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Yoghurt – A Healthy All-Rounder

Yoghurt originally comes from south-eastern Europe, where it was made from goat, sheep or buffalo milk. Today, mainly cow’s milk is used, which is mixed with certain lactic acid bacteria and left to stand for two to three hours at around 45 degrees Celsius. The lactose it contains is converted into lactic acid, and the milk coagulates and becomes viscous.

There are countless variations of yoghurt, in the firm and drinkable consistency and in different fat content levels: cream yoghurt with at least 10 per cent fat, yoghurt with 1.5 per cent fat and low-fat yoghurt with 0.3 to 0.1 per cent fat. Fruit yoghurt often contains a lot of artificial flavours, sugar and colouring instead of fresh fruit.

With around 75 calories per 100 g, yoghurt is relatively low in calories. The low-fat version is not necessarily the better choice, because to guarantee an equivalent taste, the manufacturers usually mix in a good amount of sugar. It is possible that a reduced-fat yoghurt provides the same number of calories as a yoghurt with 3.5 per cent fat in the milk content.

The high calcium content in yoghurt is another plus.

Yoghurt scores with high-quality protein and important minerals. However, its greatest health benefit lies in the (probiotic) lactic acid bacteria, which keep the intestinal flora healthy. Studies show that this form of “intestinal rehabilitation” is particularly worthwhile after antibiotic therapy to get the immune system back on track.

The body can best utilize yoghurt with right-handed lactic acid because it also occurs naturally in the body. In order for the healthy bacterial strains to settle in your intestines, you should stick to one brand of yoghurt (and thus also one bacterial strain) and eat around 200 grams of it every day.

The high calcium content in yoghurt is another plus point: the mineral strengthens bones and teeth, protects against osteoporosis and is even able to burn fat in the body. You can burn calories even more effectively if you use products that have added fibre, such as grains, which are full.

You should always keep yoghurt in the refrigerator.

Unlike milk, most of the lactose in yoghurt has fermented into lactic acid. Therefore, small amounts of yoghurt are also well tolerated by people with lactose intolerance (milk sugar intolerance). Otherwise, lactose-free yoghurt made from soy, goat or sheep’s milk is a tasty and healthy alternative.

Do you want a baby? Then you should eat yoghurt regularly. A recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that consuming dairy products can significantly increase the chances of conceiving.

Recent research shows that organic milk and yoghurt made from it contain healthier fats. These unsaturated fatty acids lower the cholesterol level and thus reduce the risk of deposits in the blood vessels.

You should always keep yoghurt in the refrigerator. It usually stays there for three to four weeks. Don’t spoon yoghurt straight out of the jar or mug unless you’re going to finish it all. Otherwise, germs from the mouth get into the yoghurt and it spoils faster.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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