Soy Yogurt, Greek Yogurt or Organic, anything you name and you know you are talking about a rick packed protein source with a varied list of other benefits. And the process it undergoes is also simple: milk, goes through a natural process of heating, then cooling, and then left to ferment.
However, surprisingly, though FDA has strict instructions for what is and is not a yogurt, we – as a consumer, should be evidently aware of what yogurt is and which form should be consumed to derive best benefits out of it.
Yogurt vs Curd: How is the two different from each other?
Firstly, don’t confuse Curd with Yogurt; both are different because of their processing methods, although similar in types. While Yogurt is fermented using bacteria, called ‘Yogurt Cultures’, curd is made naturally at home by using any edible acidic substance available such as lemon juice.
Yogurt, in History:
The concept dates back to India and Iran, around 500 B.C., where it’s mentioned as an offering used for Gods and Goddesses, with honey, during auspicious occasions or festivals. The word comes from a Turkish word, ‘yoğurt’, meaning “to thicken”.
Greek Yogurt: The most common type
The most common form, Greek Yogurt, is a healthy alternative to highly rich in protein content (approx. 8-10grams in medium sized bowl) and is recommended by dieticians post workout to ease muscle stress. It converts the lactose content in milk to lactic acid, making it easier for digestion.
Quick Benefits of Yogurt:
- Boosts your immunity and helps keep cold at bay
- Good for weight loss, 18 ounces a day makes a great difference
- Besides protein, also rich vitamins, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, riboflavin and iodine
- Helps prevent cavity and keeps your Blood Pressure at check
- Very helpful post workout sessions
- It can also be a useful part of your skin care regime, best for dry skin
- Recommendable for digestion
Crazy Facts around Yogurt:
- Only 43% of men consume yogurt, compared to 84% of women, as per studies.
- It is believed that Bulgarians have a larger lifespan due to the large consumption of milk products, especially yogurt.
- Not just cows, milk from goats, water buffalo, mares, ewes, camels, and even yaks can be used to produce yogurt.
- In different countries, it has different names or pronunciations, for example yoghurt, or yoghourt.
- Indian emperor Akbar’s cooks used mustard seeds and cinnamon to flavor his yogurt.
- Once European encounter Francis was suffering from diarrhea and no French doctor could cure him. His ally Suleiman- the Magnificent sent a doctor, who supposedly cured him with yogurt.
Types of Yogurt:
- Greek Style: Mentioned above
- Balkan-style or Set-style Yogurt
Making process: Cultured warm milk incubated without any further stirring. Balkan-style or set-style yogurt has a characteristic thick texture and is excellent for enjoying plain or to be used in recipes.
- Swiss-style or Stirred Yogurt
Making process: Cultured warm milk incubated, cooled and then stirred for a creamy texture.
A note on Frozen Yogurt:
Also known as Frogurt, it’s a popular dessert made out of yogurt, and less on fat. However, frozen yogurt is not regulated by the U.S. FDA. Frozen yogurt may/may not contain active bacteria cultures depending on the process through which they go while they are made.
Storage and consumption tips:
Avoid freezing the yogurt, it kills the good bacteria and also affects the taste. However, still, doing so, can keep it stay good for almost a month. Keep it in cool temperatures, make sure to check the expiry date before purchasing it and after opening the seal, do not consume it after three days. Make sure you don’t keep back the unused yogurt back into the same box, it