Yogurt is the result of bacterial fermentation of milk. This bacteria is called yogurt cultures. The fermentation of lactose produces lactic acid which is a milk protein. This milk protein gives yogurt both its taste and texture. Cow’s milk is the most popular dairy source used for yogurt production since it the most readily available. However, yogurt can also be produced from the milk of a goat, buffalo, camel, ewe, or yak. Each type of milk produces different results and it also depends if the milk is pasteurized, raw, or homogenized. Most people eat yogurt as a dairy snack, with breakfast, dessert, of anytime of the day because they like the taste. There are many good reasons to like yogurt.
Yogurt is filled with vitamins. It contains potassium, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin A, and vitamin E. it also contains vitamin C which could help induce weight loss. Vitamin C tells fat cells to create less cortisol which is the hormone related to belly fat. This means that yogurt can help the body burn fat versus store fat. Yogurt is also filled with the good bacteria our digestive system needs. It contains active live cultures and probiotics. Low fat dairy products can also help lower blood pressure. Yogurt contains protein which helps a person feel satiated and fuller longer. Greek yogurt is especially high in protein. Specifically, for those who exercise, protein is important because it contains amino acids which can help muscles recover post-workout. The calcium in yogurt is great for bone health and strong teeth. Some yogurt types contain more than half of the daily requirement amount. The combination of calcium and Vitamin D can also help ward off osteoporosis.
All of these incredible health benefits certainly depend on the type of yogurt being consumed. Adding yogurt to one’s regular diet can be great, but reading labels is always necessary. One should consider the calories, fat, and sugar content. There are brands that add different fruits and preservatives that can almost make yogurt more of a dessert than healthy option. Many reduced fat and low fat options are packed with artificial sweeteners. Yogurt can also be used as an alternative to mayonnaise, to add thickness to salad dressings, or to replace sour cream. There are so many flavors and plain flavor can be used for many purposes. One has to of course be able to handle dairy. Yogurt is a great tool for someone making healthy lifestyle choices. Find the type right for your body, waistline, and taste buds and see how much it can help you.