NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Yogurt is good for your heart and helps prevent a dangerous condition, according to a new study.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of unhealthy conditions that affects about a third of the adult population in the U.S. It increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Turns out, yogurt and milk may lower that risk.
Yogurt has become a favorite breakfast and snack food. With its many styles and flavors, it’s now an $8 billion a year industry, with per capita consumption at 14 pounds.
Although, not everyone is crazy about the taste, at least at first.
“It’s an acquired taste, but I think it’s really good. I eat yogurt just about every single day,” one man said.
Many people eat yogurt for its calcium and good bacteria that help with digestion. But yogurt may also help with metabolic syndrome.
The collection of health risks includes an enlarged waistline, high blood pressure, low levels of HDL good cholesterol, high levels of triglyceride blood fats and insulin resistance. Any combination of three or more of these conditions means a person is at high risk for heart disease, stroke or diabetes.
A new analysis of more than 40 studies looking at consumption of dairy products, particularly yogurt and milk, showed that just one serving of yogurt or milk lowered the risk for metabolic syndrome.
“The study found that consuming both milk and yogurt and other dairy products did help reduce metabolic syndrome,” said dietitian Kate Patton, of the Cleveland Clinic.
But dietitians warn that it’s best to avoid yogurts with a lot of added sugar, like the ones with sweet fruit preserves, which can push your numbers in the wrong direction.
“I recommend choosing a plain Greek yogurt and sweetening it yourself with a little bit of vanilla extract or fruit,” Patton said. “Even if you mix half-flavored and half-plain people like the taste a little bit better.”
The study’s findings are consistent with what we know about the DASH diet, which includes two to three servings of dairy per day to help lower blood pressure.
If you don’t care for yogurt’s taste or texture, try mixing in some nuts or granola or add it to a smoothie with fresh fruit.