Yogurt Is Good for You
YOGURT is riding high on a crest of popularity these days, at least in Europe and in the United States. Americans annually spend well over one hundred million dollars on this milk product, eating more than 200,000,000 pounds of it each year.
While the use of yogurt in these lands seems to have caught on since World War II, the use of yogurt may well go back to early Bible times. At least so we are told by the McKibbins in their publication Twelve Foods from the Bible. One particular instance is about the Kenite woman Jael, who gave Captain Sisera “curdled milk,” the curdled milk quite likely being yogurt.—Judg. 5:25.
What accounts for the popularity of yogurt? It has a pleasant taste, is slightly tart when eaten plain and not too sweet or filling when flavored or prepared with fruit preserves. There is a wholesomeness about its custardlike body or texture. As the commercial product is usually made with skimmed milk, it is especially low in calories—another reason for its popularity with people who are watching their weight. A drink popular with Turks and other Near Eastern peoples is made with equal portions of yogurt and ice water, to which a little salt is added, and then thoroughly mixed.
Yogurt is eaten as a snack between meals, as a part of a light lunch or as a dessert. It might be said that seldom has it been that something so extremely popular is also as good for you as is yogurt. It is curdled milk and therefore digests from two to three times as quickly as ordinary milk. Moreover, yogurt has valuable bacteria, the Lactobacillus bulgaricus and the Streptococcus thermophilus.
Because of the properties of yogurt, many believe that it aids people with intestinal problems. That is why some doctors prescribe it for restoring what is known as the “intestinal flora,” which may be destroyed when patients receive a lot of antibiotics or sulfa drugs.
Still another factor in its favor is that yogurt often replaces other foods that are not nearly as wholesome or that are too rich. For many people it serves to replace such foods as pies, cakes, puddings and pastries, which are rich in refined carbohydrates. According to Dr. Denis P. Burkitt, a Nobel laureate, cancer of the intestines and other intestinal disorders are related to diets high in refined carbohydrates.—Medical Tribune, October 3, 1973.
Obviously, replacing such foods with yogurt does cut down greatly on one’s intake of calories. A piece of apple pie may contain 330 or more calories, whereas a cup of plain yogurt has only one third as many. Even a fruit yogurt has a third less of calories. To cut down on calories, you can also use yogurt to replace oily salad dressings or mayonnaise or in the place of sour cream on fresh fruits.
How is yogurt made? Very simply. Merely take some ordinary or skim milk and heat it to a boil and then pour it into a container. If you want your yogurt to have a thicker consistency, then add some powdered skim milk, even as many commercial producers do. Let it cool off until it feels comfortably warm to the tip of your finger, and then add the yogurt culture or some yogurt, such as you buy in a store, about half a cup to a quart of milk. If you are concerned with cutting down on your calories, then you will want to be sure to use fat-free or skim milk. Stir well so that no lumps remain.
Then cover the vessel and wrap it in a blanket or keep it in a warm place, about 110 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit, for from four to six hours or overnight. Because of the problem of keeping the milk warm some have chosen to buy one of the “yogurt makers,” which keeps the milk at a certain temperature. Others solve the problem by using widemouthed thermos bottles, as these also ensure keeping the milk warm while it is fermenting. It is also important that you do not disturb the vessel while the fermenting process is at work or the milk may not set. Once it has thickened you can put it in a refrigerator or in some cool place until you want to eat it.
From the foregoing, you can see that yogurt has much to recommend it. It is tasty, high in food value, low in calories, easily digested, easy to make, economical and enjoyable to eat!