Thursday, February 28, 2008

How to Choose your Yogurt

Jo Hunter Adams

I like yoghurt, especially yoghurt with small pieces of chocolate. Yoghurt has been credited with all types of things-- boosting immunity, providing protein and calcium, repopulating your intestines with good bacteria, amongst other things.

Recently, however, I've been realizing the yoghurt I eat contains a whole lot of ingredients. The ideal yoghurt only has milk and live cultures. Since I've been trying to reduce the number of ingredients that I eat but don't recognize, and also reduce the number of processed foods I regularly consume.

Dannon has a marketing page where it describes the ingredients used regularly in their yogurt. These include (in addition to milk, bacterial culture, and fruit) sucralose, aspartame, corn starch, fructose, gelatin, malic acid, maltodextrin, pectin, phosphates and sodium citrate. Quite a mouthful, right? There's nothing necessarily wrong with any of these ingredients in tiny amounts, or when they occur in nature. The question is, if I am eating them every day in my yoghurt, do they act in consonance or dissonance with my yoghurt's healthy properties? I'm not sure anyone really knows.

It is clear that yoghurt that's been heat treated after culturing is not as good for you, because some of the live cultures will have been killed.

The conclusion? Look out for yoghurt that only has milk and live and active cultures (Eg, Stonyfield, Ronnybrook)

Looking Back
(1) Making Gnocchi from Scratch
(2) Making Berry Crisp from Frozen Berries
(3) Stuffed Mushrooms
(4) The Greatness of Pure Cranberry Juice
(5) Simple Natural Pesto
(6) How to Make Dumplings

Looking forward
(1) Thoughts from "In defense of Food" By Michael Pollan
(2) How to make pizza from scratch
(3) Thoughts from "How to Pick a Peach" By Russ Parsons