Fermented food like yoghurt good source of nutrients: Experts

Time & Us
Last Updated: September 8, 2017 at 1:26 am

Food experts suggest that yogurt, which is produced by bacterial fermentation of milk, can be a source of important nutrients, including protein.
New Delhi: Fermented foods have always held a special place in Indian cuisine culture with curd, in its various forms like ‘lassi’ and ‘chhaachh’, being an intrinsic part of people’s diets.
Yoghurt, a popular food import from the West, is also evolving as an alternative healthy snack food among Indian consumers.
food experts suggest that yogurt, which is produced by bacterial fermentation of milk, can be a source of important nutrients, including protein.
“Yogurt is a nutrient-dense food that is good for people of all ages. Since it is a milk based product, it is a good source of protein, calcium and potassium. A single serving of yogurt gives a significant boost of Phosphorous, Potassium, B12, Riboflavin, Zinc, Iodine, and Vitamin B5,” Dr. Nandan Joshi, head of nutrition science and medical affairs at Danone India, said.
Besides, providing good nutrition, yogurt contains live and active cultures, living beneficial bacteria which supports digestion and improves gut health, he added.
Fermented products are a vehicle for fortification and can be an efficient tool to combat nutrient deficiencies, that is, vitamin D. Yoghurt consumers across various distinct populations appear to have healthier dietary patterns, nutrient adequacy, and lifestyles compared with non-consumers.
According to the experts, lot of studies are being conducted to gather evidence on the health benefits of yoghurt. There is substantial evidence on health benefits of yogurt like weight management, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health and cancer.
“Recent meta-analyses have shown that dairy consumption is neutral or beneficial for weight control, coronary disease, diabetes, hypertension, and most cancers.
“Currently, extensive research has been conducted to investigate the mechanisms through which yogurt generates beneficial effects. Gut microbiota appear to be an important factor that can be modified by dietary prebiotics, as well as probiotics such as yogurt,” said Fariel Dif, head of communication for Dairy Research and Innovation, Danone.
There is a growing interest in the relationship between yogurt and obesity, as evidenced by the number of publications on the topic over the last few years.
Yogurt may have a superior effect than other food, beverages and snacks on inducing satiety due to its high protein content. Moreover, the substitution of nutrient-poor, energy-dense items with nutrient?rich foods such as yogurt can have a beneficial impact on weight maintenance and obesity, Dif said
Further, yogurt is that one by-product of milk that can be better tolerated by people with lactose intolerance, said Dr. Joshi.
Bacterial fermentation of yogurt results in changing lactose (the sugar in milk) to lactic acid, and hence lower intake of lactose.
“The good bacteria present in yogurt secrete an enzyme called Galactosidase that allows them to pre-digest part of the lactose. Therefore, lactose intolerant individuals can better digest yogurt and show better tolerance to yogurt as compared to milk,” Dr. Joshi said.