Signature of healthy diet

How to build healthy eating habits?

Yogurt can play an important role in daily eating habits and even help build healthy eating habits.

Yogurt intake is associated with healthier eating

In a regular diet, yogurt appears particularly interesting due to added active bacterial cultures, high protein content, and vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and D, calcium, magnesium, potassium andphosphorus(3).

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A US study(1) examined whether yogurt consumption is associated with a healthier dietary pattern and with a better cardio-metabolic risk profile on two dietary patterns: the Prudent and the Western diet.  It showed thatyogurt is a key contributor to the Prudent dietary pattern and healthy eating. . The Prudent diet is indeed characterized by higher intakes of vegetables, fruits, nuts, non-hydrogenated fats, yogurt ,fish and seafood, while the Western diet was rather characterized by higher intakes of fried foods, processed or red meats, refined grains, snacks, pizza, beer, high-fat dairy products (cream, ice cream, cheese, whole milk), regular soft drinks, mayonnaise, and hard liquor. Moreover, yogurt consumption was associated with lower body weight, waist-to-hip ratio, and waist circumference and tended to be associated with a lower BMI.

A similar analysis(2),, based on the dietary records of 986 adults in France, showed that the higher scores of diet quality and better compliance with the French dietary recommendations were observed with increasing fresh dairy products consumption. Indeed, high fresh dairy products consumers eat more fruits, fish, legumes, nuts, water and fibers, and less alcohol. Moreover, they have better intakes in 11 micronutrients, including some that are not highly present in fresh dairy products such as vitamin C and vitamin B9.

Yogurt & fruits: the winning combination

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Fruits consumption is part of numerous dietary guidelines worldwide. Their energy density is relatively low, they provide a variety of antioxidants and contain fibers (assimilated to prebiotics) which are beneficial for gut microbiota. Current findings(4) suggest that an increased intake of yogurt and fruits could reduce the intake of high-calorie foods.

Yogurt consumption, as well as fruit consumption, is associated with healthier dietary pattern. And they are both nutrient dense foods! The association of yogurt and fruits may confer combined health benefits on gut microbiota through potential prebiotic and probiotic effects. It can also be considered as a winning combination for substituting nutrient-poor and/or obesogenic foods. The authors conclude that this combination, and its potential synergetic health effects, deserve further explorations.

yogurt and fruits may exert combined health benefits through prebiotic and probiotic effects

Source :

1.       Cormier H, Thifault E et al. Association between yogurt consumption, dietary patterns, and cardio-metabolic risk factors. Eur J Nutr, 2016, 55(2) : 577-87.
2.       Lecerf, J.M. et al., Who are fresh dairy products consumers? Analysis of their dietary and nutritional profiles, Nutrition clinique et métabolisme, 2015, 1-29
3.       Murphy M et al, Daily intake of dairy products in Brazil and contributions to nutrient intakes: a cross-sectional study, Public Health Nutrition, 2015
4.       Fernandez M A et al. Advances in Nutrition 2017; 8: 1555-1645.

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