The Ways to Choose the Best Yogurt
Colorful labels and flashy advertising about product benefits, appetizing images of fresh fruits and cereals: this is all about yogurt cups located in the stores. The question is how to choose the best yogurt without falling for marketing tricks to escape harmful colorants and food additives? So, let’s deal with this issue right away.
What’s Inside: Buying Yogurt Wisely
Let’s pay attention to ingredients! Nowadays dozens of local and foreign manufacturers offer yogurt to consumers. You can get the yogurts from the following brands almost in every store:
- «33 cows» etc.
At that, every brand claims that its products are natural and healthy. However, these are just empty words without evidence. To verify how truthful they are, you should get yourself familiar with composition of their products. The shorter and clearer is the list of ingredients, the safer is yogurt to consume.
The main ingredient is milk. It should be whole or skimmed. The first option is suitable for all healthy people, the second is good to go for women, dieters and athletes during their workouts. Yogurts made from reduced milk, milk powder or whey should be avoided. They are much cheaper to produce and won’t do good to your health.
Mind the thickeners. If yogurts’ label mentions gelatin or agar-agar, then you can safely buy this yogurt. But if it contains substances with an E prefix, then you should be cautious as they can cause gastrointestinal diseases. The most popular additives used are as follows: E407 (carrageenan), E450 (pyrophosphate), and E1422 (acetylated starch).
Let’s also talk about sugar content. At first, it is natural to see it added to yogurt. It is normal to have 5-6 grams of sugar added per 100 grams of yogurt. However, yogurt may often contain glucose, fructose, syrup, lactose, flavoring agents and artificial sweeteners. Some products have up to 35 % sugar, which is more than in chocolate bar. This is a true time bomb. Regularly consuming such yogurts, you can develop diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
Intact Packaging and Best Before Date Do Matter
Taking off the shelf a yogurt, carefully inspect it for integrity. Packaging should be completely intact. Dairy products absorb harmful microorganisms from surrounding environment like a sponge, so damaged jars make dessert very dangerous.
Always mind the expiration date. Thanks to pasteurization and sealing process, natural yoghurt can be stored in fridge for two to three weeks at the temperature from + 4°C up to + 6°C. Yogurts with longer expiration date are heat-treated or filled with preservatives. Some yogurts may be suitable for consumption for six months from date of manufacture. Think yourself whether it is normal for a milk product do not get spoiled for so long?
Another point concerns with the bifidobacteria which are involved into digestion and normalize the bowel movement. They are not added to every yogurt, but if a product has it, then you should know that the microorganisms do not die after the best before date. They simply «move to the side of evil» and initiate the processes of fermentation and suppuration.
Seven Health Benefits of Homemade Yogurt
Homemade yogurt is the best. To make it, you will need cow milk, starter, grains, fresh fruits and berries to taste. Homemade yogurt is simple to make, and it is very good for your health:
1. It is a source of vitamins and minerals. Homemade yogurt contains the following elements:
— Thiamin (B1),
— Riboflavin (B2),
— Retinol (А),
— Cyanocobalamin (B12),
— Niacin (РР),
Regular consumption of yogurt helps to boost immune system and you won’t get sick often.
2. Prevention of the bowels cancer. 100 grams of yogurt contain 124 mg of calcium, which is 30 % of recommended daily intake. This microelement does not only strengthen the bones, but also fights microbes which cause cancerous changes in the large intestine. It also helps to improve state of nails, hair and skin.
3. Improved digestion. Bifidoactive bacteria maintain normal acidity of digestive system, which improves absorption of nutrients and helps to prevent diarrhea and constipation. Such a yogurt creates a special microflora and is indicated for chronic indigestion and gastritis with low acidity.
4. Good for women. Yogurt fights vaginal yeast and prevents vaginal infections as well as improves blood circulation and production of reproductive body fluids.
5. It helps to digest milk protein. Consuming yogurt, you should know that fermented-milk microorganisms helps to digest lactose and this is the fact proven by researchers from Tufts University of USA.
6. It lowers cholesterol level. There are two types of this organic compound:
- «Good» HDL,
- «Bad» LDL.
Nutritionists state that daily consumption of 100 grams of yogurt helps to lower bad cholesterol and stimulates production of the good one.
7. Yogurt removes toxic substances. Fermented-milk bacteria inhibit activity of putrefactive microflora and protect body from slow poisoning. Yogurt stimulates production of lymphocytes, cytokines and natural killer cells. Improved synthesis of interferon gamma, which suppresses and removes viruses, helps to prevent mucosal irritation.
Yogurt Helps to Stay Fit
Energy value of natural fermented milk product is about 57 kcal. Thus, 41% or about 5.9 g of ready product is accounted for carbohydrates, 29% or about 4.1 g of ready product is accounted for proteins and 24% or about 1.5 g of ready product is accounted for fats.
A cup of such yogurt won’t make you fat. But food additives and sugar can increase the calorie intake up to 110 kcal so you should be aware of this fact. Why is it so? This matter was already discussed above.
Origins of Russian Yogurts
The main manufacturers of milk dessert in Russia are:
- Finland (36,8 % of all supplies);
- France (19,8 % of all supplies);
- Estonia (13 % of all supplies).
At that, Finland produces organic yogurts from series Clean Label. Finns take good care of their health and, therefore, they favor organic food. They want to use products, which are free of preservatives and food additives even if they are more expensive.
If you wish to eat healthy yogurts, then you should go organic and buy yogurts which are made from real milk and contain fruits and berries complemented with small amount of sugar. The better option is to make yogurts at home.
Eat healthy and your body will thank you.