Fruit and yogurt both offer many nutritional benefits, separate from each other. For safe, steady weight loss and maintenance, the United States Department of Agriculture encourages a balanced, low-fat diet that consists of all five food groups: 1) grains, 2) vegetables, 3) fruits, 4) dairy and 5) proteins. Fruit and yogurt are a part of these suggestions but it is not recommended to limit your daily diet to only fruit and yogurt. Consider all five food groups for a healthy, balanced diet.
You can find a wide variety of yogurts at the grocery store and even more at health food stores. Yogurt can be made from cow, sheep and goat milk, as well as non-dairy sources such as soy. Yogurt is also processed in different ways, creating skim, part-skim and whole milk yogurt. The processing also may include straining the yogurt as with Greek style yogurt. Yogurt also comes plain or flavored.
Understanding your Yogurt
Read the label and packaging of your yogurt. The label will indicate the serving size, how many servings are in the container, ingredients and percentages of recommended daily values. You will find that yogurt is naturally high in protein, calcium and potassium. Yogurt also has live cultures, which aide in digestion. Beware of flavored yogurts, which often have sugar as the second ingredient and are therefore higher in carbohydrates.
Select a variety of fruits to add to your daily diet. Most people need more fruit and vegetables than they are getting. Citrus fruits are known for their high vitamin C content. Kiwi and strawberries also provide an excellent source of vitamin C. Cantaloupe is rich in both vitamin C and A. Apples are an excellent source of fiber. Most berries are rich in antioxidants. Use canned, dried or frozen fruits when fresh fruits are not available.
Combining Fruit and Yogurt
Allow the natural flavor and sweetness of fruit to liven your plain yogurt. Keep your daily fruit and yogurt combination interesting by adding a variety of fruits. Rotate fruits or combine two fruits throughout the week. Choose fruits that, together, provide greater nutritional content. For example, plain yogurt, cantaloupe and strawberries covers a wide range of daily nutritional needs.
Adding to the Fruit and Yogurt Combination
As per the recommendation of the USDA, consider adding a third food group to your fruit and yogurt meals and snacks. The most common choice is from the grains. Pick enriched cereals for a healthy breakfast. Use fruit and yogurt as a topping to pancakes or a dessert like pound cake. Blend with ice to make a smoothie. Add other fruit juices to make salad dressings.
- National Institutes for Health: Office of Research Services: Yogurt
- United States Department of Agriculture: Steps to a Healthier Weight
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Fruits and Veggies Matter
- Urban and Environmental Policy Institute: Occidental College: Los Angeles Fresh Food Access Guide