The Problem with Yogurt?
Are you someone who eats yogurt on a regular basis due to the claim of healthy probiotics? Yogurt can be a GREAT source of gut-healthy probiotics, but there are problems with many of the most popular brands. This article shows you the TRUTH about yogurt so you know the facts...both good and bad
As you've probably noticed in the last couple of years, probiotics are all the rage as one of THE most important factors that helps control your immune system (an estimated 70% of your immune system resides in your gut) , as well as your digestive system health.
Most people "think" they get enough health-boosting probiotics from yogurt (the average person eats yogurt almost daily). Unfortunately, there are some problems with yogurt that you need to be aware of...
Problem #1 with yogurt:
Some brands of yogurt actually contain live cultures, but many do not . Almost all yogurts found in the US start with pasteurized milk... that's not such a problem because once the live cultures are added and the milk fermented, you once again have a live and active food that's easier to digest than regular milk and has a reduced lactose content due to the consumption of lactose by the microbes.
Sadly, some brands pasteurize the yogurt AFTER it's been fermented (cultured) which kills the beneficial probiotics. On the other hand, most good brands of yogurt do NOT pasteurize after fermenting, so the probiotics are still alive for your benefit.
The amount of probiotics in yogurt varies widely based on the brand and type, but I've seen estimates anywhere from 1 Billion to 5 Billion CFUs per cup. This is decent, but low compared to some other probiotic sources we'll discuss in a bit.
The KEY is that you need to look for "live and active cultures" on the label , or another labeling that indicates the probiotics are still active.
Problem #2 with yogurt:
Most yogurts in the US are sadly adulterated with way too many sweeteners, whether sugar, corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners.
Remember that sucralose kills probiotics , so any yogurt that's been sweetened with sucralose (aka, splenda) will most likely have a greatly reduced probiotic content or possibly even be fully dead.
And most other yogurts are produced to appease the overly aggressive sweet taste buds of American consumers, so they simply contain too much sugar to be considered healthy.
I always recommend choosing unsweetened plain yogurt or plain greek yogurt and adding your own stevia or other natural sweetener if you need extra sweetness beyond the addition of whole fruit. Personally, I love to add a small scoop of Biotrust Low-Carb Vanilla protein to my plain yogurt (along with some berries and nuts) and it makes the PERFECT sweetness in my opinion!
I also personally choose FULL-fat yogurt and not all of this silly skim 0% yogurt that's out there these days. Remember that the extra fat in full-fat yogurt satisfies your appetite and cravings so that you eat less calories later in the day.
If you eat these 0% fat yogurts, you'll end up hungrier in an hour or two. Also, if you can find yogurt from grass-fed cows, the fat portion of the yogurt is VERY healthy and contains powerful vitamin K2 (shown to reduce heart disease risk) as well as CLA (found to reduce cancer risk and help to reduce body fat ), and also omega-3 fats, which you also know are vital to your health.
Problem #3 with yogurt:
The last problem with yogurt is that yogurt is not necessarily the best source of probiotics, both in terms of quantity and also variety of strains.
Variety is KEY when it comes to the overall power of probiotics for your immunity and digestion.
Most yogurts only contain 3-4 strains of probiotics. On the other hand, Kefir is a fermented dairy drink that contains anywhere from 10-20 strains of probiotics depending on the brand and type. In addition, Lassi is an Indian style fermented dairy drink that also contains a much wider variety of strains than yogurt does.
In terms of quantity of probiotics, yogurts generally contain between 1 Billion to 5 Billion CFU's per cup, whereas most Kefir or Lassi contains anywhere from 7 Billion to 50 Billion active CFU's per cup depending on the brand and type. Most yogurts are only cultured for 2-3 hours, whereas kefir is generally cultured for 12-16 hours, increasing it's probiotic content and making it easier for digestion.
Also, most Kefir is 99% lactose free and is by far the easiest to digest type of dairy on the market due to the "predigestion" that the active cultures perform on the kefir before you drink it.
Kefir is a GREAT addition to any smoothies that you make instead of using water or almond milk because you get the immune system and digestive system benefits of the probiotics in Kefir, which you can't get in almond milk.
Also, remember that VARIETY of probiotics is KEY ... that's why in addition to kefir, lassi, yogurt, and fermented veggies (krauts, kimchi, etc) as good sources for a variety of strains of probiotics, I also personally take this powerful probiotic supplement daily, which I think is particularly powerful due to the micro-encapsulation technology which keeps the probiotics alive through your harsh stomach so that they can properly colonize your intestines.
Here's what to do next...
While the addition of high-quality yogurts, including making your own "yogurt parfait", Kefir, and other probiotic rich foods and drinks make a great addition to your every day diet...
...there's more and more research coming to light showing that those additions just aren't enough to counteract the damage being done by many of the other foods so common in normal diets, such as artificial sweeteners, different types of sugar, including fructose, gluten-containing products, alcohol, and even environmental toxins which you are bombarded with on a daily basis.
Add to the fact that some of today's most popular "health foods" can actually DAMAGE your gut, and you have a perfect storm of gut problems, including bloating, constipation, diarrhea, skin problems, "brain fog", blood sugar swings, heart disease, diabetes, and so much more.
All this leads to a dangerous bacterial imbalance in your gut that you MUST fix. On the next page you're going to take a short QUIZ that will show you just how much bad bacteria has infested your gut. This quiz is short & simple, and only takes about 45-seconds.