Go the yogurt way

well-being

Go the yogurt way
Obesity is a major health concern in India especially among the urban population. Many are concerned about increasing waistlines and belly fat. Physical activity and a healthy diet are key factors in maintaining calorie intake and preventing weight gain. Additionally, substituting calorie-rich and zero-nutrient foods with healthy foods can have a positive impact on obesity prevention.

Yogurt is a nutrient-dense food that can be incorporated into a healthy diet as a meal accompaniment or as a snack on the go. This will help manage appetite and body weight. Yogurt contains important nutrients such as calcium, protein and probiotics, which have an impact on body weight maintenance and obesity. Epidemiological studies have shown that high intake of dairy calcium influences obesity prevalence, while low calcium intake is a risk factor for obesity. Studies have shown that protein in yogurt induces satiety, resulting in reduced food intake and hence less calories. The probiotics that are used to make yogurt help your gut and influence energy storage mechanisms and obesity. Over the last few years, there is growing evidence on the effect yogurt has on obesity.

Besides its role in weight maintenance, yogurt is also an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, B12, riboflavin, B5 and potassium, phosphorous, iodine, zinc, etc. Eating yogurt everyday can help close the nutrient gap especially, when a person is on a low-calorie diet.
Replacing less-healthy foods in the same amount with low-fat yogurt may improve weight-loss results. For example, swapping snacks like chips or a samosa with yogurt would provide more nutrients with less calories and fat. Yogurt with granola or muesli, yogurt with diced seasonal fruits and yogurt and fruit smoothie can be consumed as a healthy snack or dessert.

(The author is the head of Nutrition Science & Medical Affairs with Danone India.)

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