9 Ways Eating Yogurt Can Change Your Body
One of the oldest foods in the world, packed with beneficial bacteria and full of great taste, and with a lot of health benefits, yogurt, is always a good choice. Or is it? Although all yogurts start out plain and simple, by the time they make it to our fridge, most have been heavily processed.
From added sugars, artificial flavors, and dyes to stabilizers and preservatives, regular yogurts might be far from their natural counterparts. Check out the bonus tip at the end.
1. It can make you gain visceral fat.
Being high in protein and calcium, it is believed that yogurt naturally increases levels of appetite-reducing hormones. And studies have found a connection between the consumption of this nutrient-dense food and lower body weight, especially in body fat percentage and waist circumference.
However, dietary sugar, like the kind found in most industrial yogurts, may impact the relationship between cortisol and visceral adipose tissue deposition by elevating it. This visceral adipose tissue is an active component of total body fat, and an abnormally high concentration of it is known as visceral obesity.
2. It can make you feel depleted and crave more food.
Yogurt has a big impact on the digestive tract and function. It aids digestion and helps decrease the formation of gas and bloating. The probiotics it contains help promote the growth of healthy bacteria associated with optimal digestion. It also leaves you satisfied and full for longer periods than other foods.
Regular store-bought yogurt with high sugar content, however, can create the opposite effect, creating fast energy crashes. This is the body’s reaction to quick spikes induced by sugar. These spikes will be followed by quick dips, leaving you feeling depleted the minute you’ve finished digesting the sugary contents. And you’ll be craving more food in no time.
3. It might help damage your skin.
Yogurt contains a mix of B vitamins and proteins that help detoxify the skin. The healthy bacteria in it also balance the digestive “ecosystem,” creating an anti-inflammatory effect. This gut-skin connection effect can help with chronic skin conditions, like eczema, rosacea, and acne.
But consuming regular yogurts might do just the opposite, as most are high in sugar, and sugar can have truly damaging effects on the skin. Exacerbation of inflammatory conditions, acne breakouts, and premature aging can happen as sugar breaks down collagen and elastin, the proteins that give skin shape, structure, and firmness.
4. It might zap your energy levels.
Yogurt is a good source of energy, as it’s rich in protein, fats, and simple carbohydrates. In a single serving, it contains B vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids that are essential in the repair of muscle tissue damage. This also makes it an excellent food for workout recovery.
Regular, industrial, flavored yogurt, however, can zap your energy levels rather than boost them. Sugar only works for the momentary energy boost it provides. In the long term, it will create cravings (for more sugar) and actually rob the body of essential vitamins and minerals it needs to keep healthy and active.
5. It might aid in depleting your bones.
Yogurt’s key nutrients, like calcium, minerals, and vitamins, are essential for healthy bones. And this is especially important for women, as they start losing bone density at an earlier age than men, and faster. Yogurt consumption is linked with higher bone mineral density and a lower risk of osteoporosis, making it a tasty natural bone health ally.
But when you consume sugary foods, your glucose levels rise. Your body will then try to balance its pH levels by excreting calcium, taking it directly from the bones, as that’s where it’s most present. Refined sugar also robs the body of magnesium, which is needed for bone remineralization. This creates a loop that might leave your bones fragile and weak.
6. It might enhance feelings of sadness.
The good bacteria in yogurt help with both digestive health and one’s mood overall. This is because of the brain-gut connection. Our microbiome sends signals to our brain when it’s feeling balanced, and as a consequence, we chill out. It also helps reduce inflammation in the gut, enhancing the production of serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone.
However, multiple studies have found a link relating diets high in sugar to depression. The cycle of cravings and sugar consumption might bring on feelings of sadness, fatigue, or hopelessness. This happens because it can trigger imbalances in certain brain chemicals. A single fruit-flavored yogurt can contain up to 6 teaspoons of sugar.
7. It might help damage your intestinal barrier.
Eating yogurt daily may lower your risk of gastrointestinal problems, like constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, and even allergies. Much of it is on the account of those “good bacteria” that work with the gut microflora and strengthen the gastrointestinal innate and immune responses.
However, studies point out that excessive sugar intake can disrupt the intestinal barrier. This might lead to uncomfortable situations and even worrisome health issues, like increased gut permeability, disturbances in mucosal immunity, and even infection susceptibility.
8. It might be bad for your heart.
Natural yogurt promotes better blood pressure, lower insulin resistance, and better levels of “good cholesterol.” Adding it to your diet twice a week can really improve your cardiovascular system and enhance your metabolic health.
However, choosing regular yogurt can do the opposite. Flavored, industrial products full of added sugar are linked to high blood pressure, inflammation, and heart disease. Other preservatives and flavoring agents can also cause arteries to harden, leading to heart problems, according to a study.
9. It might boost fertility.
Calcium, probiotics, and vitamin D are all found in Greek yogurt, and they work together to promote ovulation. Additionally, each meal will provide you with a sufficient quantity of protein, which will increase your chances of becoming pregnant by promoting more regular ovulation cycles.
Plain yogurt typically contains around 9-12 grams of carbs per cup (245 grams), but the same amount of flavored or sweetened yogurt can easily contain 30 or more grams for the same serving size. So how can you choose the best version?
Some believe Greek yogurt is the better option, while others prefer coconut, soy, or even low-fat options. Whatever your “thing” is, choose an unflavored, unsugared version. Check for live cultures (the good bacteria), and get creative. Fresh fruit adds fiber, phytonutrients, taste, and natural sugars. Seeds or cereals are also great options for a more consistent snack.
Do you prefer to add fruit to your yogurt or are you more of a cereal type of person? Have you ever tried making yogurt at home? How was the experience?