Is it ok to eat yoghurt every day?

Yoghurt is prepared by fermenting milk, which converts the lactose in milk into lactic acid, which gives yoghurt its tangy flavour and thick texture. Photo: iStock/mapodile

Indians love retelling the story of how Lord Krishna was caught red-handed by his villagers for repeatedly stealing butter and yoghurt from their households. The tale, in which Krishna escapes their clutches saying he was just looking for nourishment as a little boy, is often narrated to kids by their parents, as they feed them yoghurt. A nutritional 'powerhouse' filled with calcium, protein and probiotics, yoghurt is a versatile dairy product made primarily from cow's milk. It is prepared by fermenting milk, which converts the lactose in milk into lactic acid, which gives yoghurt its tangy flavour and thick texture. But, like Krishna did, is it ok to eat yoghurt every day? Let's find out:

The daily dose of yoghurt
Yes, it has many benefits but depending on whether it is full fat, no fat or low fat, the nutritional levels can vary. If there are added sugars or flavours, the quality can further come down. Also, those with lactose intolerance will have to opt for lactose-free yoghurt instead of the traditional ones to stay safe. According to experts, Greek Yoghurt and plain yoghurt with live bacteria cultures are the most nutritious, due to their higher protein and lower sugar content and the presence of good probiotics for gut health. It's better to stay away from varieties with high added sugars, artificial ingredients and heavily processed ones.

Why include it in your diet?
Yoghurt has become the favourite food item of fitness freaks and those who are trying to lose weight in a healthy manner. You could enjoy plain yoghurt as it is with fresh fruits, and nuts or as a side dish with your main meal. Here’s why you should include yoghurt in your daily diet:
Rich in probiotics
Plain yoghurt is a storehouse of probiotics. These are good bacteria that improve gut health. Moreover, yoghurt improves digestion and boosts immunity too.
Protein: Yoghurt is an excellent source of protein for those who do not eat meat or take supplements. A single serving of yoghurt contains up to 8 – 12 grams of protein. This makes the stomach feel full and keeps away hunger pangs.

Calcium: The calcium in yoghurt strengthens bones and teeth. You could get your daily supply of calcium from plain yoghurt. It is an excellent food for those who are lactose intolerant or cannot consume other milk products.
Weight loss: Studies show that yoghurt can help reduce body weight in a healthy manner. The high protein in yoghurt easily satiates hunger and helps in controlling body weight.
Digestion: The probiotics in yoghurt keep away digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Including plain yoghurt in your daily diet would improve digestion as well as ensure gut health.

Boosts immunity: Plain yoghurt helps in boosting immunity by aiding the growth of good bacteria in the stomach. Good immunity helps the body fight infections and illnesses. Moreover, it ensures the health of the stomach too.
Protects the heart: Some researchers say that consuming yoghurt regularly would reduce the risk of heart-related ailments. The probiotics, calcium and other nutrients in yoghurt control blood pressure and regulate cholesterol too.
Bone health: As yoghurt is rich in calcium, it strengthens the bones. Calcium is essential to make the bones stronger and to prevent conditions like osteoporosis. Those who are allergic to milk can consume yoghurt to improve bone health.

Vitamins and minerals: Besides calcium and protein, yoghurt contains vitamins and minerals too. Plain yoghurt contains vitamin B12, riboflavin, potassium and magnesium. Including plain yoghurt in the diet would ensure your daily dose of nutrients.
Skin health: The probiotics and lactic acid in yoghurt make the skin glow. It reduces inflammation and keeps the skin healthy by fighting acne. 

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