High protein yogurt products actually happen to be one of the foods that I most often recommend to my clients.
Even though yogurt is not a fundamental dietary staple like fruits or veggies, I believe that for those who enjoy dairy, high protein yogurt varieties (such as Greek or Icelandic skyr yogurt) have an incredibly important role to play.
I’ve personally realized the potential of high protein yogurt to be valuable to my clients for a long time.
I will explain why that is in today’s article, which was produced in collaboration with siggi’s yogurt although all views expressed within are my own.
For those that may not know, siggi’s produces a protein-rich Icelandic-inspired yogurt known as skyr.
The company was started in 2005 by Siggi Hilmarsson, a homesick Iceland native living in NYC who was not impressed by the quality of the yogurt offerings available to him.
So, he went ahead and created his own yogurt brand, which has since exploded in popularity south of the border and, as of January 2019, is now available on the Canadian market.
One of the hallmark’s of siggi’s yogurt is that it does not contain any artificial flavours, colours, sweeteners or preservatives.
It’s also very high in protein, relative to the number of calories it contains.
The 0% vanilla variety, for example, contains 18 grams of protein per 175 gram serving (130 calories).
In the section to come I will explain why this, among other characteristics of high protein yogurt, is a very valuable characteristic.
The Unique Advantages of Yogurt Consumption
Yogurt is an interesting and valuable food for a few reasons, not least of which is that it fits into the dietary patterns of an increasingly vegetarian-inspired population.
1. It tends to be better tolerated than other dairy products by those who are lactose-intolerant, which is an increasingly important consideration as more and more people are in-tune with how their bodies respond to foods.
2. It contains a wide array of probiotic bacteria strains which are not widely available in that many other varieties of commonly consumed foods and are becoming increasingly linked with improved digestive health.
3. It is one of the single richest calcium per volume serving size foods in our food system, which means that, even though you don’t NEED it to get enough calcium, it makes that task very, very easy.
Perhaps one of the most valuable things that yogurt offers, however, is its versatility in facilitating the consumption of other very important foods (such as fruit, nuts and seeds).
I find, for example, the intake of, and overall desire for, nuts and seeds is quite low among my client base.
That concerns me because nuts and seeds are among the most nutrient dense and healthy foods.
None the less, the idea of eating a handful of nuts or seeds at random does not appeal to everyone.
However, my experience is that offering instead a “yogurt parfait” creation and suggesting that food items like fruit, nuts, seeds, granola and even items like dark chocolate be included, makes the consumption of these very important foods much more tolerable.
Now the advantages I’ve described so far above technically apply to most yogurt products (dairy-based or otherwise), but high protein yogurt products (such as siggi’s skyr) offer additional benefits, which I describe in the next section.
The Unique Value of High Protein Yogurt
Among macronutrients, protein is unique in that it’s ability to both satiate you (help you feel full) and to stimulate your body to expend energy to break it down is generally considered superior to carbohydrates and fat.
This is a very, very useful characteristics for those who are trying to manage their appetite, their weight or both.
Recall that a 175 gram serving of siggi’s 0% Vanilla contains a very significant 18 grams of protein for only 130 calories, which is at least double the amount of protein found in non-Greek/non-skyr yogurt varieties.
That is, objectively speaking, a very good protein to calorie ratio.
The satiating effect of protein combined with the convenience and enjoyability of high protein yogurt is very relevant to the average working person (ie: my client base) who needs an easy snack option, and one that will keep them full.
Here’s the other thing though, boosting one’s protein intake also has some potential to aid from a weight management perspective.
Protein Intake, Weight Management & Overall Health
At a time where fad diets emphasizing the restriction and omission of macronutrients continue to appear in popular media, re-shifting the focus onto something more positive, such as increasing or emphasizing protein intake, would be a welcome change.
The Recommended Daily Allowance for protein is .8 g per day, per kilogram of your body weight.
Protein intake is not a public health concern, most people reach this level of intake.
Now it’s certainly not as simple as “eat more protein, lose weight” but certainly the idea of emphasizing higher protein intake is a positively-framed approach to guide individuals who are trying to pursue what can be a very challenging path of weight management.
Hopefully today’s article has provided you with some valuable insights into the multitude of reasons why I have relied on yogurt as a key food in my private dietetics practice.
Let me be clear in saying that, as could be said for any single food out there, you don’t NEED yogurt to have a healthy diet.
But, for those who choose to include it, it offers a number of practical and physiological advantages.
If you are unsatisfied with the quality or content of your current yogurt selection or want to make the shift to a higher protein variety, siggi’s is a great choice.
You can find their products across Canada at locations including Whole Foods Market (BC), Real Canadian Superstore, Co-op, Extra Foods, Metro, Longo’s, Highland Farms, Commisso’s Fresh Foods, Coppa’s Fresh Market, Al Premium Foods, Adonis, Euromarché, Grand Marché Col-Fax, Mourelatos, and many more.
For updates and more information, please visit: siggis.ca.
Until next time,
Andy De Santis RD MPH