The secret powers of yogurt
SMOOTH, CREAMY TEXTURE
The smooth, creamy texture of yogurt comes from lactic acid, which forms when milk ferments. Fermentation occurs using two lactic starters: Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus 1, 2. These strains, which we use in Danone yogurts, were first identified at our Daniel Carasso Research Centre in France. Both are unique to Danone.
During the fermentation process, between 20 and 30 percent of milk's lactose is converted to lactic acid. Since yogurt contains bacteria such as ß-galactosidase1, those who are lactose-intolerant can tolerate it better when they eat it. Yogurt's texture makes it easier to digest. Due to its thickness, yogurt takes longer to move through the digestive system, allowing the lactase enzyme to break down lactose more efficiently 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
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 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 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.