Most wellness blogs and health magazines preach about the benefits of yoghurt. It contains calcium, protein and probiotics, which are all great for improved bone density, better gastrointestinal health and even weight loss. However, some vegan blogs, such as the magnetic KrisCarr.com, tell you dairy is the devil of all foods, contributing to mucus, bone loss and potentially cancer.
So, what’s really true? Well, lets look at some of the pros and cons of eating yoghurt (some of the pros do look like cons).
It’s loaded with protein
Yoghurt trumps on the protein front. One cup of Greek yoghurt contains 12 g of protein, equivalent to two eggs and roughly half a one-cup serving of fish. However, it gives nothing more. Two eggs provide the same protein content, as well as conjugated linoleic acid for abdominal fat burning and choline for enhanced brain function.
It’s packed with probiotics
Almost all dairy in South Africa is homogenised. Thus, the heat treatment kills most of the beneficial bacteria. The little that survives needs to make it past the stomach acid to go and reside in the large intestine which seldom happens. So, if you’re eating yoghurt is for its probiotic content, take a good quality encapsulated five-strain probiotic instead that will resist stomach acid.
It contains calcium
As much as yoghurt contains calcium, calcium alone can’t improve bone density. You also need vitamin D and magnesium to utilise the calcium. Yoghurt contains scant amounts of both. So, if you’re worried about bone health, eat a kale salad with almonds which has an ideal ratio of calcium to magnesium.
A tangy & potent brew extremely rich in probiotics and active enzymes
It is mucus-forming
Yoghurt can be mucus-forming, particularly in individuals who are diary sensitive. Approximately 60% of the people with chronic sinusitis, congestion (i.e. mucus), IBS, headaches and bloating are reacting to a protein molecule in milk. Once they are off yoghurt, some of these symptoms disappear.
It is cancer-forming
Dairy contains a hormone called IGF-I (insulin-like growth factor). There’s a link between the high levels of this hormone and cancer cell proliferation. Dr Colin Campbell, Ph.D says that a small amount of dairy does not show a cancer correlation. So fear not. However, in his book The China Study, he eloquently demonstrates the connection between dairy and cancer.
It causes bone loss
When digested, dairy produces an acidic residue in the body. If this acidity is not buffered with magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other bicarbonates, it can strip these nutrients from the bone leaving blood pH consistent. One cup of yoghurt daily is unlikely to cause bone loss. But, if you combine the yoghurt with granola, cereal, or jam, you magnify its acidic effect. Sugar and grains are very acid-forming. If you must have yoghurt, ensure your next meal contains green vegetables.
While yoghurt is a convenient snack, so too is an apple. In fact, where there’s a yoghurt for sale, there’s also an apple!