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The One Ingredient Everyone's Adding to Their Yogurt

It easily adds that crunch you desire, without all the sugar!

Yogurt can seem like the perfect healthy breakfast. It's a great source of calcium, potassium, and protein to get your body nourished for the day. But if you're not careful with the type of yogurt you buy, or the ingredients you add to it, the sugar content of your bowl can add up pretty quickly. However, many clever nutritionists and food bloggers online have found clever ways to add some crunchy toppings to your yogurt bowl without loading it with sugary granola. Coconut flakes and chia seeds are always a good crunchy option, but the one ingredient everyone's adding to their yogurt right now is nuts.

Here's why you should consider adding nuts to your yogurt bowl in the morning, and for even more healthy meal ideas, be sure to check out our list of the 100 Easiest Recipes You Can Make.

Although nutritionists tote that plain Greek yogurt is one of the best yogurts you can have for your body, we all know that plain Greek yogurt isn't the most enticing thing to eat. It tastes more like sour cream compared to other yogurts on the shelves, which can be off-putting first thing in the morning. So it seems natural to add sweeter ingredients to plain Greek yogurt to give it some taste. Honey, peanut butter, and granola are typical go-to ingredients people love to add to their bowl, which do increase the calories and the added sugars significantly.

So what's a healthy foodie supposed to do? If you plan on sweetening up your plain Greek yogurt with honey, or even if you decide to go for one of your fruit-flavored Greek yogurts on the shelf, an easy way to cut down those added sugars is to swap out granola for nuts.

Any kind of nut will work for yogurt—cashews, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, are all great contenders. But one nut in particular that nutritionists love to use is almonds.

Why almonds? First, almonds give your body a boost of vitamins and minerals, which help with warding off disease and improving your bone health. Second, almonds are a great source of healthy fat, which helps to lower your "bad" LDL cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Plus, the fat content in the almonds helps you to feel fuller for longer, which assists with weight loss.

However, almonds—as well as many other nuts—are highly caloric. If you add a small handful of almonds to your bowl (say around 23 almonds) you are easily adding in over 150 calories.

Instead, an easy way to get that crunch into your bowl without significantly increasing the calories is by adding in sliced almonds. Sliced almonds can help reduce the calorie count, while still giving your breakfast bowl all of those healthy nutrients and the crunch you desire in your yogurt. Seems like a win, win to us.

Once you have your sliced almonds, there are a few other toppings that can also help add crunch to your bowl without sugary granola. Chia seeds (or even pepitas) can be a great crunchy option for your yogurt, as well as dried coconut flakes. Drizzle a small amount of honey on top, or even mix in some peanut butter to cut down the flavor of the plain Greek yogurt, and you'll find yourself with a breakfast that will give you a burst of energy and will leave you feeling full and satisfied for hours at a time.

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten
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