Yogurt is a milk product made by the bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria involved in this fermentation are known as yogurt cultures.
In simpler terms, yogurt is produced by first heating milk. Next, a bacteria yogurt culture is used to ferment the heated milk. Finally, the milk is incubated at a specific temperature, for 6-8 hours, to encourage bacteria growth.
The natural sugar found in milk, lactose, is fermented by the culture to produce lactic acid which acts on the milk protein to give yogurt its distinctive texture and flavor. At the end of this process, our result is a delicious, creamy, and smooth product.
Whether garnished with fruits, blended, layered in a parfait, or eaten alone-yogurt is always a delicious treat any time, any day.
Although yogurt comes in many varieties, they are divided into three common categories: Regular yogurt, Non-dairy yogurt and Greek yogurt.
It's usually made from cow milk and is a great source of protein. Regular yogurt contains high amounts of calcium and is lower in fat, calories when compared with Greek yogurt. This type of yogurt contains lactose and may be unsuitable for people who are lactose intolerant.
Even those who are not fans of dairy products can also enjoy yogurt. All thanks to a variety of plant-based substitutes like cashew, almond, coconut milk etc. In comparison with Regular and Greek yogurt, plant-based yogurts are lower in protein.
This type is arguably the most popular type of yogurt with its unique flavor. Greek yogurt, when compared with regular yogurt has a thicker consistency and is lower in carbs and sugar while it has twice as much protein as regular yogurt.
Yogurt contains protein, calcium, vitamins B6 and B12, riboflavin, potassium, and magnesium all in varying quantities depending on the type. Based on the fact that live bacteria may be present, yogurt may also contain probiotics which have a positive effect on immune, cardiovascular or metabolic health.
Here are three additional benefits of yogurt:
1. It's very filling
Whether eaten as breakfast or as a snack, yogurt is very rich in protein and healthy fats. These nutrients help you stay full for longer.
2. Good for bone health
Yogurt also contains calcium which increases bone density and helps bones stay stronger. It also helps prevent osteoporosis in women of menopausal age. Yogurt's high protein content also contributes to muscle strength.
3. May prevent Type 2 diabetes
Research has shown that the presence of lactic acid in yogurt may help reduce the spike in a person's blood sugar levels.
Generally, yogurt has a low lactose content which makes it a substitute for lactose intolerant people. This means people who experience discomfort after taking milk or ice cream can tolerate yogurt without symptoms. Also, lactose intolerance could mean a lack of adequate calcium so yogurt is a go-to substitute for milk.
On a final note, when buying yogurts, it's important to consider those that are unflavored and have low fat content. This way you're cutting back in added sugars. You can always sweeten with berries, fiber etc. Also, it's up to you to decide whether you want a full-fat or low-fat yogurt, there's no hard and fast rule about that.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Till I come your way again, stay healthy.