The great yogurt myth revieled


 from Alicia Silvestone and The Kind Life blog.  I subscribe to her blog and enjoy her education on food.  I keep getting information that yogurt is so important and is so healthy and useful in so many ways.  Well, Im glad I read this and I do believe she is correct with this information  so I plan to limit my yogurt gradually until I can cut it out completely along with other dairy products that I have been indulging in since my pregnancy which is now over.  Ive strayed from my vegan diet and I am hopeful to return without too many issues.  I had such bad withdrawls from dairy but not as bad as some of the horror stories out there, mine were mostly just cravings.  Please read on if you are curious about the real story behind yogurt and its health benefits or lack there of…

the great yogurt myth…

Posted by Alicia Silverstone on Jul 1, 2011


Yogurt

I’ve always wondered why Americans, particularly American women, are obsessed with yogurt! People seem to think it’s a magic health food, but as you’ll read in Chapter 3 of The Kind Diet, dairy, including yogurt, is bad news for your body (and dairy cows).

Probiotics

Perhaps the most widely marketed component of yogurt is probiotics. Is yogurt really the best place to find these “good” bacteria? According to Christina Pirello, the answer is no. Once yogurt is pasteurized, as most commercial brands are, the probiotics are destroyed by the heat. In raw products, the probiotics have a hard time withstanding the heat of the small intestine, so the benefit is minimal.

The best sources of probiotics for women in food is miso, shoyu, other fermented foods like sauerkraut (but only the raw unpasteurized ones that you buy in the fridge), and natto, a fermented soy product – although I find natto disgusting! I know it’s good for you – but I can’t bear it. I admire those who can – some even like it!

Outside of these foods, there are some pretty wonderful supplemental probiotics out there that are vegan. Christina’s favorite is Eden Foods bifa 15, which can be purchased here.

Why do we need probiotics?

According to Christina Pirello, anyone who eats a typical modern diet needs probiotics. Processed foods and excessive sugar deplete our micro-villi and the enzymes naturally produced in our intestines. Those with weak digestive or compromised immune systems, anyone who has recently been on antibiotics, and those who are just beginning to change their diets to superhero, need probiotics until their digestion improves and their intestines become more alkaline. Those who are chronically tired should try probiotics as well, as fatigue is often related to digestion.

Superheroes should note that miso soup, natto, sauerkraut, and other traditionally fermented foods reduce the need for probiotics. But, in a world where it can be impossible to completely avoid environmental pollutants, probiotics are helpful for strengthening our digestion. In the end, probiotics will never hurt and can only help.

Yogurt Alternatives

So, back to yogurt…when I was little, I loved it. I would eat the plain kind and add tons of raisins…soo yum. But I got over that! I don’t miss it one bit. And when I do, I go for the vegan versions as a treat. If you eat yogurt for the taste, I recommend Nancy’s Yogurt, which is made without cane sugar, or Wildwood (only the plain flavor is sugar-free). In my early veg days, I ate soy yogurts, and they were really good! M Cafe also has a yogurt, granola, and fruit cup that’s pretty yum.

Do you have a favorite brand of vegan yogurt? Where do you get your probiotics?

*UPDATE*

Some of you have commented that the Eden Foods bifa 15 that Christina recommended is not vegan, so I asked Christina about it, and here is what she said:

“The product has been reformulated since I last used it, and I didn’t realize that there was gelatin in the new formulation. However, I called Eden Foods to double check if the product is vegan, and was told it is a plant-based gelatin.”

It sounds like this product is vegan but I haven’t used it myself, so I’m not 1000% sure – I’m sorry if it isn’t. If you’re concerned, you can always call Eden Foods to check for yourself.

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