Signature of healthy diet

What are the nutritional benefits of yogurt?


Yogurt is a relatively recent addidtion to the UK diet. As a nutrient-dense food and fermented milk product, yogurt contributes to meet daily micronutrient recommendations and to reduce possible health risks in vulnerable groups.

This study focuses on yogurt consumption and recommendations in the UK and how frequent intake may improve health benefits. The nutritional content of yogurt is determined by added ingredients and production methods. Yogurt is an important source of high-quality proteins and bioavailable calcium, it provides up to 4% of minerals, such as iodine, and vitamins (B2 and B12) in adults and children.

Recent research found that UK children (< 3 years) have the highest yogurt intake (46,7g/day), while adolescents consumed the least (21g/day). Low-fat yogurt is most commonly consumed. One serving of 125g yogurt a day increases the intake of calcium and iodine above recommendations and boosts zinc intakes.

Preventive effects of yogurt

 Calcium, proteins and minerals in yogurt improve bone mineral density and the prevention of hip fractures in elderly. Fortification of yogurt with vitamin D reduces the levels of parathyroid hormones and bone resorption markers. Secondly, regular consumers of low-fat yogurt show a 31% reduced risk for high blood pressure and prevent hypertension, both related to cardiovascular disease.

According to the EPIC survey, frequent yogurt consumption is also associated with a 28% lower risk for type 2 diabetes, because of probiotic bacteria in yogurt and vitamin K associated with fermentation. Low-fat yogurt also positively influences weight changes with a suppressive effect on appetite. Lastly, live yogurt is well tolerated by people with lactose intolerance, due to a low lactose level and the gut effects of yogurt cultures.

Source: Ruxton, C. et al.,, April 2015, Issue 103, pp. 25-28.


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