Is It Better to Eat Yogurt in the Morning or at Night? 

 July 15, 2023

By  Diane Miles

Yogurt is regarded as one of the most nutritious foods in the world. It’s also one of the most popular breakfast and anytime snack, so people often wonder if it’s better to eat it during the morning or in the evening.

The best time to eat yogurt is in the morning and on an empty stomach. These are the optimal conditions for the live bacteria in yogurt to arrive in the large intestines in order to have a positive impact on digestion and overall health. However, you can also snack on yogurt any time of the day.

There are certain things to understand when determining if it’s best to eat yogurt for breakfast or at night. Read on below to learn more.

Is It Better to Eat Yogurt in the Morning or Evening?

There are many ways to get the most out of yogurt’s powerful health benefits, primarily depending on the time you eat it.

Research shows that the optimal time to consume breakfast is in the morning on an empty stomach, because this way, the probiotics or the good bacteria in yogurt arrive in the large intestines live. The health benefits include getting a good dose of protein and calcium, B vitamins, and phosphorus; it reduces inflammation, improves digestion, and reduces the risk for a number of conditions including obesity, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other gastrointestinal conditions.

Yogurt is also best combined with other foods when consuming it on an empty stomach. That’s why many people add toppings to yogurt for breakfast, such as granola, fruits, and nuts. It dilutes just enough stomach acid for the live bacteria to still be beneficial, while being less acidic.

The next best times to consume yogurt are:

  • At night: Yogurt is a significantly healthier choice for a nighttime snack compared to other sugary treats and junk food. Scientists also say that past midnight, when the calcium content of the body is at its lowest, is another good time to snack on yogurt because it’s rich in calcium. That’s why eating yogurt as night is a better option compared to junk, if you are hungry, and you’ll also get the added benefits of replenishing your body’s calcium levels.
  • At least two hours after a meal: Eating yogurt right after a meal, or as a dessert, is not suitable because the stomach acid content is still very high at this time, rendering the live bacteria useless. Waiting at least two hours after your meal to eat yogurt is better because then the live bacteria can still reach the intestines in good condition for you to enjoy its health benefits.

Who Should Not Eat Yogurt on an Empty Stomach

While yogurt is well-tolerated by most people who consume it on an empty stomach or first thing in the morning, this may not be advisable for individuals who are acidic or prone to acidity, or any other kind of stomach issues.

That’s because fermented milk products including yogurt will form hydrochloric acid in an empty stomach, killing off the lactic acid bacteria in yogurt and causing acidity. This can cause some individuals to suffer from the symptoms of acidity or acid reflux such as chest pain or heart burn. However, low-fat yogurt is a better alternative for people who suffer from acidity or acid reflux since whole fat yogurt may be more difficult to digest and cause symptoms.

In addition, individuals who are lactose intolerant should not eat regular yogurt on an empty stomach. Instead, opt for Greek yogurt which has less lactose. Greek yogurt is made through a straining process and the live cultures help break down the lactose content, making it easier to digest. Generally speaking, lactose intolerant people should only consume yogurt in moderation.

Last but not least, diabetics should not eat yogurt on an empty stomach, especially if it’s rich in sugar (more than 9 grams of sugar in one serving). Doing so can increase blood glucose especially among those who are obese. On the other hand, diabetics are better off consuming yogurt after a meal – two hours after, ideally – because this can reduce blood sugar levels.

Quality Yogurts for Eating Any Time of Day

There are so many delicious and nutritious yogurt varieties out there. Here are some that are available on Amazon:

-   Straus Family Creamery Greek Yogurt
-   Amazon Brand Happy Belly Traditional Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt
-   365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Vanilla Yogurt

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to eat yogurt for weight loss?

The best way to eat yogurt for weight loss is to use it as a replacement for junk food or sugary foods, as well as for high-calorie, low protein food that are low in nutrients.

There’s no right or wrong time to eat yogurt for weight loss, though many find it most beneficial to consume as a breakfast food particularly because high-protein yogurt varieties such as Greek yogurt, are effective at keeping you full for longer periods of time. Since it keeps you satiated for longer, you’ll have less cravings and it will complement a weight-loss plan that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise.

If you are trying to lose weight, be mindful about the yogurt varieties you consume. Not all are made equal, and there are many sugar-laden varieties out there that will not help you lose weight. The best yogurts for weight loss are low in sugar and carbohydrates, with 9 grams or less of these in each serving.

What is the best time to eat yogurt for weight gain?

You can eat yogurt any time of the day for healthy weight gain. The best choice for those who wish to gain some weight is a full-fat yogurt, which is rich in nutrients, protein, and calcium. Do avoid sugary, flavored yogurt because it’s not a healthy way to gain weight; these varieties are full of added sugars and may even have some preservatives.

Are there side effects to eating yogurt at night?

There are no side effects if you choose to eat yogurt at night, as long as you are of healthy constitution and don’t have any gastrointestinal issues such as acidity. In fact, yogurt is a nutritious snack that you can eat at night, plus it’s much easier to digest and can keep you satiated while you sleep. This makes yogurt a good midnight snack option for individuals who tend to wake up at night hungry.

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