Thursday, June 5, 2014

Whey Cool

Yogurt is one of humanity's oldest processed foods, with evidence of its creation potentially going back 7,000 years. It’s made and used in a variety of ways in societies from India to Europe to the Middle East to Africa. All these varieties of yogurt share a few things in common. Each is made with live cultures, which are a kind of good bacteria that transform liquid milk into the sour taste and thick consistency of yogurt. And all yogurts contain important nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, protein, potassium and B vitamins.
 The whey is the liquid that can pool at the top of a yogurt container, and it is the source of much of yogurt's calcium.Whey (actually the absence of it) is key to Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt has most of the whey removed through a process of straining, leaving a product that is thicker, with more protein, but less calcium — unless calcium is added back. Read the ingredients to see if calcium has been added. Whey is also the "protein of choice" for muscle tissue, as it is the most readily absorbed by the cells. To get more whey protien, stick with the traditional yogurts.
For people with lactose intolerance who don't want to give up on dairy's nutritional benefits, yogurt can be a good option. Yogurt contains less lactose than ice cream and milk because the introduced bacteria – also called "live cultures" with names such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. casei, L. reuteri and Bicfidobacterium bifidum (or Bifidus) — help digest the lactose. Even for people with no problems digesting lactose in other forms of dairy, live cultures in yogurt are still beneficial. They promote overall gut health and immunity. To make sure the yogurt product you're considering has these cultures, either look on the ingredient label for the bacteria listed above, or the National Yogurt Association's "Live and Active Cultures" seal.

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