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In Praise of Yogurt

Friday, November 16, 2012

Madeleine Gould
Friday, 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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