- It is a source of calcium, rich in proteins of high biological value, more assimilable and digestible than those of milk, and vitamin D, which acts as a calcium-binding agent in the bones.
- Versatile product: it can be taken mixed with fruits, nuts, cereals, honey … It is also used to prepare biscuits, sauces, especially cold ones in the purest Greek style.
- If you follow a slimming diet or have high cholesterol, you should opt for low-fat yogurts although, by eliminating fat, you lose part of vitamin D.
Source of calcium
The nutritional composition of yogurt will not be very different from the composition of the milk from which it comes. The main differences are due to milk fermentation and the addition of products such as fruits, cream, etc.
Fermentation produces changes in the nutrients that make up milk, especially carbohydrates and more specifically lactose: during fermentation, bacteria take lactose and transform it into lactic acid, which turns yogurt into a product more digestible due to its lower lactose content and allow the assimilation of calcium to increase due to the presence of lactic acid.
In any case, we must bear in mind that powdered milk is sometimes added which increases the lactose content.
In addition to the easily assimilated calcium, yogurt is rich in proteins of high biological value , more assimilable and digestible than milk, and vitamin D, the latter especially interesting if we take into account that it acts as a calcium fixer in the bones.
A live dairy
We are talking about a “live” food since its main characteristic is that it is a dairy product fermented by specific bacteria that will stay alive in the yogurt for a while.
The benefit of this product is mainly at the intestinal level and especially due to these bacteria. It is, therefore, a probiotic food that, by definition, is one that contains live microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, etc.) that, when administered in the appropriate form and quantity, provide a benefit for the health of those who consume them. The most used species are: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium .
In the case of classic yogurt, fermentation is due to two types of bacteria: Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus. In the yogurts formerly called “BIO”, bifidobacteria are used.
How to take it?
Yogurt is a product that we mainly consume “as is”, but it is also a very versatile product in the kitchen since it is used to make desserts or breakfasts mixed with fruits, nuts, cereals, dried fruit, honey, seeds, etc.
It is also used in confectionery, especially to prepare spongy cakes with yogurt. On the other hand, it finds its place in the creation of sauces, especially cold sauces for salads or to accompany sandwiches or pita bread sandwiches in the purest Greek style.
On a nutritional level, what we must take into account is that the properties of the probiotic product will be maintained as long as we keep the product cold until just before consumption and do not subject it to any thermal action or mix it with hot foods.
The products commonly called yogurts, but which are kept at room temperature, do not have the properties of probiotic food. They have undergone a post-fermentation thermal process and therefore do not contain live microorganisms.
Who is it good for and who is not?
Yogurt is a product suitable for almost everyone. There are even yogurts created from formula milk for the little ones in the house. In general, it is suitable for:
- People who want to prevent or solve digestive problems such as flatulence and altered bowel rhythm.
- Those who have a low tolerance to lactose and, therefore, cannot drink milk but can drink yogurt.
- Pregnant women , to reduce digestive problems and enhance calcium intake, especially interesting at this stage and in lactation.
- People with the need to follow an easily digestible diet and / or soft diet .
- In cases where a greater supply of calcium is required , especially for the formation of bone in the growing age or to avoid bone demineralization in elderly people or women with low bone density. In these cases, it must be accompanied by vitamin D and physical activity to prevent osteoporosis.
- For the restoration of the intestinal flora after a treatment with antibiotics, since they can often cause diarrhea or intestinal disorders.
On the other hand, its consumption is not recommended to:
- Strongly immunosuppressed people: they should avoid products such as yogurt due to the contribution of live microorganisms.
- Those who have a significant lactose intolerance and / or problems with milk proteins.
Buying and conservation advice
When buying a yogurt, we must first be clear about which variety to choose. Today there are many variants of the original yogurt: whole or skimmed, natural or sweetened, flavored, with fruits, with cereals, enriched with cream, with added calcium, etc. If we follow a weight loss diet or have high cholesterol, it will be better to opt for the skimmed version as the fat in yogurt is mostly saturated. We will bear in mind, of course, that by eliminating fat, part of vitamin D is also lost.
In addition, it is important that we look at the preferred consumption date since afterwards the amount of active microorganisms in the yogurt will have decreased significantly, and the brand no longer offers us guarantees on the taste, aroma, texture, etc. of the product. It is also advisable to check that neither the lid nor the container are broken or damaged and reject the beaten containers, since all this could cause the yogurt to be spoiled.
On the other hand, when opening the container we can observe signs of freshness, such as that the serum that the yogurt has given off is not very abundant and the texture and consistency are adequate (not excessively liquid or waste).
We must always keep yogurts in the refrigerator , which in terms of food hygiene means below 4ºC.
The recipe with yogurt
Endive salad with yogurt
- Bean sprouts
- Sesame and / or various seeds
- 1 lemon
- 1 natural yogurt
- Olive oil
Cut the endives in half lengthwise and present them open on a plate or platter. Spread the arugula, bean sprouts and pistachios over them. In a separate bowl, chop the walnuts, add the juice of a lemon, the natural yogurt and a drizzle of oil, and mix. Spread the sauce over the endives and then sprinkle with the sesame and / or seeds. If desired, the oil can be added later.