Nutritious and delicious, yogurt is a versatile food that can be used in a variety of ways for meals and snacks throughout the day. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy breakfast, a post-workout snack, or a tasty addition to soups, salad dressings, sauces, or desserts, you can enjoy yogurt on all Phases of the South Beach Diet. In addition to adding tangy flavor and a creamy texture to dishes, yogurt is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins, and calcium.
At the Grocery
On the South Beach Diet, your best bet is to choose nonfat or plain yogurt on Phase 1. We especially like nonfat (0%) plain Greek yogurt, which is thick and creamy because it is strained to reduce the water content. You can enjoy this as well as artificially sweetened low-fat or nonfat flavored yogurt on Phase 2. Whatever Phase you’re on, avoid any brand of yogurt that contains high-fructose corn syrup. If you’re following the South Beach Diet Gluten Solution Program, read labels carefully for gluten, which is sometimes added to flavored yogurts.
On both Phase 1 and Phase 2, you can choose between milk and yogurt when it comes to fulfilling your dairy servings. You can enjoy 2 cups of nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt, including plain nonfat Greek yogurt, daily on Phase 1 and 2 to 3 cups of plain or artificially sweetened low-fat or nonfat flavored yogurt (6 oz. servings) daily on Phase 2. On Phase 2, consider adding 3/4 cup of nutrient-rich raspberries, blueberries, or sliced strawberries to your yogurt. Here are some other healthy and tasty ways to enjoy yogurt:
- In place of light or reduced-fat sour cream, use plain nonfat Greek yogurt to add creaminess to soups, sauces, and salad dressings. Greek yogurt also makes a rich addition to baked goods. Remember it is more tart than sour cream.
- Prepare a flavorful cucumber-mint yogurt dip for veggie platters or as an accompaniment to kebabs. To make it, combine nonfat plain Greek yogurt with chopped cucumber and chopped fresh mint, ground cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne.
- Enjoy a refreshing smoothie. On Phase 1, combine 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt, 1/2 cup unsweetened or low-sugar plain or vanilla soymilk (4 g or less fat per 8-ounce serving), 3 ounces firm silken tofu, and 1/4 cup dry-roasted almonds in a blender and blend until frothy. Add a little natural sugar substitute to sweeten, if desired. Or, instead of the soymilk, try unsweetened almond milk, if you like. On Phase 2, blend the yogurt and soymilk with fresh or frozen fruit, such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, peaches, or bananas. Add an extract of your choice and a little natural, no-calorie sugar substitute, if desired.
- Whip up a delicious frozen yogurt. In a blender, combine nonfat plain Greek yogurt with ice cubes, a little natural no-calorie sugar substitute, and pure vanilla extract to taste. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and freeze for about 2 hours. On Phase 2, blend in some frozen fruit, if you like.