Yogurt and you

Everywhere you turn are people conscious of healthy living and eager to acquire the right knowledge to ensure this happens for them. We love yogurts. It is now a regular on breakfast tables, as a snack or even taken as lunch. Some have included yogurts in their diets for various purposes such as flat tummy remedy, weight loss diet plans e.t.c. Yogurts have been consumed by humans for very many years coming. Yogurt is made by first pasteurizing fresh milk and then fermenting milk using bacteria culture. The culture ferments lactose and converts it to lactic acid. Some people are unable to tolerate milk because of lactose and present with bloating, excessive flatulence but with lactic acid, such intolerance is absent while obtaining the benefits of milk.

Not all yogurts are as healthy as we are made to believe. Yogurts made without adding extra sugar like high fructose or unnecessary additives can be healthy options that are added to meals, but some others may have high quantities of added sugar and other ingredients that may not necessarily be healthy..

Yogurts that are made naturally, are usually low-calorie but high-nutrient food that is packed richly with protein. Many commercial manufacturers add extra sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other ingredients that are not healthy.

All yogurts contain some natural sugars, it is however advisable to look for a product with less than 15g of sugar per serving. Lesser sugar present in yogurts and without artificial sweeteners usually is healthy. The debate is still on whether consuming yogurt is linked to better health as purported in many circles, hence some argue that the health claims are for commercial gains. However, people who eat yogurt are more likely to have an otherwise healthy diet.

Yogurts can be dairy or non-dairy. Non-dairy yogurt is obtained from alternative sources like coconut milk, peas, nuts and soy milk. Some yogurts are heated as part of the processing and the heat usually leads to loss of nutrients. Extra filtering out of yogurt whey results in lesser calories but more densely packed protein-rich yogurt as is in the type known as greek yogurt. Greek yogurt comes as thick, creamier liquid but also has lesser calcium.

Ingredients in yogurt beneficial to the body

  1. Probiotics which commonly includes Lactobacillus bulgaricus (L. bulgaricus) and Streptococcus thermophiles (S. thermophiles). Probiotics are healthy bacteria that helps regulate digestion and strengthen the immune system through the reduction of inflammation.
  2. Calcium which is needed for healthy bones and teeth. Calcium also aids in hastening wound healing, maintaing blood pressure and preventing blood loss at injuries.
  3. Other nutrients like riboflavin, potassium, magnesium and other vitamins like B6 and B12.
  4. Protein is enviably present in high amount in yogurt. Getting enough protein helps support the body’s metabolism, helps regulate appetite that leads to weight control and renewal of body cells.

How to get the best from your yogurt

  1. Bake with yogurt rather than butter or oil.
  2. Do not buy yogurt desserts already prepared with fruits. Most have added sugars.
  3. Better to get unsweetened yogurt that you can sweeten by yourself using fruits.
  4. Making your vegetable smoothies with a helping of yogurts can spice it up healthily.
    In all, yogurt is rich in nutrients and good for health when consumed regularly but it is not for everyone especially those who have allergies to casein and whey.
    The bottom line is that for a healthy routine, make sure to choose your yogurt right. The best yogurt has no added sugar and with few nutrients.