Healthy Lifestyle

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Yogurt a healthy choice

The popularity of yogurt is on the rise. According to Innoval Market Insights, launches of Greek yogurt products have increased by 29 percent in the United States. People are drawn to the health benefits of yogurt, but there are lesser-known benefits to yogurt as well.

Yogurt's creamy texture is a byproduct of the lactic acid present when milk ferments. According to the yogurt company Dannon(R), between 20 and 30 percent of milk's lactose is converted to lactic acid during the fermentation process.

One of the advantages to eating yogurt concerns digestion. The naturally occurring bacteria present in yogurt helps promote a healthy environment in the stomach and digestive system, enabling the body to more ably break down food. Due to the thickness of yogurt, it takes longer to move through the digestive system. This, in turn, helps the body break down lactose more efficiently. As a result, people who have lactose intolerance may be more comfortable eating yogurt than other dairy products.

The proteins in yogurt are complete and fully absorbed by the body. These proteins also contain essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Greek-style yogurts contain more protein than other varieties, and  yogurt may have anywhere from 7 percent to 50 percent of a person's recommended daily intake of protein. This will help a person to feel fuller, longer.

Those who enjoy yogurt on a daily basis can invest in the larger quarts of yogurt sold at many stores, which will produce less waste than the single-serve containers. Furthermore, individuals should recycle their yogurt containers. The Activia Yogurt Brigade encourages consumers to save empty Activia yogurt containers to help prevent hundreds of thousands of plastic containers from going into landfills. Rather, the containers are recycled into trash containers, benches and other items to be reused.

Gadsden Times