Yogurt: a great booster for the daily diet
The hero of our story today is yogurt. What makes it so healthy? Why is it worth adding to our daily diet? Ronit Giladi, Strauss Dairies’ dietitian, shares the latest, fascinating research featured in Tufts Nutrition Magazine, published by the leading school for nutrition research in the US, on the health benefits of yogurt.
It is considered one of the most highly researched foods in the medical literature, and each year new scientific studies are published, that continue to shed light on its many benefits and its contribution to health. Following the previous research we published, here too the findings are unequivocal.
An article that appeared in Tufts Nutrition Magazine, which is published by the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University, asserts that there is a positive correlation between yogurt and numerous health benefits, from improved blood pressure and triglyceride levels to weight management.
The secret lies in the acidity
Professor Paul Jacques supports the explanation by biologist Benjamin Wolfe, and clarifies that yogurt is a good source of essential, available nutrients, including high-quality protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc and Vitamins B2 and B12.
According to Professor Jacques, yogurt is 20%-100% more nutrient rich than milk. Yogurt’s acidity improves the absorption of calcium, zinc and magnesium by the body by altering the degree of their ionization, and the bacteria it contains (Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus) promote the absorption of lactose, and therefore, even in cases of lactose intolerance, many people can enjoy yogurt without fear.
Professor Simin Meydani, director of HNRCA at Tufts, sums up and says that if more Americans ate yogurt, it is more than likely that more people would meet the US Department of Health’s current nutritional guidelines.
yogurt is rich in a wealth of nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and minerals, while it is low in calories and fat
According to Professor Meydani, the research showed that people who ate yogurt gained significantly less weight than those who refrained from eating it – a statement that is not necessarily true when it comes to cheese and milk.
The effect of yogurt and its bacteria on the intestinal flora (microbiome) has been the subject of many studies.
And, as Professor Meydani explains, the results increasingly show that the effect of these bacteria extend far beyond intestinal function and include the intestinal immune system, as well as other health areas. According to the USDA dietary guidelines (2005), consumption of nutrient dense foods in all food groups is recommended.
In indices measuring nutritional value such as NRF (Nutrition Rich Food) yogurt received a high score (even higher than cheese) and was defined a healthy food that contributes to the body's supply of numerous essential nutrients.
This means that yogurt is rich in a wealth of nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and minerals, while it is low in calories and fat. Moreover, the ingredients and probiotic bacteria in yogurt work together to create an effect that leads to an aggregate deliverable that has a value that is greater than the sum of its parts, from both the nutritional and health aspects.
Source: Ragovin H. Tufts Nutrition, 2015, vol. 1; 6: 14-17