This creamy deliciousness has been around for a long time as records of variations of yogurt have been found as far back as 10,000B.C. in the Middle East. While there are countless varieties of yogurt, it is thought to have been a staple of traditional diets for thousands of years in parts of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Jump forward a few years and in 1905, a medical student studying the local variation in Bulgaria was able to isolate the lactic acid bacteria. This lead to a scientist by the name of Illya Illyich Mechnikov hypothesizing that these bacteria in the yogurt was responsible for the long lifespans of Bulgarians who counted yogurt as a staple in their diets. Mechnikov set out to popularize the health benefits of yogurt throughout the continent. Yogurt was introduced in the US by immigrants in the 1920's and the first yogurt plant opened in 1925 in Europe. The Dannon company patented a yogurt with fruit jam in Prague in 1933 and introduced it into the US market in 1947. It was in the 1950's and 60's that yogurt began to gain popularity in the US as a health food.
Bet you never knew all that about the yogurt you eat from a plastic carton each day, did you?
Today, there are rows and rows filled with yogurt in every grocery store across the country. No longer is yogurt simply fermented milk - a mixture of milk and cultures. There are endless flavors, fruit on the bottom, cream on top, flavors with mix-ins, fat free, low fat, full fat, oh yeah, and plain.
I hated yogurt for the longest time. My sister liked it, but I just could not eat it. Something about the flavor and texture, I guess. But, as I moved out on my own and started paying attention to my diet more, I learned that yogurt was really good for a healthy diet and can help you lose weight since some varieties are so low in fat. So, I tried a few flavors of Dannon Light & Fit and soon began adding it to my shopping bag on a regular basis. But then I realized that there is quite a bit of extra sugar in most flavored yogurts and a lot of weird ingredients that aren't used in traditional yogurt. Slowly, I started working plain fat free and low fat yogurts into the mix and now I eat it exclusively (both 'regular' yogurt and Greek yogurt).
Food companies spend a lot of money advertising new lines of yogurt hoping to capitalize on the fact that yogurt is good for us.
- Contains good, active bacteria that benefits the digestive tract.
- Good source of calcium, protein, Vitamins B-6 and B-12, potassium, magnesium, and riboflavin.
Instead of going for convenience, if you're eating yogurt as a healthy food, add your own fresh fruits like sliced banana, grapes, kiwi... the options are endless. I eat yogurt almost every day (including today!) as part of a healthy well-rounded diet. By adding fresh fruit, flax, chia seeds and homemade granola I have a great, filling breakfast!
Yogurt is a great part of a healthy diet, and if you're still partial to the flavored varities, go ahead and enjoy, but maybe swap it out a few days a week for plain. Your body will thank you!!
Workout Stats -
3x10 bicep curls
3x10 lat pull down
3x10 seated row
lots of stretching