The secret powers of yogurt
Yogurt is a food staple that can be enjoyed in many different ways. It can be eaten as a snack, used when preparing dips, as an ingredient in soups, sauces and desserts... let your imagination run wild!
All yogurts are made from fermented milk by two lactic starters: Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus1, 2. Interesting fact: these strains secrete an enzyme called Galactosidase that allows them to pre-digest part of the lactose (the sugar in milk). This is why, generally, people with lactose intolerance can easily digest yogurt.
Dairy products account for about 18 percent of Canadians' daily fat intake8. Recommended fat intake, which represents between 20 and 35 percent of total energy intake, is normally 65g a day for women and 90g for men9. Eating yogurt can help you stay within the recommended limits. With usually about 5g of fat per serving, yogurt is healthy food, one that is not just low fat, but also contains proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Proteins in regular yogurt and other dairy products are recognized to be of great value10. Not only are dairy proteins complete and fully absorbed by your body, they also provide essential amino acids that your body cannot produce itself and must obtain through food. One serving of regular yogurt provides an average of 4g of protein, representing 7 percent of recommended daily intake if you're a man and 9 percent if you're a woman.
You'll generally find the following vitamins and minerals in yogurt1:
- Complex B vitamins, riboflavin in particular
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
All of the above-mentioned play a part in a healthy balanced diet.
- Danone World Newsletter, Nr 2, October 1993.
- Vonk et al., 2003.
- Shemak et al., 1995.
- Marteau et al., 1990.
- Labyen et al., 2001.
- Zhong et al., 2002.
- Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, according to Food Expenditure survey, 2001, updated 2004.
- Institute of Medecine, Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients), september 2002, in http://www.nap.edu/books/0309085373/html/.
- Whitney, E.N. et S.R. Rolfes, Understanding Nutrition, 9e édition, 2002.
- Hewitt, D. B and H. J. Bancroft, « Nutritional value of yogurt », J. Dairy Res., Nr 52, 1985, p. 197-207.