Contrary to its name, the yogurt diet does not usually mean eating only yogurt. Rather, the yogurt diet typically means eating a low-fat diet supplemented with three servings of yogurt each day. The benefits of this might include immune support and increased intake of healthy nutrients from yogurt. Many people claim to experience accelerated weight loss while on the yogurt diet. Following such a diet can be a cause for concern if the types of yogurt, or the other parts of the diet, are not selected carefully. The wrong kind of yogurt can add things such as sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or even harmful chemicals to one's diet.
Following the yogurt diet might be as simple as eating three single-serving flavored yogurt cups each day, usually as a replacement for a less healthy choice. On the other hand, yogurt is a primary ingredient in various breakfast dishes, entrées, snacks, desserts and beverages, and it is served in different styles around the world, depending on culture. The diet typically does not prescribe a specific diet plan, other than to suggest that the yogurt be paired with healthy, low-fat foods.
Yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics — the good bacteria that promote digestive health. When using store-bought yogurt, one must be sure that the label specifies that it contains live cultures. Although all yogurt is made with live cultures containing probiotic bacteria, processing can sometimes destroy these good bacteria. Plain yogurt contains significant amounts of protein, calcium, riboflavin and vitamins B6 and B12.
When store-bought flavored yogurt is used, it must be selected carefully. Many yogurts contain added sweeteners, such as sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. A high-sugar diet is not conducive to weight loss, and furthermore, artificial sweeteners are rife with their own risks and controversies. Fat content can vary, so one must be careful to check the label and know his or her own dietary needs. Finally, many yogurts are made milk from cows treated with recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), which is a bovine growth hormone that some studies have linked to negative effects on human health.