If eating a cup of yogurt a day is causing more gas and bloating than ever, you aren’t alone. It turns out that what appears to be a simple, healthy addition to your diet may actually take a bit more research than comparing prices in the dairy aisle. We’ve done a lot of the research for you, but it’s wise to check with your healthcare professional before making dietary changes.
All yogurt is not created equal
Prevention advises that “plain Greek yogurt, which usually has around 12 grams of sugar and plenty of protein, is a good bet.”
Yogurt with active cultures (probiotics)
Consuming probiotics can yield benefits that are great for gas sufferers. According to Dr. Mary Jane Brown, who is also a registered dietitian, “‘[t]hese benefits are thought to result from the ability of probiotics to restore the natural balance of gut bacteria.”
‘Best bets’ yogurt choices
Greek yogurt is thicker than ‘regular’ yogurt because it drains once more than conventional varieties. More importantly, Greek yogurt contains more protein and calcium – and fewer carbs and calories – than regular yogurt. Visit these links to read nutrition facts for Chobani (Greek) and Dannon plain, non-fat yogurt.
If you’re accustomed to thinner yogurts, the switch may take a bit of getting used to. You can try:
- stirring in a few tablespoons of non-fat milk
- adding a serving of puréed fresh fruit
- drizzling in an ounce or so of low-carb fruit juice
It may take a bit of experimentation to find the right flavor and quantity of juice. Vegetable juice is typically lower in carbohydrates than fruit juice, but most of us aren’t up for kale and vanilla yogurt! Consider stirring beet juice into berry-flavored yogurt. Alternatively, this handy chart has info on the carb count of most popular juices.
Which ingredients make your fave a poor choice?
Yogurt used to be just one item on the breakfast menu, but it often serves as a meal substitute. The added fruit and grains create handy grab ‘n’ go options for busy consumers. However, if you’re troubled by excessive gas, the initial feeling of satiation can quickly turn to intestinal discomfort.
LiveStrong cautions: “Yogurt may … include … sweeteners, various flavorings, fruit, preserves or a stabilizer. For longer shelf life and a less bitter flavor, cultured yogurt may be heated, but this will kill the beneficial bacteria.”
Watch out for:
- added sugars
- starches, guar gum, carrageenan
One last heads-up, courtesy of LiveStrong: “Look for the “Live & Active Cultures” seal from the National Yogurt Association to ensure that the yogurt hasn’t been heated and that these bacteria remain in your yogurt.”
Health benefits of including yogurt in your diet
Yogurt and aging
There’s emerging scientific evidence that adding yogurt to the diet is “a feasible approach to enhance older adults’ nutritional status.”
Other studies show promising benefits for those who suffer from common GI conditions (“lactose intolerance, constipation, diarrheal diseases, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease”).
Yogurt’s role in decreasing cardiovascular disease
Scientists report that eating about a cup (7 ounces or so) of yogurt daily “might be associated with a lower incident risk of [cardiovascular disease] CVD.”
Do gender differences increase the likelihood of bloating?
It’s not your imagination; a study of Caucasian Americans, which adjusted for age and gender, indicates that women are likely to experience bloating and “visible distention” than men. Other studies show similar results among women of all age groups.
Foods that help ease the bloat
You don’t have to give up mix-ins and flavor in order to keep yogurt in your breakfast or snack rotation. Mix-in fans can try swapping sunflower seeds for grains. Instead of granola that’s loaded with carbohydrates and fat, top off your bowl with low-carb granola. If you love thick, creamy yogurt, go Greek and stay away from carrageenan and other thickeners.
Remember to consult your healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet. If you suspect that your intestinal issues stem from lactose-, fructose intolerance or absorption issues, try switching to an unsweetened cultured non-dairy product made from almonds, coconut or soy.
Two CharcoCaps® capsules will help promote digestive comfort.* CharcoCaps® dietary supplement, Anti-Gas Detoxifying Formula will let you enjoy your favorite foods and beverages with less worry.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug
Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.