Yogurt benefits: Is yogurt healthier than curd?

Yogurt has an increased demand due to its health benefits, especially weight loss. It fulfills the requirement of maintaining a healthy and long life in busy schedules. But, there always exists a dilemma to prefer yogurt or curd over one another. There is a thin line of difference between curd and yogurt. People often tend to confuse both. Also, everyone considers yogurt more beneficial. So do yogurt benefits surpass curds’? 

Curd vs. Yogurt

The primary difference between curd and yogurt is the production process. We usually add a teaspoon curd to the hot pasteurized milk for the formation of curd. It is sometimes accompanied by an acidic addition like lemon (citric acid). 

Why should you add curd or acid? The pH value or isoelectric point (IEP) is when the protein is least soluble. The IEP of casein protein (in milk) is 4.6, but the average level is 6.6. The lactic acid bacteria ferments carbohydrates to acids, reducing the pH. At a lower pH of 4.6, casein precipitates to form curd.

The fermentation in yogurt is mediated by live organisms– especially lactobacillus and streptococcus. Additional processes also make it protein and fat-rich, and low sugar.

Since both yogurt and curd are good sources of probiotics, you can eat either yogurt or curd for your needs. However, probiotic yogurt (healthy live bacteria and yeast) variety gives it an additional probiotic advantage over curd. 

Greek yogurt benefits are more than standard yogurt.

Though a regular yogurt is less in calories and fat, Greek yogurt is better than standard yogurt. In the making of greek yogurt, they remove the whey, making it more consistent and highly concentrated in proteins and fats. The content of carb and sugar is also low.

Meanwhile, the process also helps increase the concentration of probiotics. The probiotic and protein levels make it a better choice. These pros make greek yogurt an excellent breakfast choice. 

Yogurt available in grocery stores is usually pasteurized and recommended over raw yogurt. Pasteurization kills harmful bacteria and promotes the growth of healthy microbes that support human health. Besides, raw yogurt can also cause food poisoning due to the presence of E.coli and Salmonella.

Health benefits of yogurt

  • Heart health and blood pressure: Yogurt is rich in potassium and hence can help in reducing blood pressure. The more potassium you eat, the more sodium you excrete via urine. It also helps ease tension in your blood vessel walls, further lowering the blood pressure. Reducing blood pressure will eventually improve your cardiovascular health. Besides, it helps promote good HDL levels.
  • Bone health: Yogurt is a rich source of calcium– the vital component for bone health. It is also among the diet treatments for osteoporosis. Additionally, few manufacturers prefer introducing vitamin-D in yogurt, which further helps better calcium absorption and assimilation. Besides, calcium is also vital for cellular signaling and nerve contraction.
  • High vitamin density: Yogurt contains high levels of Iodine, Zinc, and vitamin B5 and B12. Vitamin B12 helps maintain red blood cells and is healthy for nervous system functioning. This is a benefit for vegetarians because a typical vegetarian diet lacks vitamin B12 supplements. Yogurt helps compensate for the deficiency.
  • Immunity: The microbes of yogurt can help trigger an immune response to fight the foreign microorganisms. The primary targets are T-cells. It is good to include yogurt in your diet if you have an allergy since it is a condition characterized by low T-cell levels.
  • Diabetes: The live microbes in yogurt can help reduce the total glucose content. This effect eventually results in reduced sugar and diabetic risk.

Does yogurt help in weight loss?

Yogurt is rich in calcium and promotes post-meal thermogenesis, and eventually, fat breakdown. The high protein content in dairy is an excellent choice for weight loss. Yogurt also overcomes the only negative component of dairy, making it less effective–the sugar content. 

Yogurt is low in sugar, and high in proteins and fats, forcing the body to divert to proteins and fat for energy needs, promoting weight loss. The high protein and healthy fat can make us feel full, reducing our appetite, and increasing satiety.  

Moreover, high protein regulates muscle mass– essential for metabolism during a fast. Since there are more varieties, it is essential to look out for high protein yogurt if you are considering it for weight loss. Besides, curd can also promote weight loss in the same way. It is less effective because it falls a little short on the protein content compared to yogurt.

Who should not eat yogurt?

Lactose intolerance is a condition in which the body fails to digest lactose due to a lack of the enzyme lactase. Since lactose is the sugar found in milk, which makes up the major part of yogurt, lactose intolerant individuals should avoid yogurt. However, there are mixed reviews about yogurt and lactose intolerance.

The bacteria present in yogurt can help break down lactose, making it more digestible for lactose intolerance, although it can result in lactose accumulation in the long run. Some varieties also contain lactase naturally.

Milk allergy is another condition, which forces you to avoid yogurt. In milk allergy, people are susceptible to casein and whey proteins. In the event of exposure to these proteins, it can result in anaphylaxis. Also, the added sugars may have a negative impact. Hence, check the sugar content before buying yogurt– different varieties have different concentrations.

What benefits under antibiotic treatment: Curd or yogurt?

You can eat both or either of them! However, yogurt and curd’s activity in antibiotic treatment has mixed reviews. In cases of bacterial infections, antibiotic therapy is conventional. Antibiotics kill the healthy bacteria along with the harmful ones, disrupting the gut microbiome. The common side-effects are diarrhea and other gastrointestinal complications.

Doctors and others prefer curd or yogurt due to their probiotic activity. They can help compensate for the lost healthy bacteria aiding in digestion. Since they are also susceptible to the antibiotics, it is essential to take probiotics after antibiotics, a few hours apart.

Moreover, they can also help provoke our immune response against an infection. To compensate for the lost gut microbiome, the organisms in curd and yogurt should be capable of resisting the enzymes and intestinal tract activity.

Lactobacillus (present in both curd and yogurt) is competent and can kill the disease-causing E.coli and Enterobacteriaceae. However, Saccharomyces boulardii is more efficient comparatively (present in yogurt). 

Besides, taking a mixture of probiotics rather than a single one is more efficient. Greek yogurt is a good source of probiotics, increasing the healthy bifidobacterium level in the gut.

The negative impact of yogurt may be due to its calcium content. Calcium can interfere with the body’s capability to absorb antibiotics by interfering with the binding process. Since yogurt is high in calcium, it may interfere with the process.

What time of yogurt intake can benefit you the most?

If you eat yogurt as your breakfast food, the nutritional content is enough to get you through the morning. It also promotes intestinal health for better digestion of other foods. Since the stomach acid levels are low on an empty stomach, its effect on probiotics is reduced. However, if you suffer from gastric issues, do not take yogurt as your breakfast food.

If you consider it as a snack, you’ll be replacing your junk snacks with yogurt. It will not only help you avoid a few junk calories but also gives you the feeling of satiety, reducing the need to eat dinner early. If you consider it as a dessert, it can help free cholesterol upto a certain level. Consider yogurt while travelling, in case you face diarrhea.

Anything consumed more is harmful. Take no more than 3 cups of yogurt a day.

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