Yogurt has been around since the 70’s when the flower children of that generation touted it as the “Super food of the era” We used to look at Euell Gibbons selling Grape nuts and thought it tasted like eating gravel from the driveway. It was healthy and who cares if it broke a tooth or two. That’s another blog, back to the yogurt debate.
First of all what is yogurt and What makes it a super food for our body?? I am not going to be recommending brands but just in general “Greek versus all the rest”
Yogurt in general is a dairy product produced by bacterial fermenting of cows milk. The bacteria used to make yogurt are known as “yogurt cultures”. Fermentation of lactose by these bacteria produces lactic acid which acts on milk protein to give yogurt its texture and its characteristic tang.
Worldwide, cows milk is most commonly used to make yogurt, but milk from water buffalo, goats, ewes(sheep), mares as well as camels and yaks is also used in various parts of the world.
Dairy yogurt is produced using a culture of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus bacteria. In addition, other lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are also sometimes added during or after culturing yogurt. These are referred to good bacteria. Did you know that if you are on a antibiotic this can drastically reduce your good gut bacteria and cause another infection such as Clostridium difficille to develop. So if you go on an antibiotic eat a yogurt or two per day(greek preferred or lactobacillus added yogurt). Probiotics!! They are simply amazing and beyond beneficial to the body! Unfortunately many yogurt brands pasteurize their products so much in order to maximize shelf life that the probiotic properties are pretty much completely lost. In fact, several major yogurt companies have recently come under fire for their over-advertisement of probiotic properties for which they are aware are diminished greatly during the pasteurization process.
The ugly truth about cows yogurt: Dairy-based yogurt is also full of cow hormones, which are great… if you’re a calf For those of us who aren’t baby cows, these hormones trigger our body to increase production of sticky oil in the skin which can lead to clogged pores and (you guessed it) breakouts!! No Way!!! Yogurt is also acidic and can increase inflammation which leads to redness in the skin. What’s more, most yogurts have added sugar which also leads to… well, you get the idea here but yes – more breakouts, redness, accelerated aging.
Now Greek versus the rest: If you feel the most important part of the yogurt in your diet is to taste like creme brulee or cheese cake go for the one with the million flavors. I like Greek! It takes a little getting used to, it is thicker and creamier, almost like eating a sour cream but you can flavor it yourself. The major makers all have a flavored greek yogurt. Go au naturel as possible, don’t pick the added sugar versions. I buy natural unflavored yogurt and add a little raw sugar(yeah there is a difference). Then if I want flavor fresh or frozen fruit. When I want to be adventerous I add an all natural flavoring such as natural vanilla extract or grind a vanilla bean in it. There will be less sugar and the benefits won’t end there. Take a look on the label at the grocers, check out the regular yogurt; the average protein is between 3-5 grams. OKay look at the greek on an orgainic yogurt this range is between 10-15 grams! Price wise there are generic organic version, difference in price is about 10-15 cents!! So if you want a serious start for breakfast and hate always having to eat eggs or protein powder (bleghh… sorry haven’t found a good one yet). I opted to go for the greek with some super food fruit such as blueberries and you are set for the gym, that important meeting or just keeping up with the kids.
If you can’t take the thickness of greek you can water it down with a little skim or low fat milk, give it a shot for one week and see how you feel over your full of processed chemical lemon chiffon yogurt.