but its consumption should be promoted.” And promote it we do. The Greek Yogurt Diet will be released in a few days, promising that “it’s like having dessert with every meal and seeing a slimmer waistline in just a few weeks.”

At this point it’s worth remembering that no matter how many times it’s been published, the correlation between yogurt consumption and healthier weight is not proof that yogurt causes weight loss or the maintenance of a lower weight. Indeed the authors of this study observed, “High consumption of yogurt was associated with healthier characteristics (higher levels of physical activity, higher fruit consumption, higher adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern).”

Just to dash our magical thinking, Michele Simon has published a report condemning the promotion of “Dairy Junk Foods.” She points out the top-selling varieties of yogurt contain more than 20 grams of sugar in a serving. The American Heart Association recommends that an adult woman should consume only 20 grams of added sugar per day.

Promoting healthy foods is a dubious exercise. “Eat more” generally leads to “weigh more.”

Eat better.

Click here to read the study of yogurt and weight, click here to read more about dairy junk foods, and click here to read Simon’s full report.

Yogurt Parfait with Blueberries, photograph © Pen Waggener / flickr

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