So what is the difference between getting your probiotics from commercial brand yogurt and Raw homemade yogurt or taking a Therapeutic grade probiotic supplement? Well, in short- A LOT!
Commercial yogurts can easily have more carbohydrates than a candy bar! These carbs are in the form of a highly allergenic sugar called lactose, which is not suitable for diabetics, anyone trying to lose weight, or anyone with autoimmune disorders. Dairy is also a highly inflammatory, mucous producing food, especially once it has been pasteurized and can exacerbate symptoms associated with constipation, diarrhea, the common cold, sinusitis, rhinitis (allergies), bronchitis and more.
There are many reasons that commercial yogurt is an inferior product and shouldn’t be relied up on for probiotic consumption.
- Additives- Most people in America are so used to having a synthetically thick and creamy yogurt, that yogurt companies have to use things like High Fructose corn syrup, starches, and milk solids to get the desired consistency. This not only adds a bunch of unnecessary stuff to your yogurt, but it also increases the amount of lactose which, as mentioned above, is an inflammatory mucous producing food. FOS- Fructo-oligosaccharides are often added to yoghurts with labels claiming that it only feeds the good bacteria when the opposite is true. FOS is increasingly hazardous to people suffering from Ankylosing Spondelitis and can cause increased intestinal permeability and can turn into leaky gut syndrome. FOS is synthetic and cannot be processed and easily cleared from the human body.
- Not much “real” probiotic content- Many yogurt companies use a “yogurt strain” of live cultures. So at the time of manufacture, they are using a “live strain” of bacteria to culture the milk but the actual number of live cultures is very low. If the yogurt is pasteurized after the yogurt making process, (which is often done in commercial factories), then the count is even lower.
- Shortened fermentation process- Yogurt companies use an abbreviated fermentation process, because it is faster and it is a low cost way to mass manufacture yogurt. The end result is a lowered amount of probiotic organisms, and a sweeter taste due to the fact that there is a higher amount of lactose. Most people are unaware that yogurt is actually supposed to be very tart if properly fermented, because the fermentation process consumes most of the natural sugar in the yogurt, naturally making it easier to digest and more beneficial to your body.
- Straining- Most commercial yogurts are not strained with the exception of specialty Greek yogurts. Straining yogurt reduces the lactose and whey and makes the yogurt thicker without all the starchy additives.
- Minimal freshness- live yogurt is meant to be eat within 4 days because most live organisms will die off within one week, even in properly refrigerated conditions. By the time you purchase yogurt from the supermarket, it is usually several weeks old, so if there were any live cultures left after the manufacturing process, then there usually isn’t any left by the time you purchase and consume the product.
The moral of the story is, skip the commercial yogurts, even the organic ones. If you really want to include yogurt as a part of your daily dietary plan, make it yourself. There are kits and machines you can purchase online to make your own yogurts, and there are some cultures you can purchase to do a cold process so that your yogurt doesn’t have to be heated. If you are on any kind of detoxification plan and are going through a cleansing process, yogurt is not a good choice for you anyway. Instead look into purchasing a high quality probiotic supplement with at least 30 billion CFU’s per serving. A high quality probiotic supplement will likely require refrigeration after opening so read the label. If no refrigeration is necessary, there is a good chance you need a better probiotic. Also consider trying to add some cultured veggies into your diet. They are chock full of live enzymes, and tons of nutrients!