Many people who do not know about the benefits of yogurt always wonder: Is yogurt healthy for you or is it bad for you? Yogurt is a dairy product that is made with milk. This food has been produced in Turkey and eaten since ancient times. It is commonly referred to as “a rich milk which is tart in flavor.” Yogurt is made when fresh milk is mixed with a bacteria that ferments the lactose sugar that exists within the milk. The lactose is then converted to lactic acid. This causes the milk to thicken and taste sour. In the United States, milk is treated with Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus to produce yogurt.
Facts about Yogurt
Which Type Should We Eat?
Plain yogurt contains 9 grams protein for a 6-ounce serving and contains key vitamins (B6 and B12)vand minerals (calcium, potassium, and magnesium). The healthiest yogurts to eat are high in protein, low in calories and low in fat. One of these yogurts is nonfat Greek yogurt. It has no fat or cholesterol. If has twice as much protein as regular plain yogurt and has 130 calories per serving. It is low in sugar with a content of 9g of sugar and 9g of carbohydrate per serving. Is yogurt healthy? Nonfat Greek yogurt definitely is!
What Does It Contain?
Most yogurts help to lower the risks of heart disease and diabetes. Yogurt is naturally low in animal fat and helps prevent heart disease. They are reliable source of protein for vegetarians or people on a diet designed for losing weight.
Yogurt also limits the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides present in the blood. This slows down the build up of cholesterol and fat on the walls of the arteries and the blood vessels. Yogurt low in sugar and synthetic sweeteners lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes by keeping blood glucose levels in the blood low. Diabetes occurs when there are high glucose levels in the blood.
Yogurt also has an ample amount of good microbial cultures within it. These microorganisms known collectively as probiotics are highly beneficial to the digestive system and promote a healthy microfloral environment within the intestines and the colon. Yogurt has a high concentration of “live and active cultures,” a collection of bacteria and yeast within it. These microorganisms are the same kind of bacteria that already lives in the human digestive system. They aid in catabolizing or breaking down food and also destroy harmful bacteria known for causing infections and chronic conditions. Consequently, they help to maintain a balance of microorganisms within the digestive tract.
Is Yogurt Healthy? The Health Benefits of Yogurt
- Yogurt is a highly nutritious food and contains a number of key vitamins and minerals. It contains the nutrients vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
- It is also an excellent source of protein for people that follow a vegetarian diet and regularly eat dairy products.
- Low fat yogurt prevents heart disease and its related conditions such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and stroke.
- Yogurt low in sugar lowers the risk of diabetes type 2. It also helps to regulate blood sugar for people already suffering from the disease.
- Yogurt contains also probiotics that are highly beneficial and may promote chronic conditions within the digestive system. Some of these conditions include constipation, diarrhea, inflammatory bowl disease (IBS) and colon cancer. “Live and active cultures” within yogurt helps to reduce the amount or number of harmful bacteria invading the digestive system. It is only when the intestines and the colon has too many harmful bacteria that infection and chronic digestive problems begin.
- Some of the bacterial strains in yogurt may also boost the action of the immune system. One can prevent or radically reduce inflammatory bowel syndrome or IBS by introducing good bacteria. The good bacteria destroys and replaces harmful bacteria. This causes the immune system’s inflammatory response to decrease.
- Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, two bacterial species present in yogurt improve the effectiveness in drug therapy to treat H. pylori infections within the stomach and the intestines. H. pylori infections, when not treated, cause ulcers and an increase in in stomach cancer to occur.
- Yogurt, as well as other dairy products, contains calcium. This is an important mineral that protects older adults from osteoporosis. This condition occurs when there is a deficiency in calcium in the diet. Osteoporosis is a chronic condition that causes bones to decrease in mass and to become less dense.
The Cons of Eating Yogurt:
- Many people are lactose intolerant. They lack the enemy or protein that helps to catabolize or breakdown the sugar lactose found in dairy products made with milk.
- Many vegans do not consume animal protein and avoid dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, milk and eggs.
If you were asking the question “Is yogurt healthy for you?,” this evidence should make it very clear. The health benefits of yogurt far outweigh the negative features. It is a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Taken together, yogurt is nutritious and promotes good health.