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December 30, 1988 - Image 55

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-12-30

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Yogurt Plain & Fancy


t is sophisticated and ver-
satile. It is a nutrient-rich
food. It is portable, easy to
use and, ounce for ounce, it
has more calcium and • more
protein than milk.
It is YOGURT, and its con-
sumption is one of the fastest
growing trends in America.
Yogurt has been around for
centuries. Asians and Middle
Easterns have been eating
yogurt since biblical times
but Americans are just ac-
quiring a taste. In 1960, 44
million pounds of yogurt were
consumed in the United
States, about one-quarter
pound per person. Last year,
more than 1 billion pounds
were consumed, and that
doesn't include the increas-
ingly popular frozen yogurt.

Health Benefits

Despite health enthusiasts'
claim, yogurt is not an elixir
of life nor a panacea for
health. On the other hand, it
does have significant nutri-
tional value and is an ideal

Yogurt is neither an elixir of
life nor a panacea for health.
But yogurt, especially low fat
yogurt, is extremely popular
these days.



Special to the Jewish News

choice for low cholesterol
The dietary recommenda-
tions by the American Heart
Association and the U.S.
Surgeon General call for a
reduction in calories, fat and
cholesterol. Yogurt helps
meet these guidelines when
selected as part of a normal
diet or as a substitute for high
fat, high cholesterol foods and
ingredients. While a cup of
milk provides about 37 per-
cent of adult Recommended
Dietary Allowances (RDA),

plain low-fat yogurt supplies
57 percent.
And for the many people
who have problems digesting
lactose, the sugar in milk,
yogurt is a good calcium
substitute without digestive
"Lactose intolerance is pre-
valent among East European
Jews," explains Jane Brody,
syndicated nutrition colum-
nist for the New York Times
and author of several books
on health and fitness. "Yogurt
with active cultures contains

both the enzyme and the
microorganism that are in
short supply in many people.
The organisms in the yogurt
continue to make the enzyme
lactose while in the yogurt
and in the digestive tract. Un-
fortunately, I'm not one of
those people. I still have to
take a tablet to help my diges-
tion process before I eat frozen
Other studies have shown
that the protein in yogurt is
easier to digest than the pro-
tein in unfermented milk.

Apparently, this is due to the
protein breakdown by the fer-
mentative microorganisms
which increases the number
of free amino acids, and de-
creases the number of large
curd particles and size of
protein molecules.
We never outgrow our need
for calcium because our
bodies do not manufacture
their own calcium. Vitamin
supplements supply calcium
only, but not the other nu-
trients needed to absorb the
The (RDA) of calcium for
adults is 800 milligrams per
day. Some experts suggest at
least 1,000 milligrams per
day and 1,500 milligrams for
post-menopausal women who
are at risk for osteoporosis or
loss of bone density. One
8-ounce serving of yogurt con-
tains between 300 and 450
milligrams of calcium, de-
pending on the brand and
type of yogurt. That's half the
daily requirement for most.
Yogurt is also helpful when
taking antibiotics which may



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