In Praise of Yogurt

November 16, 2012

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Yogurt is delicious. You can find it in many different flavors.
You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It can be used as a
lower-calorie substitute for sour cream. It can be used to make smoothies.
Yogurt is a versatile, tasty, and also healthful food. Other than its
deliciousness and usefulness in different dishes, it exhibits some serious
health benefits. Every year, more studies are released on the benefits of
yogurt. Let’s examine the nutritional science behind these health benefits.

When you buy yogurt, look for the little words on the label saying
it contains “live and active cultures”. Yogurt is a special food made from
milk, and can be grouped with alcohol and pickles in that it is fermented. Milk
contains a sugar called lactose. When certain bacterial cultures are added to
milk, the bacteria will break down the lactose to produce lactic acid. The acid
then causes the texture we associate with yogurt. Since these bacteria have
been added to produce the yogurt, they can still be in yogurt when we eat it.
They travel into our intestines, and aid in the digestion of food- this is what
people mean when they talk about “probiotics”. Probiotic yogurts have also been
shown in recent years to reduce the incidence of depression in yogurt-eaters.
It also is a milk product, so it contains protein to keep you feeling full,
calcium for strong bones, and B-vitamins.

If you didn’t already have enough reasons to love yogurt, here are
some more. I know I will be frequenting the dairy aisle much more knowing these
facts. To learn more about yogurt, check out these articles in Today and WebMD.  

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