Ask Leyla: Is Greek yogurt good for me?

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| By Leyla Muedin MS, RD, CDN

Q: I’ve become quite confused about Greek yogurt. I look at sugar labels on everything and if it’s too high, I don’t eat it. I love Greek yogurt and usually add fruit, nuts or both, sometimes a little oatmeal, chia seeds and/or ground flax meal.

I’ve often read dairy isn’t good for us. Then I read Greek yogurt is okay (or not). What are your thoughts?

Is Greek yogurt good for you?A: Greek yogurt is prized due to its creamy texture which is obtained by straining it to remove the whey, leaving it with a higher protein content and slightly lower carbohydrate content than regular yogurt.

Those with dairy allergy or other sensitivity should avoid any type of yogurt, including the Greek variety. Anyone complaining of nasal congestion, mucus, sinusitis or acne would also benefit from dairy elimination. However, many individuals with lactose intolerance report they can consume yogurt without any adverse gastrointestinal effects. This is likely due to the beneficial probiotics gobbling up all the lactose in the product.

Those with autoimmune conditions should avoid dairy entirely (along with gluten). It is well established that casein, the protein found in all animal milk, is associated with triggering autoimmunity in those who are susceptible. And because dairy contains growth factors, it is my opinion that it’s best to avoid it in the setting of cancer.

Having said all this, should you decide that Greek yogurt is an appropriate part of your diet, I suggest using the full-fat plain version, mixing your own fresh fruit like berries and a sprinkle of chopped walnuts. A parfait with chia seeds or flax meal can lend a different but equally delicious texture.

Use only good quality Greek yogurt. That means the only ingredients are organic milk, cream and live cultures—nothing else.

To your health!

As you may know, I’ve been doing a weekly “Q&A with Leyla” podcast feature with Dr. Hoffman. Now you can get my perspective and expertise every Friday on my own episode of the Intelligent Medicine Podcast. If you missed last week’s, you can listen here. To be sure you don’t miss out on any of my important insights and information, subscribe today!

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