Yogurt or yoghurt, however you spell it (yes, it’s confused me all my life), it’s not so good for you after all.
Julie Dargan, a former nurse who says she quit the profession since “I was tired of people being wrongly informed of how to eat healthy,” wants women to be aware of how much yoghurt affects everything from fertility to your digestion. She shared some fascinating shockers with me today…
#1: The more fruit inside, the more sugar you are eating.
“One last issue with yoghurt is the added fruit issue. Once a fruit has been added, the manufactures have to add sugar to preserve it. As much as five teaspoons can be added to one pot of yoghurt; makes you think hey.”
#2: Fat free yoghurt doesn’t contain enough nutrients.
“The fat found in whole milk yoghurt is a great source of vitamin A and complex D vitamins. When the fat is removed, so are the fat-soluble nutrients.”
#3: Yoghurt cannot tell the difference between good and bad bacteria.
“Many people understand antibiotics as something you take if you have a bacterial infection. They kill bacteria in the body that is their job. But they do not discriminate between good and bad bacteria. What is that you say, ‘There is good and bad bacteria? I thought all bacteria’s were bad and that they should all be destroyed?’ This is not the case at all.”
“Some of the functions of ‘good bacteria’ in the large intestine include the following:
• Break down undigested food.
• Aid the absorption of nutrients. (Remember it may not be what you eat but what you absorb that is the big question.)
• Produce certain vitamins such as Vitamin K, needed for blood clotting and B vitamins.
• Help destroy the ‘bad bacteria’ responsible for conditions such as diarrhea.
• Assist in supporting the immune system.”
#4: The lack of fat leaves you hungry, and you could easily overeat later on in the day if you eat fat free yoghurt.
“Fat also plays a major part in helping you to feel fuller for longer. Fats are slower to leave the stomach and digestive system, so you will not be reaching for another snack an hour after having your yoghurt.”
#5: Your body won’t recognize vitamins readded into fat free yoghurt.
“OK, so manufacturers are ahead of you on this one. They go and write on the bottle, ‘Fortified with Vitamin A and D!’ This issue with this is that the body does not recognize synthetic forms of vitamins and minerals and can become toxic in the body. Also, they are not called fat soluble for no reason. You need fat to absorb them.”
#6: A fat free diet, yoghurt included, is bad if you want to get pregnant.
“Many women who have trouble conceiving do not realise the fat free diet they have adopted for years is assisting the body in becoming deficient in fat soluble vitamins (namely A, D, E and K) which is not doing them any favours, but I am digressing here!”
“So why are all the celebs doing the fat free yoghurt trend?” I had to know.
Dargen explains, “Why all the hype about yoghurt? Firstly, your body needs to have a healthy amount of ‘good’ bacteria in the digestive tract, and yoghurt is a great food source of active, good bacteria. The World Health Organization‘s 2001 definition of probiotics is ‘live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health beneﬁt on the host.'”
What do we buy then if we want real dairy yoghurt?
“Firstly,” she says, “a yoghurt should have ‘live and active cultures’ written on the label. There should be no added sugar, or fruits (these substances feed the ‘bad bacteria’) and the yoghurt should not state anywhere ‘Reduced Fat or ‘Fat-Free.’ As the title says, fat free is a product that has the fat taken out. How many people remember skim milk when it first hit the shelves?”
“It was a watery product that lacked any substance. Instead of giving you a watery, unattractive yoghurt that the manufacturers know you will not eat, non-fat dried milk or powdered milk, is added back in to make it palatable. Sugars are also added in order to make the yoghurt more palatable also.”
“I always recommend people to buy ‘plain, live yoghurt’ and if they need the sweetness to them, add their own fruit straight to the yoghurt or blended into it. I also recommend adding some sesame seeds or slivered almonds to help increase the fat content and make a wholesome lunch replacement. I do not recommend particular brands, as I have found over the years some brands have ‘sold out’ and cater to the uninformed, general population and yet again a well intentioned client thinks they are eating something healthy which may not be the case. Once you are informed on how to read the labels you become in charge of your decision making which is my ultimate aim.”
Does this mean we can’t have fun with yoghurts at all?
No, Dargan says, but you need to be aware of your dietary sins just like when you drink a margarita knowing it isn’t so great for your thighs.
“In order to understand which yoghurt to buy, you need to know why you are being urged to eat yoghurts in order to make an informed decision on which one to buy. If you consume a yoghurt that does not meet this criteria, that is your choice,” she says, “but you need to keep in mind that you may as well be eating a biscuit or chocolate bar for all the goodness you may be eating,” she says.
About Julie Dargan
Julie was a nurse for 20 years before moving to preventative medicine. She is now a Naturopath with a Bachelor Health of Sciences and is also a Juice Therapist. Her aim is to get people in charge of their own lives in promoting inner health. Since changing her eating habits, she has lost 20kgs and is fitter and healthier than when she was in her 20’s.
Ph.: 03 9015 9791