Yogurt is one of the most popular foods in America, with sales topping $2 billion annually. However, many people think that yogurt has a lot of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients like high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors.
Greek yogurt is a type of thick, strained yogurt that is made from milk that has been fermented with live active cultures. It is often marketed as being good for health because it contains probiotics and protein. However, research does not support the idea that greek yogurt is good for weight loss.
Many under-appreciated foods can transform our health completely. Sauerkraut and kimchi are two foods that spring to mind. Similarly, there are over-appreciated, over-hyped meals that most people feel are healthy. Whole grains, for example, are often promoted, even though many individuals would be better without them.
What category does Greek yogurt belong in?
Dairy is widely regarded as an essential component of a healthy, well-balanced diet all over the globe. And yogurt is probably the most lauded dairy product of all, particularly Greek yogurt, which has grown in popularity in recent years. That’s because of its thick, creamy texture and the fact that it’s recognized for providing hard-to-find calcium, as well as a lot of protein and other minerals like B vitamins.
On the other hand, dairy products, like Greek yogurt, aren’t necessarily what they seem. Dairy may be perplexing in general since dairy products include naturally large quantities of saturated fat, which is often depicted as unhealthy and linked to high cholesterol levels. For decades, reputable organizations such as the American Heart Association have advised consumers to consume largely nonfat or low-fat dairy products, including yogurt.
Furthermore, many individuals are worried about hormones, sugar, artificial ingredients, colors, or sweeteners, which are often included in store-bought yogurts. Others have heard about the gut-friendly advantages of probiotic yogurt, including individuals who read my writings.
So, once all is said and done, is Greek yogurt healthy or not?
The History of Greek Yogurt
Here’s a rundown of how Greek yogurt is created, as well as some background on its origins:
Greek yogurt began hundreds of years ago in regions of Europe when the readily accessible cow and goat milk was initially fermented to extend shelf life. Greek yogurt is created by mixing milk with living cultures (bacteria) and straining the mixture through a filter to remove the watery whey found in milk. When milk curdles, whey is usually left behind. Straining also eliminates some lactose sugars, salt, and water, so Greek yogurt is thicker and richer in protein than regular yogurt but lower in sugar and carbs.
Many yogurts that claim to be “Greek-style” nowadays don’t use conventional procedures and instead include thickening ingredients such condensed milk, maize starch, carrageenan, or gelatin. However, since the word “Greek-style” is unregulated by the FDA, it implies almost nothing in terms of ingredients or preparation.
Commercial Greek yogurt isn’t any healthier than other varieties of yogurt because of the techniques used to create it; in fact, the $2 billion Greek yogurt business is now linked to environmental issues over the disposal of large volumes of residual byproducts termed whey acids.
Here’s a nutrition tidbit about Greek yogurt that you probably didn’t know: When comparing Greek yogurt vs. ordinary yogurt nutrition, each cup of Greek yogurt requires roughly three cups of milk, resulting in a lot of unneeded and discarded material that must be disposed of (in contrast, regular yogurt uses about a fourth of this amount).
Dairy products, in general, might be troublesome depending on your tolerance level. Greek yogurt is often thought to be healthful, according to common belief. However, most people are starting to realize that dairy products, especially yogurt, are problematic since they may be difficult to digest for certain individuals, and most brands are laden with trash.
Humans are the only animal species that consumes another mammal’s milk and the only species that continues to drink milk beyond infancy. But the issue with Greek yogurt nutrition extends beyond these factors; it also has to do with the little-known truth that preparation and production techniques, such as pasteurization, may lose a significant amount of the nutrients that dairy has to offer.
Despite popular belief, there are a few facts you should know about Greek yogurt nutrition, which reveal that it isn’t as healthy as you’ve been made to believe:
1. Lactose Intolerance Risk
It’s more complex than you would imagine digesting dairy. Some individuals can take dairy products well, while others have severe responses to lactose, casein, or other substances present in dairy, resulting in acne, diarrhea, bloating, and gas. Dairy’s inherent sugars (lactose) and proteins cause the majority of its health issues (whey or casein). Both may be quite inflammatory, particularly when natural enzymes that aid digestion is eliminated from milk.
Some persons who lose their capacity to digest lactose after childhood may experience pain from yogurt’s lactose. This causes lactose intolerance symptoms produced by a response to lactose, a sugar. When it’s not correctly digested, it may cause digestive pain, bloating, harmful bacteria overgrowth, and digestive disorders like SIBO, much like some other carbs (like FODMAPs).
2. Hormonal Issues
Added growth hormones are often used on conventional dairy farms to increase milk output. Dairy naturally includes certain hormones, which might be troublesome for persons who are predisposed to hormonal imbalances. When you think about it, milk originates from the mammary glands of cows, which contain progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and other hormones.
While some individuals benefit immensely from high-quality dairy, if you’re a hormone-sensitive person who suffers from acne, PMS symptoms, irregular periods, and so on, it’s worth experimenting with. When you forgo all dairy, including Greek yogurt, some individuals, particularly women with hormonal abnormalities, discover that they have improved hormonal stability, cleaner skin, lighter periods, quicker weight reduction, and better digestion.
3. Acne and Skin Flare-Ups Possibility
Lactose intolerance isn’t always to blame for stomach problems caused by yogurt or milk. In some individuals, pasteurized and homogenized milk, which is used to produce Greek yogurt, might induce histamine responses and stomach issues.
Second, whey, the other primary dairy protein, casein, may cause an immunological response in the form of a histamine reaction, which causes inflammation, swelling, and other allergy symptoms. Histamine intolerance has been linked to responses to food allergies, such as dairy, and has been linked to acne, eczema, hives, rashes, asthma, and sinus difficulties.
4. Autoimmune Reactions of Other Types
Lactose, whey, and casein may damage the stomach in the same way as dietary allergens like gluten do in persons with sensitive digestive systems. Anyone with damage to their gut environment, such as leaky gut syndrome or autoimmune diseases, is more susceptible to unfavorable dairy responses. Because when an allergy or sensitivity stimulates the immune system, it attacks the body’s own tissue and causes inflammation, the immune system is more likely to see dairy as a danger.
Whether you have a gluten intolerance or allergy (celiac disease), or an autoimmune ailment like Hoshimoto’s disease or arthritis, cutting off dairy and seeing if you notice a reduction in symptoms like lethargy, brain fog, bloating, and aches and pains, you may benefit from doing so.
5. Possibility of Weight Gain
Most “healthy” Greek yogurts are abnormally low-fat and have added sugar to compensate for the lack of flavor. Even though low-fat dairy is generally considered healthier than full-fat dairy, removing natural fat from dairy necessitates the use of other additives to give yogurt an appealing texture and taste, so it typically contains cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners and ingredients.
Because Greek yogurt has a particularly “tart” flavor, it frequently needs even more sugar to satisfy consumers. Dairy already includes sugar, so adding more can trigger an increased insulin response and increase the risk of blood sugar swings, leading to weight gain or diabetes.
Dairy isn’t as awful as it may seem; in fact, I think that raw milk, along with other organic dairy products derived from pasture-raised animals (cows, goats, or sheep), may be helpful additions to many people’s diets.
This is particularly true with probiotic yogurt, which is fermented and has been a time-honored cuisine for thousands of years, supplying probiotics and other nutrients that are sometimes lacking in today’s diets. The difference between most Greek yogurts and the one I suggest is the milk quality and the yogurt-making method.
If dairy proteins aren’t a concern for you, unprocessed, fermented dairy products are useful for gut health because of the probiotics (“good bacteria”) they give. The bacteria S. thermophilus (St) and L. bulgaricus (Lb), which give Greek yogurt its distinctive sour or tangy flavor, are generally active in live cultures.
Yogurt and kefir are two popular fermented dairy products, which means they contain beneficial bacteria that you may consume. Amasi is a healthy fermented milk beverage that has the consistency of liquid yogurt and is sold in select specialized shops.
The fermentation process used to manufacture yogurt naturally helps break down lactose molecules and some of the proteins contained in dairy, in addition to supplying bacteria that may help replenish and support gut health (casein and whey). This typically indicates that they are simpler to digest than milk and lower hormonal reactions. Another alternative is to drink goat milk and purchase goat milk yogurt, which causes less intestinal pain in many individuals, unlike cow’s milk.
In addition to preferring fermented dairy versus non-fermented dairy, you should look for raw and full-fat yogurt. Fat is a natural component of milk, and it is the fat that is high in vitamins A and D. Conjugated linoleic acid, and vitamin K2 are both unusual nutrients found in full-fat dairy from grass-fed cows. Conjugated linoleic acid has been shown to boost immunity and aid in weight management and insulin regulation. K2 is required for various biological activities, including the development of strong bones, teeth, and skin.
Why is it that raw yogurt and milk are the best? If you’re unfamiliar with raw dairy products, here’s what you should know: Pasteurization and homogenization may denature dairy and change its natural chemical structure, rendering lipids rancid and difficult to digest, as well as removing nutrients and enzymes. Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to very high temperatures to kill all disease-causing germs and pathogens. However, it also reduces many nutritious properties and causes sugar and protein molecules to alter their shape, making them more prone to provoke immunological responses.
Because there is a significant difference between pasteurized and raw milk, even those who cannot handle congenital yogurt or milk may find raw milk to be digestible.
Finally, the animal’s health that produces the dairy is an essential issue to consider. The nutritional content of an animal’s meat or milk is influenced by the quality of its food and living circumstances. Because the cows are generally given an artificial diet and housed inside for the bulk of their lives, dairy products from industrially bred cows have a poor nutritional value.
Most Greek yogurt sold in stores comes from cows fed on maize, soy, and scrap feed in industrial dairy processing factories where they are never permitted to walk freely on grass.
What’s a better substitute for regular yogurt? Products from pasture-raised grass-fed cows are considered to have a greater concentration of nutrients, including good fats like omega-3s. In addition, healthy cows have a better intestinal environment. They consume more antioxidants from grass in their diets, which means they store and supply more vitamins (such as vitamin A and E) in their milk.
When purchasing Greek yogurt or other dairy products, look for organic, unsweetened, grass-fed dairy. This assures that the cows were not given any additional hormones or medicines and that they were not confined indoors where they may get ill or emaciated.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Greek yogurt bad for you?
A: Greek yogurt is bad for you because the unique combination of fats and protein in it, when consumed regularly, can cause small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
Is it bad to eat Greek yogurt every day?
A: It is bad to eat a lot of Greek yogurt, as it can cause the gut not to be able to digest all nutrients properly. However, if you are only eating one or two servings per day, then it should come out fine.
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