Who Screwed Up Yogurt?

Incidentally, I was reading an article about Activia on Slate, which purports to improve digestive function (e.g. help with constipation) with special cultures etc. It appeals to women because it supposedly helps with weight lost. Although, it seems these claims are not based on any actual formal scientific studies. So it goes.

I assume originally, yogurt was just made with whole milk. At some point, since fats are "bad", a switch was made to skim or low-fat milks as a base, and to compensate for lack of fat, corn starch and gelatin were introduced. And since yogurt (whole or not) tends to be pretty sour, sugars — or in cheaper brands, corn syrup — was added.

I did a little on-line research, and with single-serving brands like Yoplait caloricly, there's a lot of sugar calories. Yoplait, your typical supermarket yogurt, has 170kcal per serving, 15kcal from fat. Nancy's all-natural whole milk yogurt (with a little honey) has 170kcal per serving, 70kcal from fat. "DANNON® ACTIVIA" has 220kcal per serving, though it too is made from "reduced fat" milk; Light has 150kcal and it's made from non-fat milk. Doing a little calorie math, Dannon Activia Light must have about the equivant of 4 teaspons of refined sugar added to the milk.

What has happened is everyday yogurt has morphed from a high-fat, creamy substance into milk-flavored Jello.

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About eliasross

Blogging before the word "blog" was invented.
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2 Responses to Who Screwed Up Yogurt?

  1. Dancho says:

    I think it is great example how screwed up people's position about what constitute "healthy" food.I know some people around me who purchases things, because it has that flashy "low-fat" sticker on it, and a lot of people who do this tends to even not look at calories in it. It is just amazing people go "low-fat" == blindly healthy, while all they are doing is putting in few hundred carolies for nothing. (and those people tend to wonder why they are not losing weight…)Could be food industry conspiracy…I mean, if they do manage to work for diet, then wouldn't they lose their potential customer in the future? <think>

  2. Tim Dunn says:

    A few fats are good, but they aren't the yummy ones. Fish oil, flax oil-those are 'good.' The yogurt theory is that they supply 'probiotic' bacteria that aid digestion. Amusingly, yogurt tends to give me indigestion. Skimmed milk isn't actually a new product, because butter making goes way, way back, and what's left over after you make butter is skimmed milk. In fact, 'whole milk' as we know it is new, because it has emulsifiers (usually soy lecithin, I think,) added to keep the cream from separating from the milk. When I was a boy, milk bottles came with cream floating on the top, with what we now call skimmed milk under the cream layer.

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