Why Yogurt

Why Yogurt
Updated 26 September 2012

Why Yogurt

Why Yogurt

Yogurt is an ancient traditional comforting food made by fermenting milk. Yogurt is healthy, tried and tested and handed down from generation to generation. Yogurt was a popular food in the Middle East and Asia for thousands of years. It was one of the very first 'health' foods, and it has stood the test of time.
Many people tell me that their grandmothers still make yogurt every day for the family and of course it is always best to make your own so that you know what is in it.
Yogurt is now eaten throughout the world, as a main course, a snack and an ingredient in many recipes. These fast packaged yogurts can contain all sorts of fats and hidden sugars as well as preservatives, artificial flavoring and coloring and a great list of other ingredients. What you should be looking for is traditional, simple and natural Yogurt at its simplest and least adulterated. Yogurt made from milk that has been fermented with a variety of bacteria, milk is always the main ingredient.
The reason we should eat yogurt is that it is high in the calcium needed to build healthy bones and teeth. It also supplies the B vitamins and folic acid, which helps build a healthy blood supply and contains 'friendly' bacteria which can assist in keeping a healthy stomach. The friendly bacteria help the gut break down food and produce natural antibiotics that fight off harmful bacteria and infections. Eating “live” yogurt that contains living bacteria is widely seen as a remedy for digestive ailments, and many yogurts claim they aid digestion. Often when you have an upset stomach, plain yogurt is a good comforting food to calm your stomach. Probiotic yogurt is now used in UK hospitals to help patients counter the side effects of antibiotics.

Watch out for fat content
I used to enjoy the rich creamy flavor of full fat Greek yogurt on my breakfast cereal until I looked into the fat content. Just 100 grams of full-fat Greek yogurt packs 11 grams of fat which is more fat than in a Mars bar. So if you like Greek style yogurt choose a non-fat one, which is still high in calcium. This simple change would help you lose a kilo over 6 weeks.
The best buy is low-fat natural yogurt, packed with calcium as well as protein. It provides all the benefits of dairy without the added fat or calories, and actually contains more calcium and protein per serving than other dairy products because of the way it is made.
If you have yet to master the art of making your own yogurt then it is best to buy products that are kept in the chilled section of the store.
There are so many yogurts on the market that it is important to look out for a good quality product and not just to choose the cheapest or best advertised.

Which yogurt to choose?
The main ingredient should be milk so if you see a cheap yogurt that has a long list of ingredients such as butter, salt, gelatin, modified starch, artificial coloring, artificial favors and preservatives, avoid it. It is not really a cheap option because it is not as good for you as really simple yogurt. Try and stick to natural, plain yogurt containing only milk.
The rest of the ingredients you don’t need. And a yogurt described as “strawberry” must contain real strawberries or a strawberry extract; although the percentage of strawberries can be quite low. By contrast, “strawberry flavor” yogurt needn’t contain any fruit at all, and will often use artificial flavor instead.
Harvard researchers found that people tended to lose weight if they include a daily serving of yogurt to their diet, probably because of the way bacterial cultures affect their intestines.
For all these reasons, I suggest that you make yogurt a part of your diet every single day. In the long term, a good cheaper option is to buy a yogurt making machine — we now have one and it is fun to use and you know exactly what is in the yogurt you make.

Ask Alva
I have been overweight for a long time and my doctor has said I have to lose weight but I do not feel he realizes how hard it is to do.
— Kathy

It is hard but many people have done it and you can too. Think in terms of getting slim, fit and healthy rather than that you have to lose weight.

Tips for healthy weight loss:
One step is to avoid fast food and sugary drinks.
Keep an eye on portion size.
Try to stop eating before you feel too full.
Always say no to seconds.