Often when I counsel patients, I usually take a neutral stance towards consumption of dairy products. One common dairy product in the American diet is yogurt, and there are pros and cons to its consumption.
On one hand, it can be a good source of certain nutrients such as calcium and protein, as well as it contains strains of good bacteria to aid in gut health.
On the other hand, if you don’t read the food label carefully you can be consuming high amounts of added sugar and saturated fats.
One recent cross-sectional study found that those who consume yogurt more frequently have lower systolic blood pressure (1) and this could be due to many factors:
1. Yogurt contains bacterial strains that generate bioactive peptides, which may result in more benefits than other non fermented dairy products such as milk or cheese (2).
2. Calcium homeostasis is an important for blood pressure regulation
3. Probiotic bacteria within yogurt can lead to production of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitory (ACE-I) peptides, which have antihypertensive properties
How to incorporate it in your diet in a healthy way:
· Yogurt (especially nonfat Greek yogurt) can be a good substitution for cream cheese or sour cream in certain dishes you cook with
· Yogurt mixed with nuts and berries can make a satiating and balanced breakfast in the morning or as a snack.
· If you have diabetes or issues with blood sugar control and want a snack in the evening, having a low carb yogurt such as Two Good or Oikos Triple 000 yogurt can be a good snack idea.
As always, read the food label and be a conscious consumer!
Caitlin Jindrich, RDN is a local Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a current MPH student with a focus on nutrition at Kansas State University