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Dairy is a great source of quality protein. It's composed of both casein and whey, two proteins that research has shown to boost muscle growth. Dairy includes mainly milk, cottage cheese, cheese, and yogurt. Of these types of dairy, yogurt is one of the most popular. There are many flavor varieties, and all of them taste great.
The problem with yogurt though, is that even plain yogurt tends to be high in carbs and not all that loaded with protein. One cup of low-fat plain yogurt has only 12 grams of protein and 16 grams of carbs. If fruit or fruit flavor has been added to a cup of low-fat yogurt, you'll get only nine grams of protein and a whopping 42 grams of carbs. In reality, regular yogurt is really not the best snack for those interested in building lean muscle.
Although regular yogurt may not be the best snack choice, there is a yogurt that can help build muscle-it's called Greek yogurt.
Both regular and Greek yogurts start from milk and have beneficial bacterial cultures added to them. After these cultures are added to it, Greek-strained yogurt is left to rest in cheesecloth, which drains excess water and leaves a much thicker yogurt. Straining the yogurt this way also allows a good deal of the carbs (lactose) to drain away, which means Greek yogurt has far fewer carbs than regular yogurt. One cup of Greek yogurt contains just nine grams of carbs.
Greek yogurt is also much higher in protein than regular yogurt. One cup of Greek yogurt gives you 20 grams of quality protein, with a good portion coming in the form of casein protein. Because casein protein is a slow-digesting protein, it's especially good as a snack between the long intervals before your next meal. I like to eat Greek yogurt as a nighttime snack so I get a slow and steady stream of amino acids while I fast in slumber town.
The only drawback to Greek yogurt is its tart taste. Yes, you can buy fruit-flavored Greek yogurt, but that usually means you'll be giving up protein for sugar. If you don't like it out of the container, try this recipe. The peanut butter adds some healthy monounsaturated fats to further slow protein digestion.
Jim's Peanutty Greek Muscle Meal
- Mix all ingredients thoroughly.