June 6, 2010

Yogurt lovin'

Hello everyone!

While enjoying this quiet Sunday evening in Roma, I thought I'd write to you about yogurt!

All of my fellow roommates here have noticed my slight obsession with the creamy goodness. We have been around each other for a decent amount of time and have gotten to know a lot about each other, including favorite foods...because we are nutrition majors and all we talk about is FOOD! (for the most part) :)

I love going to different markets around town and finding the many different varieties that Italy has to offer.

Obviously Stonyfield will ALWAYS be my favorite, but I am taking risks and trying new things.

Like Activia yogurt! I never buy Activia in the states, but when we did our first market exploration here, it was the only type that looked familiar to me. And I am glad I chose it because it is wonderful! It taste so much better than the Activia at home. Is that weird? They also have so many different flavors compared to back home. For example, kiwi? Yes, it is amazing and I am slightly addicted to it. Also, fig, pineapple...and the norm: strawberry, blueberry, etc etc.

A few days ago, I ventured off to a new market and I found Fage yogurt. It is greek yogurt and they do have this in the states but I never buy it because I always buy Stonyfield. From now until I leave Italy, all I am buying is Fage yogurt. If you have never had it, go and get some!

This is a picture of my yogurt collection right now. I am running low and need to get some more soon. The Fage that I got is honey and walnut. yes!

So this post is not just going to be about me ranting about my love for yogurt but also the health benefits of eating yogurt.

The health benefits of yogurt have been sited for centuries, but many people still don't realize just how valuable yogurt can be to living a healthy lifestyle. Yogurt can actually benefit your health in a variety of ways. The most outstanding benefit of yogurt comes right from the unique way that it is made. Yogurt is simply milk or cream that is cultured with active live cultures. These cultures are the key to many of yogurt's health benefits. Active live cultures are good bacteria that are necessary for the body to function at its best. This good bacteria prevents the growth of harmful bacteria that cause bacterial infections and diseases. Healthy levels of good bacteria promotes digestive health and can boost the immune system.

Eating yogurt regularly can help restore your good bacteria levels. Active live cultures actually reduce yogurt's level of lactose, making yogurt a delicious dairy alternative for anyone who is lactose intolerant.

Since yogurt is made from dairy products, it is a very good source of calcium which is beneficial for bone and teeth health. Calcium is especially important for those trying to prevent osteoporosis and bone density loss. Healthy levels of calcium can also encourage the body to maintain and lose weight.

Yogurt is also a good source of protein, especially greek yogurt (like Fage) which helps give the body energy to keep you going throughout the day. Protein is an essential building block for many systems in the body, including your muscles. Protein is also good for curbing your appetite and helping you feel full for a longer period of time.

Yogurt can be incorporated into your diet in a variety of ways. By adding fruit, granola, nuts, or for indulgence...dark chocolate. You can use this as a replacement for your usual dolce. Yogurt can also be substituted in many different recipes to make healthier.

When buying yogurt, the more natural the product is, the more beneficial it will be to your health. Organic yogurt is the best! Look for yogurt that is low in sugar and without trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Also look for artificial sweeteners...stay away from them! Always check the levels of active live cultures in your yogurt. The more active live cultures, the more benefits you will receive from eating the yogurt. Keep in mind that yogurt should be made with pasteurized milk or cream, but any pasteurizing done after the culturing process can kill the active live cultures and keep you from reaping their benefits.

My favorite way to have yogurt is with granola and fruit. Do you like eating yogurt? What is your favorite kind/brand to purchase? What do you like to add, if anything, to your yogurt?

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I know I did. :) We went to the beach soccer cup nationals 2010 in Roma and it was so much fun. Today, some of us went to visit the colosseum hoping we would get inside but that didn't happen. But we got some great shots from the outside. We will just save that excursion for the last week we are here.

Next week is going to be very busy with school shenanigans. We are visiting FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) and WFP (United Nations World Food Programme-Fighting Hunger Worldwide) and working on our presentations for next Monday. It should be fun! We need to dress nice and everything! :) Although, our professor just sent us all a crabby email about our papers from last week. Uh, guessing we didn't follow directions according to him? BTW, he told us to do an intense research and write a 2-3 page SINGLE spaced paper in a few hours. I thought I did well. :) We'll see tomorrow.

It's suddenly not quiet anymore, stereo love is in the air (nutrition crew 2010...our song)

Talk to you soon!

Love and kisses!

Go buy some yogurt and think of me!



Momma said...

Very Informative ... Great nutritional article! Makes me want to eat yogurt and you know it is not my favorite. Luv,

The High Family said...

I can't believe they have Activia yogurt in Italy! hahaha

Glad you were able to give Italian yogurt a try while there. :)