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Why You Should Eat Yogurt and 5 Tips of Buying and Storing Yogurt

March 14th, 2008 · 16 Comments ·
 
 

 

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Ever since I was introduced to low fat Yogurt, I fell in love with it. Yogurt (or Yoghurt or Yoggourt) was actually a long-established staple in Eastern Europe and the Middle East before it becomes popular in other places. Today, yogurt is commonly consumed by men, women, and children of all ages. Walk into any supermarket, and you will see the varieties and flavors of this nutritious food take up considerable space in the dairy section. In this article, based on my personal experience eating yogurt for the past couple of years and research I did on Internet, I will share with you what I know about yogurt from layman’s point of view.

Health Benefits of Yogurt
When yogurt is compared to milk, yogurt contains more calcium and protein because of the added cultures in the yogurt. Cultures are composed of unique living microorganisms which are responsible for the health and nutritional benefits of yogurt.

  1. Some people have trouble digesting lactose, a carbohydrate in milk and milk products, because of the deficiency of enzyme lactase in the body. Live yogurt cultures produce lactase and break down the lactose into glucose and galactose, two sugars that are easily absorbed by lactose-intolerant persons. Yogurt is a healthy way to get the calcium the body needs, for the people who cannot tolerate milk products.
  2. Yogurt contains 88% water, and is therefore a great source of water as well as nutrients. Some people think that because yogurt is more acidic than milk, it may actually cause osteoporosis. Not true. Not only is yogurt not decalcifying, but the lactose in yogurt even helps to improve calcium absorption. And because it is such an excellent source of calcium, people at risk for osteoporosis would do well to eat at least one yogurt per day.
  3. The live and active cultures in the yogurt may also help to boost the immune system. They encourage the right kind of bacteria to multiply in the gut. These bacteria help to digest food and prevent stomach infections. Research has suggested that eating yogurt regularly helps boost the body’s immune-system function, warding off colds and possibly even helping to fend off cancer.

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5 Tips of Buying and Storing Yogurt

  1. There are two main types of yogurt: regular (whole milk) and low-fat. Low-fat yogurt are good for people who are on a cholesterol lowering diet. So, go for low fat version of yogurt.
  2. Go for plain yogurt – Ounce for ounce, plain yogurt is more nutritious than fruit-added preparations. The next time you shop yoghurt, look at the differences on the labels:
    • Plain yogurt contains around one-half of the calories of the same amount of fruit-added yogurt.
    • Plain yogurt contains almost twice the amount of proteins.
    • Plain yogurt contains more calcium.
    • Plain yogurt contains no added sugar.

    If you find plain yogurt is not tasty, add flavor with your favorite fruit. This way you control the sweeteners.

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  3. Avoid yogurt that says “heat treated after culturing” on the label – When you see the term of “heat treat after culturing”, it means that the yoghurt was pasteurized after the healthful organisms were added, which dilutes the health benefits of the yogurt. Pasteurization deactivates the lactose and kills the live cultures, thereby obliterating two health benefits of yogurt. Wonder why the manufacturers do that? Heat-treating yogurt trades economic gain for nutritional loss. It prolongs the shelf life, but spoils its nutrition and health-food value. Lactose-intolerant persons who can tolerate yogurt containing live and active cultures may not be able to digest yogurt that has been heat treated.

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  4. Yogurt must always be refrigerated – Each carton should have a “sell by” date stamped on it. It should be eaten within the week following the “sell by” date to take full advantage of the live and active cultures in the yogurt. As yogurt is stored, the amount of live and active cultures begins to decline.
  5. Avoid frozen yoghurt. Frozen yogurt is not the same product and will not yield the same health benefits; even if they specify live cultures they will have only a fraction of the beneficial bacteria of fresh yogurt and they will not enhance lactose tolerance.

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Category: Nutrition


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16 responses so far ↓
  • aw // Mar 14, 2008 at 12:28 AM

    Stuff’s expensive though, on a weight-to-price basis.

  • sylv // Mar 14, 2008 at 12:34 AM

    i love yoghurt! ever since i’m starting this supervised diet under a dietician, she advised me to snack healthily. that includes yoghurt. and well… apparently yoghurt is very yummy :D hahahah

  • Reena // Mar 14, 2008 at 1:29 PM

    Good post on yoghurt

  • David // Mar 15, 2008 at 8:39 PM

    Here’s another way to add yogurt to the diet: Yogurt cheese (or YoChee) is a wonderful versatile ingredient you can make at home from your yogurt. It has substantial nutritional benefits ( a creamy food which is low or no fat plus high protein and calcium). You might want to take a look at, “Eat Well the YoChee Way” a guide and cookbook to this important food. It really expands the use of yogurt cheese to desserts, main courses and much more. Also nutritional content.

  • dpegasus // Mar 21, 2008 at 2:01 PM

    How about yogurt drinks? Do they have the same benefit as normal yogurt?

  • Cathy // May 29, 2008 at 10:17 PM

    yogurt is milk with live cultures. You can make yogurt by heating milk to boiling point then let it cool down to room temperature naturally and add 2 tablespoons of yogurt for the live culture and leave it in the fridge overnight. This is a simple and cheaper way of eating yogurt.

  • Renell // Jul 30, 2008 at 9:24 PM

    I love yogurt. I feed it to my 16 month old son and he loves it. Its a healthy way for him to snack and I have noticed that he is less prone to catching colds and littel viruses that frequently go around. I believe its a great nutritional supplement to any diet. PS. This article was very helpfyl.

  • Sue // Sep 26, 2008 at 12:35 AM

    For Your Information Because I Care-

    I see you talk a little about Soy on your webb. For your information, and it is my understanding from my friend who can’t have soy and so has studied the effects. Soy causes harm to the thyroid, no matter what you have heard. Check more on internet yourself. God Bless.

  • Michelle Statham // Oct 3, 2008 at 2:17 AM

    How long can yogurt stay at room temp .. Let say I stop at store one
    pick up my favorite brand of yogurt put it in a keeper with Ice then stop at store 2 so as this shopping is about thirty round trip miles from my home
    The yogurt is on ice for about 4 hours give or take.. Thanks

  • sasikala // Nov 4, 2008 at 6:08 PM

    if we eat soya, it is useful for breast increasement or not. pl. inform

  • Brenda // Oct 17, 2009 at 2:26 AM

    I loved the site. I had to go into several sites to find the info you had in this one site. Thank you!

    When do you eat yogurt? Before, after, during a meal?

  • Pete // Dec 25, 2009 at 1:59 AM

    I’ve found that the plain yogurt is best when mixed with all fruit products like Polaner All Fruit etc… This adds flavor and that sort of fruit added is a bonus to taste and health benefit. What gets me so mad at the food industry is why they have to add corn syrup and other sugars to a pefectly good tasting food. I also like to add a tablespoon of plain yogurt to my protein shakes.

  • tulshiram // Mar 19, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    Dietcien has advised me to include home made yogurt .Iwant to know in short and plain languge what is yogurt?how do u prepare it in home? when tohave it- before meals or after meals.? can u pl help?

  • Marilyn // Apr 10, 2010 at 11:39 PM

    I would think that the most important thing when buying yogurt is to make sure it’s ORGANIC.

    If you’re not buying organic dairy products, then you’re getting the hormones and antibiotics that they feed to the animals. I also believe that most organic dairies treat the animals better. (This may not be the case with all, unfortunately.)

  • Ravi // Aug 31, 2010 at 9:47 PM

    When is the best time to consume yogurt? after a meal or before? in the morning or afternoon. I normally have yogurt with my breakfast (egg, bread & sausage) and feel bloated after that. Due to this, I always skip lunch. Please advise.

  • Summer // Feb 27, 2011 at 7:13 AM

    I too would like to know if there is a time of day that is best for yogurt. We eat Activia here.

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