Think you're eating healthy by adding agave to your Greek yogurt and unfiltered maple syrup to your oatmeal? Yeah, well, not so much. These and other add-ins for yogurt and oatmeal only boost blood sugar and work against the inherent health advantages of both – yogurt is high in protein and healthy gut bacteria, while oatmeal is loaded with soluble fiber, which may help lower bad LDL cholesterol, and helps you feel full. So what should your stir into yogurt and oatmeal? Here, eight healthful options, according to holistic nutritionist Lisa Turner of InspiredEating.com.
Chocolate in yogurt? Absolutely, says Turner, if you use cacao nibs. These crunchy bits are actually fermented pieces of cacao beans – also used to make chocolate – and have a subtle dark-chocolate flavor. But unlike highly trumped dark chocolate, "these are a true superfood," says Turner. Cacao nibs have more antioxidants than even the darkest chocolate, which loses potency during processing, and contain no sugar. Turner likes nibs in yogurt and oatmeal because they add a hefty crunch, along with 9 grams fiber and 4 grams protein per ounce. Find them at a natural food store or order online [$6; navitasnaturals.com].
Credit: Photograph by Michael Pirrocco