Why is yogurt thought to be beneficial?

Yes, I know that yogurt (used to be spelled yoghurt, i think, but my spell checker doesn’t like that) has been used for probably thousands of years. All I know about it is that it is thickened sour milk with added bacteria. I don’t really like sour things (sour cream is the last thing I would put on a baked potato) so I have never really gotten into it.

I can remember when it first became popular in the 70s it was advertised as being healthy and good for you, but I never understood why.

Now the yogurt industry has foisted pro-biotics on us, and I don’t really understand them either, except I believe they are popular with the people who believe colon cleaning is beneficial.

Are there any actual studies that show health benefits for yogurt or is it simply a way for the dairy industry to get rid of day-old milk?


If it’s day-old milk, then it’s an anti-waste product. Try cheese cake topped with sour cream instead of childish fruit preserves. Yummy!

Well, I think that non-fat Greek yogurt is a miracle food!
Look at the label:

The stuff is almost pure protein!

Because Georgians ate it and routinely lived to become centenarians.


People began noticing that irritable stomachs got better after they began eating yogurt regularly. I know its made a big difference in my problems. I used to be up late at night with the runs.

It was mostly known in the health food groups back in the 80’s and 90’s. About 10 years ago marketing campaigns began selling the probiotic yogurt. I’m not sure its any better than regular cultured yogurt.

Another good cultured product is buttermilk. I sometimes drink that too.

Cecil did a column on cultured products

Isn’t cultured yogurt pretty much by definition probiotic? Or do they have cultured yogurts that are pasteurized?

Yogurt has to be cultured to be yogurt. It’s the bacteria that turn it from sour milk to a gooey sludge.

According to the column, yes, there is yogurt that is pasteurized and thus no longer has live cells.

The “pro-biotic” label is just modern marketing on what they’ve been doing since yogurt became hip in the '80s. The live bacteria appear to aid digestion. Partially because they help with lactose digestion, partially because they fill your gut so less useful/more harmful bacteria can cultivate.

It’s a good protein source that comes in low-fat versions. I like it as a vegetarian because it’s a good way of getting different protein than I’d get from beans or something. It’s also something I can eat even when I feel like anything I swallow will come right back up again.

I eat a non sugar, non artificial sweetener yogurt everyday for breakfast. It is pretty bland but I add fresh fruit. I don’t drink milk, ever. It is easy on the stomach and it has all those live cultures. And I am a cultured being. I live in Mexico and the yogurt section is very huge. So, apparently it has a lot of fans.

But too much protein can also be a problem.

It (along with grass for the horses) allowed Genghis Khan to establish the biggest contiguous empire in history.

Yogurt’s been really common in US grocery stores for a LOT longer than the 80s and 90s. I recall getting it in a local Kroger as a kid in about 1979-1980. It was Dannon brand in a waxpaper cup thingy- fruit on the bottom of course. It was a big deal when Yoplait came out about the same time- it wasn’t fruit on the bottom.

True, if you have bad kidneys, but then you probably have other issues, too…

Probiotics have been proven to be a useful treatment in a number of conditions, including IBS, etc, here are some of the hundreds of papers/studies published in respected scientific/medical journals



It tastes bad, so it must be good for you.

Yogurt tastes bad?
Just what do you think tastes good?

I wish I liked it :(.
The taste sets off the “rotten food in my mouth” trigger, which activates autonomous rejection mechanisms. That can be messy.

Oddly, I can usually swing savory yogurt dishes.

I’ve found that many yogurts really stimulate my gag reflex, especially back in the 1970s and 1980s when Dannon was the only thing on the block.

Yoplait’s custard style yogurt was the first one I could eat without gagging. It’s got a much better texture, and isn’t that tangy yogurty “something WRONG” taste.

In the past couple of years, I’ve found to my surprise that I can actually eat regular Yoplait. Much less tangy, more like a fruity cream dessert. I still have trouble with other brands.

Greek yogurt, on the other hand… less of a gag-a-licious texture, and less of a sour undertone, but the last time I tried it there was definitely a chalky undertone. Bleh.

Strange definition of “almost pure” considering it is 28% sugar.

Mind you I eat it most days as a good source of protein for desserts and snacks. I like it occasionally with unsweetened cocoa as my chocolate fix. Sometimes I use a mix of yogurt and light ricotta cheese.