One Major Side Effect of Eating Greek Yogurt, Says Dietitian
Yogurt boasts a reputation as one of the most effective weight-loss foods. It's recommended by most dietitians, nutritionists, and doctors as a high-protein snack or breakfast that tamps down hunger for much longer than carbs do, that is as long as you choose the right kind of yogurt: unsweetened. Many flavored yogurts are loaded with added sugars, which cancel out a lot of the health benefits, including satiety.
If your goal is losing some weight, you've probably stocked up on this fermented milk product because of its rep as a slimming health booster. And you may have chosen Greek yogurt over regular yogurt for its higher protein content and thicker, creamier texture.
But there's one major side effect of eating Greek yogurt that you may have overlooked: "Its live-active cultures, called probiotics, can help alleviate bloating," says registered dietitian nutritionist Fiorella DiCarlo, RD, CDN, the principle of FiorellaEats.com. You heard her! One major side effect of eating Greek yogurt is eliminating a bloated belly, which may be a way to instantly look slimmer.
Probiotics are gut-healthy bacteria that can help reduce digestive troubles, and improve immunity, metabolism, and even skin health, she says. Probiotic foods include Greek yogurt and kefir, and you can also get probiotics through supplements. (See: 5 Best Probiotic Supplements For Weight Loss.)
Yogurt is made into "Greek" yogurt by straining it to remove the liquid whey protein. Straining leaves the yogurt with a higher concentration of protein and probiotics, and less lactose, so many people who have a lactose sensitivity can often eat it without suffering side effects.
An excellent breakfast or snack
"I recommend Greek yogurt to clients to keep their gut healthy, reduce IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) symptoms, and help with weight loss," says DiCarlo. "Make it at least 2% (milk fat); with 0%, you will not absorb the calcium. Add flax meal, chia seeds, or berries to extra fiber—yogurt makes an excellent breakfast or snack."
Blend a bloat buster
Try Fiorella's Ancient Food Cure to Reduce Bloating: Dollop heaping spoonfuls of Greek yogurt into a bowl. Drizzle honey to the desired sweetness. ("Honey has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties and also helps reduce bloating," she says.) Add chopped figs, and top with lemon zest and rosemary.
"Figs are rich in fiber, which contains prebiotic components to promote probiotic activity in your gut to help reduce water retention and promote regular bowel movements," DiCarlo says. "Rosemary is anti-inflammatory, which aids digestion and reduces bloating, too." You can watch a video of DiCarlo making the recipe here.
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