Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Is Yogurt A Good Probiotic?

People often say, "I take a probiotic, I eat yogurt every day." Is yogurt really a probiotic? It depends if you are eating real yogurt or not.

Homemade yogurt
Heating milk to make yogurt*
How do you know if the yogurt has been fermented or not? Well, if it is sweet it is likely not fermented. If it is really thick, it likely hasn't been fermented. If it has some fake coloring in it, it is likely not fermented either. What does all this mean? Let's look at how yogurt is made.

Commercially-produced yogurt is often made from dried milk and milk proteins and re-hydrated with water. An acid is added to the milk to thicken it. Then a bunch of sugar is added to it (we just go to have everything sweet!). After the sugars are added only then are the probiotics added and the "yogurt" is put in the chiller to prevent fermentation. This means no fermentation occurs at all in the process. 

This process is completely different than how traditional, real, yogurt is made. None of the milk sugars have been fermented and broken down, nor have any of the beneficial enzymes or other metabolites been produced. As for these sugary non-fermented yogurts, this means that all the health benefits that are touted about the probiotic aspects of yogurt are not really true. When you consume these popular yogurts, you are consuming loads of sugars and some fairly ineffective microbes. It is totally different than if you consume a traditional, fermented milk product that is thicker than milk and pretty sour in taste, not sweet. Take a look at these resources on how to make your own REAL yogurt:
Please note, you can always add ProEM-1 as a starter to your fermented foods. You can also add some EM-X to the recipe to add in some prebiotics.

*photo from: http://www.happysimpleliving.com/2011/03/06/make-your-own-homemade-greek-yogurt/. 

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