In defense of yogurt

Eating dairy may be the secret to slimming down and toning up. Yogurt mogul Siggi Hilmarsson shares suggestions for thinking outside the carton.

We've long suspected that yogurt may be the perfect food: high in protein, low in carbs and sugar — if you opt for plain, that is — and, perhaps most importantly, portable. But with every celebrity swearing off the stuff in the name of health (read: weight loss) and every new diet saying you should ditch it, dairy has been getting a bad rap.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition, however, we shouldn't discount dairy quite so quickly — since it may actually help, not hinder, the slim down/tone up process. For four months, study participants did five days of cardio and two days of strength training per week; half ate a low carb, high protein diet rich in dairy and the others downed dairy-free low carb, high protein foods. The verdict: those who dined on dairy lost twice as much belly fat and tacked on more lean muscle than the dairy-free group.

So, grab that yogurt and go. But what’s the best way to eat it daily without getting bored? We turned to Siggi Hilmarsson, the founder of Siggi’s skyr yogurt, an Icelandic-style variety known for being high in protein and low in sugar. Click through the slideshow above for his favorite ways to eat the stuff — from a smoothie recipe to a savory dipping sauce.

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