Health Benefits : Yogurt 101

homemade yogurt

Yogurt is a very common breakfast staple. It’s quick and easy to prepare, and highly customizable to suit your tastes. Yogurt is made by fermenting milk with active cultures, and these probiotics are an amazing tool to keep your gut healthy by aiding in digestion and supporting your immune health. With so many varieties and flavors, no one can have an excuse for missing out on beneficial probiotics!

Traditional Yogurt
This is the most common type of yogurt you can find. It is the thinnest in consistency and can be easily added to parfaits and smoothies. Sticking to low-sugar options is best, 12g of sugar or less. Avoid artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, and refined sugar. A healthy option would be to stick with plain yogurts and adding in your own honey and fresh fruits.

Greek Yogurt
A popular favorite, Greek yogurt is strained of excess liquid, allowing for a thicker and richer consistancy. It has about the same amount of calories as traditional yogurt, but often with about double the protein. Because it has less lactose, it is easier to digest. Use this yogurt in place of sour cream for a healthy probiotic punch.

Skyr (Icelandic Yogurt)
Perhaps not well known just yet, this Iceland import is made similarly to Greek yogurt, but is a bit thicker, fat-free, and can contain up to three times as much protein and calcium than other yogurt types, all with less calories! Skyr, recognized as a yogurt, is actually a soft skim-milk cheese and can have as much as 20g of protein in a container. It can be enjoyed just as any other yogurt, and its plain version could be used as a cream cheese substitute.

Kefir
While not technically a yogurt, kefir is a thick yogurt-like drink that contains protein, calcium, and even more probiotics than traditional yogurt. Made from fermenting milk with kefir grains that house yeast and healthy bacteria. It comes in plain and flavored varieties and is great in smoothie and dessert recipes.

Soy yogurt
For those who are lactose intolerant, there are a few non-dairy options showing up on the shelves, soy being the most popular. Soy yogurts contain no lactose, saturated fats, or cholesterol, and have a bit less protein than dairy yogurts. People tend to agree that the consistency and taste are pretty comparable.

 

Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

 

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Image Credit: homemade yogurt. Used under a Creative Commons license.

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