As I was standing in line at the grocery store the other day, I noticed an older lady in front of me had an entire cart loaded with commercial yogurt.
I immediately felt very empathetic for her situation as she obviously was placing high importance on yogurt in her diet – perhaps to help some sort of chronic digestive issue.
What is really sad is that it is virtually certain that she was experiencing little to no benefit for her efforts.
This is because standard store yogurt including those squeezable yogurt tubes for kids are not the probiotic filled food that the television commercials and other advertising would lead you to believe.
The problem is that commercial yogurt is fermented for very short periods of time. The length of time is so short (one person in the dairy industry told me once that it is an hour or less) that thickening agents are sometimes even added to the yogurt to give it the look and feel of yogurt that has been fermented for much longer such as would happen with yogurt made on a small dairy farm or in your kitchen.
This is why Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome, recommends eating yogurt that you’ve made yourself and fermented for a full 24 hours in order for the majority of the lactose (milk sugar) to be used up and sufficient strength of the probiotic cultures to become established.
The Specific Carbohydrate (SCD) Diet also recommends yogurt fermented for a full 24 hours.
Of course making yogurt yourself also permits selection of high quality milk and avoidance of all the additives and sugar added to most commercial yogurt as well.
Yogurt made in the traditional fashion and fermented for 24 hours will most definitely assist your gut and help rebalance your digestive flora with the help of beneficial though transient cultures that good quality yogurt is loaded with.
It is also helpful to note that yogurt made with raw milk will be naturally more drinkable style like kefir than yogurt made with heated or pasteurized milk.
So if someone you know eats a lot of commercial yogurt and is doing this primarily to assist with their digestive health and to boost immune function, tip them off that they would be better off making it themselves or buying it from a small farm!