Yogurt is a very popular fermented food and is widely consumed around the world. Its popularity arose from being made with dairy and for the good bacterias (probiotics) it contains. Yogurt can be eaten at breakfast and is used to make sauces for meals, or salad dressings, and of course, to make delicious smoothies for desserts.
If you are like me, who had just started to get to know and eat this food product (which I, by the way, now like), you maybe would like to consider a few things before going to the grocery store to buy yourself a cup or so of yogurt.
Milk in Yogurt
For this section, we have two main types of yogurt: Regular (whole milk) and Low-fat. Regular yogurt has more protein and less sugar than their leaner counterpart. Low-fat yogurt, on the other hand, is good for people who are on a cholesterol-lowering diet. This is because, according to the Healthline, yogurt eaters are found to be having a better metabolic profile than those who are not a fan of yogurt. A study also shows that eating yogurt (plain or unsweetened) is linked to a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Go for Plain Yogurt
- 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.
Avoid yogurt that says "heat treated after culturing" on the label. When you see this term, it means that the yogurt 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.
Yogurt Must Always Be In the Fridge
Yogurt 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.
Avoid Frozen Yogurt
Frozen yogurt is not the same product and will not yield the same health benefits as that which is not frozen. Even if they specify live cultures they will have only a fraction of the beneficial bacteria of fresh yogurt and they will now enhance lactose tolerance. This is because of the probiotic bacteria that is in the yogurt that breaks down the lactose, which then reduces the amount per portion.
Yogurt Has That Tangy Taste
If you will buy yogurt for the first time, be aware that it has this sour taste, although the intensity varies depending on the brand or type of the yogurt and its freshness. This tangy taste or sour taste is caused simply by the lactic acid the probiotics in yogurt produce and not just because it has gone off.
So, these are a few things that might help you in choosing and buying yogurt. Yogurt has been around for a long period of time now and it still keeps living up to its very good reputation as a very good health food -- for you and your family. Enjoy!