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Is Yogurt Good For You?

Published 5/16/13

Benefits Of Yogurt

Whether you’re looking for a healthy way to kickoff the day or for a simple snack, yogurt is a great option. Not only does yogurt have a great and refreshing taste but it is also quite nutritious for the body. One might just assume that yogurt has the same health benefits as milk since it is a dairy product, but the actual benefits of yogurt extend far past the limited benefits that milk has to offer.

Yogurt vs. Milk

The main benefit that yogurt provides when compared to milk is that the body has a much easier time digesting yogurt. The culturing process of yogurt produces lactase, which is the enzyme that lactose intolerant individuals lack. The bacterial enzymes produced by the culturing process partially break down the milk protein casein, which in turn makes yogurt easier to digest. The culturing process also breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose. Glucose and galactose are two types of sugars that are easily digested by lactose intolerant individuals, especially in comparison to lactose.

Your Colon Loves Yogurt

Yogurt contains intestinal-friendly bacteria cultures that are called lactobacteria; and in this instance the more bacteria (lactobacteria) the better.  Lactobacteria promotes the increased growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon, which in turn reduces the risk of colon diseases. Yogurt is also rich in calcium (450 milligrams per eight ounce serving), an essential mineral that promotes colon health. Calcium decreases the risk of colon cancer because it discourages the extra growth of cells found in the lining of the colon. It is believed that having an increased number of cells in the lining of the colon results in a higher risk of colon cancer.

Your Muscles Love Yogurt

Yogurt can contain as much as 10-14 grams of protein per eight ounces while milk only has 8 grams per eight ounce serving, making it a great snack for physically active individuals. For most people, one eight ounce serving of yogurt accounts for roughly 20% of the suggested daily protein consumption. The culturing process of yogurt actually makes the protein in yogurt easier to digest so not only does yogurt have more protein than milk per serving, the protein in yogurt is also easier to digest and gets absorbed into the body’s system quicker.

Greek Yogurt vs. Regular Yogurt

Greek yogurt is recommended over regular yogurt - that is if you can stomach it. Greek yogurt has a much thicker, creamier texture compared to regular yogurt because the liquid whey is strained out. All yogurts are excellent providers of calcium, protein, zinc, and the vitamins B6 and B12. What makes Greek yogurt healthier than regular yogurt is that Greek yogurt has less lactose, less sugar, almost two times as much protein, and contains more probiotic cultures when compared to regular yogurt.

 

 

 

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