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Dollop of dairy item 'lowers risk of heart disease and helps weight loss'

A dollop of Greek yoghurt on your muesli might do more than just improve the taste – it could potentially benefit your heart and waistline, according to dietitian Victoria Taylor. However, she cautions that not all yoghurts are created equal.

Writing for the British Heart Foundation, she said: “Yoghurt is a nutritious dairy product that can be a tasty and healthy addition to your diet. It is a fermented food made by adding live yoghurt (which contains bacteria) to milk. It is a good source of protein and calcium.”

She added: “Research also suggests that the special mix of nutrients in dairy foods like yoghurt and milk helps reduce the risk of heart and circulatory disease. This is true even though the type of fat in dairy foods is saturated fat.”

Victoria said that, compared to normal plain yoghurt or milk, strained Greek yoghurt boasted a thicker consistency and higher protein content. She recommended the replacement of milk with 200g of Greek yoghurt in muesli to potentially “double the amount of protein you are getting from around 7g to 14g”.

Victoria said: “This increased amount of protein can make Greek yoghurt more filling, which is helpful if you are trying to lose weight. But not all Greek yoghurts are the same. Some are less healthy than others.”

She further warned against sweetened types which are high in sugar, saying: “Some are sweetened, making them high in sugar. In fact, sugar-sweetened yoghurts are one of the biggest sources of added sugars in our diets. And some are made with cream as well as milk, making them high in saturated fats.”

Those made with cream in conjunction with milk were also noted as they tend to be high in saturated fats, reports Gloucestershire Live.

Victoria added: “However, others containing live bacteria (cultures) may be good for gut health. But more research is needed to know the full benefit.”

Victoria emphasised looking for ‘no added sugar’ and ‘100% milk’ on yoghurt packaging. According to her, the only ingredients should be ‘milk’ and ‘live cultures’.

In a call for healthier options, she advocated low-fat yoghurt instead of full-fat to maintain lower cholesterol levels, saying: “It also has fewer calories, which helps with weight loss. But watch out for low-fat fruit yoghurts as they often have a lot of sugar in them.”


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