If you opened my refrigerator right now, you would find about a half dozen containers of low-fat yogurt. It's one of my favorite treats – and keeps me from indulging in something less healthy when I feel the urge for something sweet.
That's why I was thrilled to read about a study recently presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association that found that people who routinely eat yogurt are less likely to develop high blood pressure.
The researchers followed about 2,000 adults who did not have high blood pressure for 14 years. They found that the participants were nearly a third less likely to develop high blood pressure if more than 2 percent of their daily calories came from yogurt.
I originally started eating yogurt because I have lactose intolerance, which means I have trouble digesting most dairy products. But I know that dairy is an important part of a healthy diet, especially as you get older and need to pay attention to calcium intake.
Yogurt was the perfect way to get an extra dose of dairy because it has a lower lactose content. I look for brands that are enriched with vitamin D, which is also critical to bone health. And it's a good idea to stick to low-fat products. In my opinion, they taste just as good and you don't have to worry about extra calories.