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Is Fat-Free Yogurt Good to Speed Metabolism?

By Mike Samuels

A faster metabolism can be highly beneficial when it comes to losing or maintaining weight. The higher your metabolism, the more quickly you burn calories, meaning you can eat more food without the worry of weight gain. Certain foods may, as part of your overall diet, have an impact on your metabolism. Fat-free yogurt is one such food.

Power Up With Protein

Foods high in protein have the power to speed up your metabolism, notes dietitian Cassie Bjork. Per 100 grams, fat-free Greek yogurt contains just over 10 grams of protein. Bjork recommends eating a palm-sized portion of protein, such as beef or chicken, at every meal and about half as much in a snack. Yogurt only contains around half the protein per 100 grams that most meats and fish do, though, so you may need a little more to get adequate protein per serving.

Get Your Dairy

Fat-free yogurt and other forms of low-fat dairy are good sources of calcium. Not getting enough calcium can cause your body to release more calcitrol, a hormone that may lead to increased fat storage, according to obesity specialist Dr. Joanna Dolgoff. A study published in a 2005 edition of the "International Journal of Obesity" found that, eating 500 calories a day fewer than normal, subjects who got 1,100 milligrams of calcium from yogurt daily lost more weight over a 12-week period than those on the same diet who got only 400 to 500 milligrams of calcium.

Picking Probiotics

The probiotics in fat-free yogurt may also be conducive to metabolism and fat loss. According to Jeremy Nicholson, professor in the Department of Biomolecular Medicine at Imperial College, London, the probiotics in dairy can have an impact on your gut microflora, causing you to metabolize fat at a faster rate. To get all the benefits of probiotics, however, you need to choose fat-free yogurt with live cultures.

The Comparison

The potential metabolic effects of low-fat yogurt, including the protein content, probiotics and calcium, all apply to full-fat yogurt too. The difference, however, is that full-fat yogurt is much higher in calories. Therefore, while it may also speed up your metabolism, eating full-fat yogurt means you're ingesting more calories than if you pick a fat-free or low-fat yogurt.

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