Delicious, creamy and fresh, yogurt is a food that everyone really likes. Produced from the fermentation of milk by bacterial cultures, yogurt is also versatile. In fact, it lends itself to being eaten alone, for breakfast or as a snack, to accompany desserts or to make delicious sauces, such as the Greek tzatziki sauce, of which you can find the recipe in the Healthy Food section. Today let's talk about the properties of yogurt! In this article we will limit ourselves to talking about yogurt obtained from animal milk, white and natural without the addition of sugars.
Yogurt is a nutritious food. In fact, yogurt provides proteins, B vitamins, but also mineral salts such as calcium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. Not only that, yogurt helps to keep body weight under control. In fact, it has been observed that those who consume this food at least three times a week have a reduced weight gain and a smaller increase in waistline than those who do not take yogurt (Fernandez et al, Adv Nutr, 2017). But yogurt also helps protect against the risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact, scientific studies have reported that those who habitually consume yogurt have a lower risk of developing this condition than those who do not take yogurt (Fernandez et al, Adv Nutr, 2017). In addition, thanks to the presence of proteins and calcium, yogurt can also help protect bone health and maintain muscle mass, especially in elderly people (El Abbadi et al, Am J Clin Nutr., 2014). While zinc, vitamin B6 and, when present, the probiotics of yogurt support the immune system by reducing the risk of infection and lowering the level of chronic inflammation (Pei et al, Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2017).
Yogurt and fruit, an explosion of energy and health
The combination of yogurt and fruit, especially bananas, peaches and raspberries, is a synergy of properties. In fact, fruit provides fiber, vitamins, mineral salts and polyphenols. Not only that, fruit has a prebiotic action on the intestinal microbiota, that is, the bacteria that live in our intestine. Prebiotics are all those substances contained in foods capable of nourishing and promoting the development of the good bacteria of the microbiota, which is strengthened with benefits for the health of the whole organism. Fruit fiber is also linked to a reduction in cardiovascular risk. Yogurt, on the other hand, when added with probiotics, brings live micro-organisms that populate the microbiota. Not only that, yogurt is a valuable source of protein. Therefore, combining yogurt and fruit offers both prebiotic and probiotic properties, for an even more beneficial and powerful action on the microbiota. This food combination allows you to get energy and fiber together, it is more satiating and supplies you with vitamins and mineral salts. Then, it has been observed that those who consume more yogurt and fruit reduce the intake of high-calorie foods during the day, with benefits on body weight and waistline (Fernandez et al, Adv Nutr, 2017).
Yogurt with probiotics
Yogurt that is normally found on the market, unless indicated on the label, is not a probiotic food. In fact, yogurt is made with live cultures but these do not overcome the stomach barrier (Fernandez et al, Adv Nutr, 2017). For a yogurt to be truly probiotic, different types of live microorganisms must be added and this is stated on the label.
People often prefer to choose low-fat, if not completely fat-free yogurt for better control of body weight. However, it is not certain that fat-free is better because, often, to compensate for the lack of taste of fat, so-called low-fat yogurts contain more sugar (Fernandez et al, Adv Nutr, 2017). So, be careful and read the label carefully! In addition, the fat in yogurt is not to be demonized as it is also composed of fatty acids of the CLA type, which are attributed antitumor, anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic properties (Fernandez et al, Adv Nutr, 2017).
Greek yogurt is obtained by filtering fermented milk after it has undergone coagulation. In this way, the liquid part and a part of lactose are removed and the final result is a product with a higher amount of protein and an even richer and denser consistency (El Abbadi et al, Am J Clin Nutr., 2014). Precisely for this reason, Greek yogurt is more satiating and more powerful in strengthening the muscles, also increasing the body's resistance to fatigue during physical activity (Bridge et al, Front Nutr, 2019).
Yogurt and intolerances
Yogurt contains less lactose than milk as part of the lactose is broken down into glucose and galactose during the production process. In addition, probiotics can even help improve lactose digestion (Jiang et al, J Dairy Sci, 1996).