2

votes

Does nonfat yogurt have more bacteria?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 22, 2013 at 3:32 PM

When you culture milk, the bacteria live off of the lactose, correct? Does that mean that a batch of yogurt / kefir that starts with nonfat milk will end up with more total bacteria than a batch made from the same amount of whole milk? I'm aware that there are benefits to full-fat dairy, but let's say I'm eating fermented dairy solely for the probiotics. Does low- or non-fat, non-strained yogurt / kefir give the best bang for my buck?

Update: I've checked the nutrition info on several major brands and verified that nonfat yogurt typically has roughly 20% more carbohydrate than whole milk yogurt.

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on July 23, 2013
at 01:13 PM

I'll be grabbing the book from my uni library tonight, but do you want to give us a Cliff-notes version in the meantime?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 23, 2013
at 08:10 AM

I don't know which way this should be interpreted, but I tend to get a stomach ache from the nonfat greek yogurt, but not the full fat stuff.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 23, 2013
at 08:08 AM

If you want to join me on a deep geek journey and see where the whole modern yogurt craze originated, check out "Fear of Food: A History of Why We Worry about What We Eat" by Harvey Levenstein. I just read the chapter about kefir and yogurt today. Not what I was expecting.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on July 22, 2013
at 09:16 PM

I do have a source for raw grassfed milk. I'd just have to be willing to pay $8 per quart :p

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 22, 2013
at 07:39 PM

Then eat non-fat yogurt. Remember, that not all of the sugars are digested by the probiotics anyway. I don't think either is right or wrong, nor do I think it matters in the grand scheme of dietary health.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on July 22, 2013
at 07:20 PM

I just looked up 3 of the brands I commonly eat (Strauss, Nancy's, and Trader Joe's) and all 3 list ~20% more carbs in their nonfat yogurt vs. their whole milk yogurt. I believe you that some brands list the same content, but that doesn't appear to be true in the cases that are relevant for me.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 22, 2013
at 05:59 PM

Compare different brands and thier labels. Some will have the same protein and sugar.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on July 22, 2013
at 05:48 PM

I don't think that's right. According to the USDA, nonfat and full-fat yogurt have about the same amount of water per unit weight, and nonfat yogurt has substantially more sugar (also more protein, though that's not relevant). My question talked about volume instead of weight, but from what I can tell the differences in density are rather small. Data: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/104 | http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/105 | http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/106

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

2 Answers

1
C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

on July 22, 2013
at 07:57 PM

Honestly, if you're looking for best bang for your buck on probiotics, you should look into making your own kefir. It'll be cheaper than buying store-bought yogurt, as you just buy milk and culture it yourself (also allowing you to control the source and content of the milk if you're lucky enough to have a source for grass-fed or-I'm jealous in this case-raw dairy), it's incredibly prolific (I make way more kefir than I can drink nowadays; I started with maybe a tablespoon of milk grains and now they've grown enough to make two quarts of kefir in about 18 hours of fermentation in my kitchen) and it's far more rich in bacteria, both in total count and variety, than yogurts.

The hardest part (and shouldn't be too hard still) will be finding a source for the grains, but craigslist is usually a good option for that. I paid about $5 for my grains intially and they've grown prolificly over the past three months, to the point where I had to store them to prevent the kefir from fermenting too quickly.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 23, 2013
at 08:08 AM

If you want to join me on a deep geek journey and see where the whole modern yogurt craze originated, check out "Fear of Food: A History of Why We Worry about What We Eat" by Harvey Levenstein. I just read the chapter about kefir and yogurt today. Not what I was expecting.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on July 22, 2013
at 09:16 PM

I do have a source for raw grassfed milk. I'd just have to be willing to pay $8 per quart :p

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on July 23, 2013
at 01:13 PM

I'll be grabbing the book from my uni library tonight, but do you want to give us a Cliff-notes version in the meantime?

0
C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 22, 2013
at 04:02 PM

Given "bang for your buck", you would want the most out of it, so full fat gives you more for your money. Low-fat or non-fat yogurts generally have about the same listed carbs(lactose) so will presumably have the same probiotics, but you are just paying for more water in those versions.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 22, 2013
at 07:39 PM

Then eat non-fat yogurt. Remember, that not all of the sugars are digested by the probiotics anyway. I don't think either is right or wrong, nor do I think it matters in the grand scheme of dietary health.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on July 22, 2013
at 05:48 PM

I don't think that's right. According to the USDA, nonfat and full-fat yogurt have about the same amount of water per unit weight, and nonfat yogurt has substantially more sugar (also more protein, though that's not relevant). My question talked about volume instead of weight, but from what I can tell the differences in density are rather small. Data: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/104 | http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/105 | http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/106

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on July 22, 2013
at 07:20 PM

I just looked up 3 of the brands I commonly eat (Strauss, Nancy's, and Trader Joe's) and all 3 list ~20% more carbs in their nonfat yogurt vs. their whole milk yogurt. I believe you that some brands list the same content, but that doesn't appear to be true in the cases that are relevant for me.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 22, 2013
at 05:59 PM

Compare different brands and thier labels. Some will have the same protein and sugar.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!