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Yogurt is made from milk that is first pasteurized to kill any bad bacteria, and then fermented with some good bacteria, usually Lactobacillus bulgaricus or Streptococcus thermophilus.

These bacteria will then work to turn the lactose in milk into something called lactic acid, which gives yogurt its distinctive tangy taste. In active cultured yogurt, these good bacteria remain in the yogurt as is it is eaten, and it can then improve our digestion by helping our intestines break down food and crowding out the bad bacteria that might contribute to unpleasant digestive symptoms.

Yogurt is also quite nutrient dense. A serving can contain up to 17 g protein and almost 20 percent of your recommended daily value of calcium. Other nutrients found in yogurt include the vitamins B2, B6, and B12 and the minerals potassium, selenium, zinc, and magnesium.

Other health benefits associated with yogurt include a reduced risk of diabetes, lower inflammation, and lower blood pressure. Frequent yogurt consumption has also been associated with a lower BMI, and a snack of yogurt has been found to boost satiety in comparison to higher fat snacks.

wog

Unfortunately manufacturers love to ruin yogurt by stuffing it with problematic ingredients like sugar, artificial sweeteners, syrupy liquified "fruit," high-carb granola and cereal, or even straight-up candy.

You should also beware that many processed yogurt products, like frozen yogurt and yogurt-covered snacks, have been treated with heat, meaning that they contain no active bacteria and thus far fewer benefits than you might find in active cultured yogurt.

To find the healthiest yogurt you can, first look for a "Life & Active Cultures" (LAC) seal, which signifies the presence of active bacteria. You should then choose the plainest and lowest-fat version of yogurt you can find.

One of the healthier forms of yogurt is Greek yogurt, a thicker and creamier kind of yogurt that's made by straining the liquid whey from regular yogurt. The resulting product tends to have higher protein content and lower sugar content than traditional varieties, though it can also have less calcium.

However, because even the healthiest forms of yogurt contain some natural sugars, we do suggest limiting servings of yogurt to one tablespoon a day during phase 2 and 3 of the 123Diet to ensure the most efficient fat-burning results. Yet that doesn't mean that yogurt couldn't be a great addition to your weight maintenance arsenal in the long-run!

yogurt

Eating yogurt is one of the easiest ways to fit some metabolism-revving protein into a snack or breakfast, or you can blend it with a little stevia and your favorite fruit after dinner for a healthy dessert swap. You can also use yogurt as a lower calorie substitute for butter or oil in baking, a substitute for sour cream in savory recipes, or a substitute for higher-calorie dressing on salads.

In the meantime, have fun learning how just a little yogurt can go a long way in these great-tasting 123-friendly recipes!

Mini Lemon Cheesecakes

healthy mini lemon cheesecakes

This ingenious recipe turns a few simple ingredients into a delicious low-calorie snack, breakfast, or dessert! Estimated nutritional value of 93 calories, 1.1 g fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 16.5 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber, 3.9 g protein, and 1.1 sugar.

Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook time
0 m
Yield
1 serving

Ingredients

  • 4 mini (melba) toasts
  • 1 tablespoon greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon stevia
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Directions
Spread one tablespoon yogurt onto four mini-toasts, and top with remaining ingredients. Alter to your taste, and feel free to add or substitute other fruits if eating for breakfast.

Recipe provided by

Creamy Garlic Prawn Noodles

yummy garlic prawns with shirataki noodles

This creamy creation has all of the flavor of a rich pasta dish for less than half the calories! Estimated nutritional value of 148 calories, 2.1 g fat. 211 mg cholesterol, 5.9 g carbohydrates, .8 g fiber, 25.1 g protein, and 1.4 g sugar.

Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook time
15 minutes
Yield
2 servings (1 protein each)

Ingredients

  • 4 spring onions
  • 200g shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 1 clove ground garlic
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 packet shirataki noodles

Directions
In a non stick pan, fry up the spring onions with salt, pepper and garlic. Add the prawns. Just before taking off heat, add the yogurt, then mix it in quickly. While the above is cooking, boil water and pop in the shirataki noodles. Cook noodles for 2 min, then top them with shrimp mixture and serve.

Recipe provided by

123Diet Tzatziki

Healthy tzatziki greek yogurt dip

Enjoy our healthy version of this traditional middle eastern yogurt dip! Estimated nutritional value of 9 calories .4 g fat. .9 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, .5 g protein, and .7 g sugar.

Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook time
N/A
Yield
40 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain greek yogurt
  • 1 strained and chopped cucumber
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp freshly sqeezed lemon juice
  • 4 pressed garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup chopped dill
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions
Combine all ingredients, than use 1 tbsp at a time for your milk allowance. Use as a dip for veggies, melba toast, or grissini sticks or use as a dressing on salads or other savory dishes.

Recipe provided by

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