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Which Yogurt is Best for Weight Loss After 50?

Want to drop a dress size? Choosing the right yogurt can make a difference if you are working toward a healthy weight. Plus: We’ve got tasty summer recipes!

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What’s your favorite topping for yogurt? Is it fruit, nuts, honey, granola or something else? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

It’s what we often call a superfood, but it may be even more helpful to think of yogurt as a functional food. “It’s an ancient food that delivers on modern 21st century wellness needs,” Erin Coffield, a dietitian and vice president of health and wellness communications for the National Dairy Council, told AARP. In fact, this may be the dairy food that does the most, and we’re about to learn why. Discuss any dietary changes with your health care provider.

Over 50? Keep this in mind: As we age, our bodies need fewer calories but more protein.

5 reasons yogurt is great for helping us reach a healthy weight

  1. A satisfying way to reduce cravings and hunger, thanks to its protein content. Andrea Mathis, the body-positive registered dietician behind the wildly popular @beautifuleatsandthings platform on Instagram, explains that protein can help you feel fuller. “And if you’re eating it with your snack, it can also help to keep you satisfied so that you're not grabbing chips and cookies,” she says. “Increasing your protein intake has been shown to increase feelings of fullness and satisfaction. Thus, a high protein diet may naturally encourage you to consume fewer calories throughout the day,” according to
  2. A protein-packed way to help boost muscle and metabolism According to, an increase in muscle tissue helps boost metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which the body converts food and drink to energy and releases it in the form of calories. Over 50? Keep this in mind: As we age, our bodies need fewer calories but more protein.
  3. A probiotic powerhouse “Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain live microorganisms intended to maintain or improve the "good" bacteria (normal microflora) in the body,” according to Mayo Clinic. And Harvard Health confirms that probiotics may help with weight loss.
  4. An inflammation fighter. “Obesity is a complex disease associated with an increase in several inflammatory markers, leading to chronic low-grade inflammation,” according to a review of medical studies in the journal Cureus. Yogurt consumption may improve gut health and reduce chronic inflammation by enhancing innate and adaptive immune responses, intestinal barrier function, lipid profiles, and by regulating appetite,” according to a review of studies published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
  5. A creamy substitute for mayo, sour cream, heavy cream and more. We’ll share more about that—and some delicious recipes—later.

Related: How Much Protein Do You Need After 50? (

Fruity flavors will do you no favors if you want to reach your goal weight

Just say no to added flavors or fruit and add your own at home. “People think, Yogurt—oh that’s healthy, but most yogurts have a ton of sugar because there’s [sweetened] fruit mixed in,” Kristen Gradney, registered dietician and founder of Pure Nutrition Wellness Solutions, a Louisiana-based consulting firm, told Sisters. Instead, opt for plain Greek yogurt and add your own fresh fruit. That way you get the flavor you’re looking for while controlling the amount of added sugar. Sugar depletes good bacteria in the gut, according to Harvard Health.


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To get those probiotic and protein perks, you’ve got to be a label reader

We already know to peep to word “plain” or “unflavored” on the front. Additionally:

  • Some brands may say “probiotic” on the front. Good. But many probiotic varieties don’t use that marketing language, and that’s not a deal-breaker for the health-conscious.
  • “Greek” is good to look out for because this strained variety is thick, it’s creamy and it has about double the protein and half the carbohydrates.
  • Good to know: If you are lactose intolerant, you may find Greek yogurt easier to digest. The straining process lowers the amount of the milk sugar lactose, relative to regular yogurt.

Now let’s get out our reading glasses and look at the back:

  • You want to see “live and active cultures” listed, according to Harvard Health.
  • Usually, words we can’t pronounce spell trouble on food labels, but if those words are Latin names for healthy bacterial cultures (for instance, Streptococcus thermophilus/S. thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus/L. bulgaricus) that’s a big thumbs up.

Reduce calories and fat in your favorite foods with yogurt as your secret ingredient

  • Make potato salad with yogurt instead of mayo? By doing so, you’ll lower sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol. The yogurt has more natural sugar than mayo, yet it has a lower glycemic index. You can ease the switch by using half of each ingredient and cutting back gradually.
  • Greek yogurt can sub for about half of the heavy cream when making whipped topping.
  • Even if you top your baked potato with 3.5 ounces of rich-tasting whole milk Greek yogurt, which is not a low-calorie food, you’ll save over 100 calories and almost 15 grams of fat compared to the same amount of full fat sour cream. Using reduced- or low-fat Greek yogurt makes your meal even lighter.
  • In baking, yogurt can be used like pudding or sour cream to add moistness to cakes.
  • Try drizzling herbed yogurt (the regular kind, not Greek) over salads, grilled veggies or roast chicken instead of bottled dressing or gravy.


What’s your favorite topping for yogurt? Is it fruit, nuts, honey, granola or something else? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Delicious recipes with yogurt we think you’ll enjoy

Red Potato Salad


  • 1 cup yogurt, plain fat-free
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise, low-fat
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 4 medium red potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Combine yogurt, mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl. Mix well and refrigerate.
  2. Wash potatoes and place in pot. Cover with water about 1 inch above potatoes.
  3. Bring water and potatoes to a boil and simmer until potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Drain potatoes and set aside to cool.
  5. When potatoes are cooled, cut into bite-sized cubes. Place cut potatoes into large bowl.
  6. Add celery, onions, salt, and pepper to potatoes. Top with sauce and mix well.
  7. Garnish with parsley

Adapted from

Frozen Tropical Fruit Pops


  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, canned, juiced packed
  • 1 cup yogurt, low-fat (8 ounces)
  • 6 fluid ounces orange juice, frozen concentrate (thawed)


  1. Mix the ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Divide into 4 paper cups.
  2. Freeze until slushy - about 60 minutes. Insert a wooden stick halfway through the center of each fruit pop.
  3. Freeze until hard or at least 4 hours. Peel away the paper cup before you eat the fruit pop.

Adapted from


Grilled Carrots With Harissa Yogurt Sauce


  • 2 lbs. medium carrots
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt (not Greek)
  • 2 tsp harissa paste (North African chili paste—find it online or at larger grocery stores)
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley or cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare grill with medium flame.
  2. Peel, then cut the carrots in half lengthwise.
  3. Toss carrots with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer carrots to grill.
  5. Cover and cook 7–8 min., until tender, turning occasionally.
  6. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, harissa paste, and fresh lemon juice. Season with salt to taste.
  7. Spread yogurt sauce in thin layer on a platter.
  8. Arrange grilled carrots on top of prepared yogurt sauce. Garnish with the almonds and parsley (or cilantro if using).

Adapted from

What’s your favorite topping for yogurt? Is it fruit, nuts, honey, granola or something else? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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