Shopping for Health: Yogurt
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00000844/00001
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Title: Shopping for Health: Yogurt
Series Title: Shopping for Health series
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Meyer, Stephanie B.
Medina-Solórzano, Ada
Dahl, Wendy J.
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012
Abstract: Yogurt has become a popular item in the American diet and has taken over the majority of the dairy section in many stores. Have you ever wondered what yogurt is, what its health benefits are, or what the differences are among the types of yogurts? Read this 4-page fact sheet to find the answers to these questions and to learn more about yogurt.
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Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Publication #FSHN12-01"
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Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00000844:00001


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FSHN12-01 Shopping for Health: Yogurt1Stephanie B. Meyer and Wendy J. Dahl2 1. This document is FSHN12-01, one of a series of the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date January 2012. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.u.edu 2. Stephanie B. Meyer, MS-DI student, and Wendy J. Dahl, assistant professor, Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Institute of Food and Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or aliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A&M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Millie Ferrer-Chancy, Interim DeanYogurt has become a popular item in the American diet and has taken over the majority of the dairy section in many stores. Have you ever wondered what yogurt is, what its health benets are, or what the dierences are among the types of yogurts? Keep reading to nd the answers to these questions and to learn more about yogurt.What Is Yogurt?Yogurt is a dairy product made by adding live, active bacterial cultures to milk to cause fermentation. Fermentation changes some of the lactose, the sugar present in milk, to lactic acid. is creates a creamy texture and tart avor. e texture and avor of yogurt can vary based on the bacterial culture, the straining process, or the type of milk used (whole, low-fat, or fat-free), as well as the avoring or other ingredients added (1).Why Is Yogurt Important for Health?Yogurt provides many of the nutrients that the body needs for good health. ese nutrients include calcium and potassium. Calcium helps maintain bone health and potassium helps with blood pressure control. Some yogurts have vitamin D added, which enhances calcium absorption and helps with immune function. e protein in yogurt helps to build and to repair muscle. Some yogurts may also aid digestive and immune function (2). Yogurt is included in the Dairy Group of MyPlate, the USDA guide to healthy lifestyles for consumers. At Figure 1. Yogurt selection in the dairy aisle Credits: Justin Doub. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. http://ic.kr/p/2kMbsZ Figure 2. MyPlate Dairy Group


2 it is recommended that people over 9 years old consume 3 cups of Dairy a day. A cup is equal to 8 ounces of yogurt (4). Most yogurts come in 6-ounce containers, which is equal to cup.Live and Active CulturesLactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus are the most common cultures used to make yogurt. All yogurts start out with live and active cultures, but some yogurts are heat-processed aer fermentation is complete, which kills the bacteria. If the product contains live and active cultures, they are considered ingredients and therefore must be listed on the label (5). e National Yogurt Association (NYA), a non-prot trade organization of the dairy industry, has created a Live & Active Cultures seal that approved manufacturers can voluntarily place on the packaging if their product meets the requirements outlined by the NYA. Yogurts with live and active cultures may have more health benets. ese health benets may include reducing high blood pressure and aiding in digestive health (6).Fat Content of YogurtYogurt, like milk, is available, in whole, low-fat, and fat-free varieties. Whole-milk yogurt contains 3.25% fat, low-fat yogurt may contain between 2% and 0.5% fat, and fat-free yogurt contains less than 0.5% fat (1, 8). Table 1 lists the amounts of fat in yogurts based on whether they are made from whole, low-fat, or fat-free milk. When selecting yogurt, consider choosing a low-fat or fat-free product. Both oer all of the nutritional benets of yogurt without the added calories from saturated fat.Lactose Content of YogurtMany people lack the enzyme required to digest lactose. Because of this, they have trouble digesting foods containing lactose. is can lead to symptoms such as gas, bloating, or diarrhea. People with this problem tend to have fewer symptoms when they consume yogurt compared to milk (9). A possible reason for the decrease in symptoms may be due to the fermentation that occurs when making yogurt. is may lower the lactose content (10, 11).Flavored YogurtWhen reading the Nutrition Facts label for yogurt, some people are surprised to see that even plain yogurts contain sugar. e sugar content listed on the label represents the amount of sugars added for avor plus any remaining lactose present. Lactose is the naturally occurring sugar in milk products. In plain yogurt, the sugar content will be from lactose. Sweetened yogurts, those with sugars or sugar-substitutes added to them, come in many avors. e most popular avors include vanilla, strawberry, peach, and other fruit avors. Some yogurt manufacturers have released innovative avors such as red velvet cake and apple pie. Many fruit-avored yogurts are also available in fruit-on-thebottom versions. ese are oen much higher in sugar than pre-mixed varieties. Sweeteners commonly used in yogurt include fructose, evaporated cane juice, or high fructose corn syrup. ese added sugars increase the caloric content of the product. Light varieties of avored yogurts usually contain sugar alternatives, such as aspartame, that do not increase the calorie content.Types of YogurtTraditional YogurtTraditional yogurt has a creamy texture and tart taste. Traditional yogurts are available in many avors and textures. ey also come in whole-milk varieties, as well as low-fat and fat-free varieties. Many supermarkets produce their own traditional yogurts that may be less expensive than name-brand versions.Greek YogurtGreek yogurt is created when traditional yogurt is strained multiple times to remove some of the moisture content. e result is a concentrated, thick, and tart product with more protein per serving than traditional yogurt It also contains moved with the liquid. is people with lactose intoler nutritional content of yogurt. Like traditional y ogurt, there are several manufac turers of Greek yogurt w ith dierent manufacturing pro cesses and ingredients. dierent products. Figure 3. Live & Active Culture seal Credits: Trademark of the National Yogurt Association Figure 3. Live & Active Culture seal Credits: Trademark of the National Yogurt Association


3 Probiotic Yogurt While some yogurts contain live and active cultures, some also contain cultures that have demonstrated health benets beyond nutrition (14). Probiotics are live bacteria with known health benets (6). Many manufacturers now add probiotics to their yogurts. Most probiotic yogurts are marketed as digestive aids or immune supporters. Probiotic yogurts typically have nutrient contents similar to those of traditional yogurts and come in dierent varieties.Drinkable YogurtDrinkable yogurts oer the benets of yogurt without the spoon. It is a great option for people on the go or for those who do not enjoy the texture of rmer yogurts. ey are made by adding water and additional avors to traditional yogurt. Drinkable yogurts oer the same nutrients as traditional yogurts, but may be higher in sugar and calories.Organic YogurtOrganic yogurt is produced from organic milk. An item may be considered organic only if it meets certain standards including limited or no use of most pesticides, hormones, chemical fertilizers, or antibiotics at any stage of productionfor example, plants used to make the feed for animals have been grown only with a limited number of pesticides and chemical fertilizers in use, if any at all; the animals producing the milk have not been treated with hormones or antibiotics (15). Organic products tend to cost more, but they have risen in popularity with some consumers for health and environmental reasons.Non-Dairy YogurtNon-dairy yogurts are a great alternative for those with milk allergies and those who experience gastrointestinal problems from consuming dairy-based yogurt products. ey are also a good option for people that do not consume dairy products because of religious or personal beliefs. Yogurts made from soy milk and coconut milk can be found at health food stores and sometimes at a local grocer. ese products have similar nutritional proles to yogurts made from milk because they are fortied with nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. While some manufactur ers of non-dairy yogurts use live and active cultures for fermentation, others do not.Kerere are several other fermented milk products in addition to yogurt. Ker is an example of a non-yogurt fermented milk product. Like yogurt, ker contains live cultures. It is produced when ker grains, which contain yeast and acid forming bacteria, are added to milk and fermentation occurs (16). is produces a slightly carbonated, fermented milk drink. e health benets of ker are similar to those of yogurt and include improved gastrointestinal and immune function (17).Ways to Eat YogurtYogurt can make a great snack or addition to a balanced breakfast. Try using yogurt instead of milk with cereal. You can spoon granola and fruit over your favorite kind of yogurt for a delicious treat or put yogurt in smoothies to make them creamy. Try using plain yogurt instead of mayonnaise or sour cream in recipes as a healthier and more nutritious ingredient.Be an Informed Shopper!You may have noticed that the yogurt section at your local grocery store is big. Walking down this aisle can be over whelming because of the many dierent types of yogurts available. You may nd that some yogurts meet your needs and preferences more so than others do. Just as yogurts come in an assortment of types and avors, the price of yogurt also varies. Since yogurt is oen on sale at the grocery store, make sure you check the weekly specials. Buying yogurt in larger containers versus singleserving containers will save you money as well. When buying yogurt, make sure you check the sell-by date on each package. Many grocers place items that are close to their expiration date at the front of the shelf. Yogurt has a long shelf life and many manufacturers state that their products can be consumed up to two weeks aer the sell-by date (18). is extended shelf life is due to the live and active cultures present in yogurt (9). Remember, yogurt is a dairy product and must be refrigerated to maintain quality and safety.Learn More About Food and NutritionTo learn more about yogurt and other nutrition-related topics, contact the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) agent at your county Extension oce. A registered dietitian (RD) also can provide you with reliable information on nutrition.


4 Resources 1. Food and Drug Administration. Facts About Yogurt. Retrieved August 24, 2011, from http://www.innovatewithdairy.com/Pages/FactsAboutYogurt.aspx. 2. Magee, E. (2007). Healthy Eating & Diet: e Benets of Yogurt. Retrieved August 25,2011, from http://www. webmd.com/diet/features/benets-of-yogurt. 3. United States Department of Agriculture. Choose MyPlate Retrieved September 21, 2011, from http:// www.choosemyplate.gov 4. United States Department of Agriculture-Choose MyPlate. Food Groups-Dairy. Retrieved September 21, 2011, from http://www.choosemyplate.gov/foodgroups/ dairy_counts.html 5. National Yogurt Association. Live & Active Culture Yogurt Retrieved September 1, 2011, from http://www. aboutyogurt.com/Live-Culture 6. Guarner, F, Perdigon, G, Corthier, G, Salminen, S, Koletzko, B & Morelli, L. (2005). Should yoghurt cultures be considered probiotic? Brit J Nutr 93: 783. 7. NYA Brochure. Retrieved on September 2, 2011, from http://www.knowitsyogurt.com/nyabrochure.pdf 8. National Yogurt Association. Yogurt Varieties Retrieved September 1, 2011, from http://www.aboutyogurt.com/ index.asp?bid=27. 9. Kolars, J C, Levitt, M D, Aouji, M & Saviano, D. (1984). Yogurt-an auto digesting source of lactose. N Eng J Med 310: 1. 10. Alm, L. (1982). Eect of fermentation on lactose, glucose, and galactose content in milk and suitability of fermented milk products for lactose intolerant individuals. Dairy Sci. 65,346. 11. Lerebours, E, Ndam, C N, Lavoine, A, Hellot, M F, Antione, J M & Colin, R. (1989). Yogurt and fermented-then-pasteurized milk: Eects of short-term and long-term ingestion on lactose absorption and mucosal lactase activity in lactase-decient subjects. Am J Clin Nutr, 49: 823. 12. Gebhardt, S E & omas, R G. (2002). United States Department of Agriculture. Nutritive value of foods. Retrieved September 22, 2011, from http://www.nal. usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/HG72/hg72_2002.pdf 13. Butler, K. (2010). Is Greek Yogurt Better than Regular? Retrieved August 24, 2011, from http://motherjones. com/blue-marble/2010/06/greek-yogurt-better-regular 14. Guidelines for the evaluation of probiotics in food. (2002). Proceedings of the Joint FAO/WHO working group report on draing guidelines for the evaluation of probiotics in food (p. 02). Ontario, Canada: http:// www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/en/probiotic_guidelines.pdf 15. Unites States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Marketing Service. National Organic Program. (2008). Background Information. Retrieved from http://www. ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getle?dDocName=STELDEV 3004443&acct=nopgeninfo 16. Guzel-Seydim, Z B, Seydim, A C, Greene, A K & Bodine, A B. (2000a). Determination of organic acids and volatile avor substances in ker during fermentation. J Food Compos and Anal. 13: 35. 17. Guzel-Seydim, Z B, Kok-Tas T, Greene, A K & Seydim, A C. (2011). Functional properties of Ker. Cr Rev Food Sci. 51: 261. 18. Garden-Robinson, J. (2006). North Dakota State University Extension Service. Food Storage Guide, answers to questions. Retrieved September 22, 2011, from http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/fn579.pdf .Table 1. Nutritional Content of 6-oz Plain Flavor Traditional and Greek Yogurts Yogurt Calories Fat Carbohydrates Protein Calcium Traditional Whole milk 120 6 g 11 g 6 g 300 mg Low fat 100 2 g 11 g 8 g 300 mg Fat Free 80 0 g 11 g 9 g 300 mg Greek Whole Milk 270 12 g 6 g 16 g 200 mg Low fat 150 4 g 8 g 20 g 200 mg Fat Free 100 0 g 7 g 18 g 200 mg ** Values are averages of several brands of yogurt and USDA Nutritive Value of Foods (12), when available