After posting my breakfast yesterday, I received the question that is the title of this post. Why do you eat Greek yogurt? Isn’t your name Dairy Free Chick?
Why, yes, it is! Good observation. I chose the name “Dairy Free Chick” because it’s a whole lot cuter and easier to say than “Lactose Intolerant Chick.” In fact, I can’t think of many unsexier names than “Lactose Intolerant Chick.” I also like having the word “free” in my name because it connotes freedom from food restrictions. As I’ve said before in my story, lactose intolerance has made me more tolerant of other foods (i.e. more free).
For the vast majority of my meals, I eat completely dairy free. Everything except yogurt, that is. The awesome thing about yogurt is that it actually helps my digestion. Yogurt is usually okay for lactose intolerant folks because it has active cultures of bacteria that break down the lactose for you. It’s almost like taking a Lactaid pill. For this reason, yogurt with active cultures will usually have a lower lactose content than other dairy products.
Actually, there are many reasons to eat yogurt, if you can tolerate it:
1. It contains calcium to strengthen your bones. For LI people, since we don’t have milk, getting calcium in our diets can sometimes be a challenge. I take calcium supplements (Citracal) and drink fortified soy milk, but if you don’t, yogurt is a good source of calcium. Heck, even if you do, extra calcium is not going to hurt. The daily recommended daily amount is about 1000 mg per day (for adults 19-50 years old). About a cup of plain nonfat yogurt can contain about 415 mg (depending on the brand). One reason to read nutritional labels.
2. The bacteria help keep your colon healthier. The many gastroenterologists that I’ve seen have all asked me if I can eat yogurt and recommended that I consume it once a day. It’s supposed to maintain your colon bacteria (like a probiotic supplement)— and these bacteria help digest a lot of your food.
3. It’s a great source of protein. Especially Greek yogurt. One cup of regular plain yogurt can have from 8-14 g of protein. One cup of Greek yogurt contains 20-25 g protein (what I had yesterday, Oikos, has 23 g). In the grand scheme of your day, it is recommended you consume about 43 g of protein (for an adult aged 19-50 years).
4. It can be dessert. I’ve also found that I can eat frozen yogurt. I looooove the popular self-serve places where you can get just as much as you want and I’m so glad that I can eat it without feeling sick! Maybe you can, too? If not, you can always make your own at home. I’ll show you how I make mine soon.
Now that you’ve heard my reasons for eating yogurt, I think you should go an have a cup of yogurt yourself. If you can’t eat dairyful yogurt, there are soy alternatives, coconut alternatives (So Delicious), or the new lactose free Yoplait. I haven’t tried these since I’m okay with dairyful yogurt, but I will soon (out of curiosity).