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Fage Yogurt: 2% vs Full. Some science for your consideration.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 30, 2010 at 6:25 AM

What are your thought on Fage 2% vs. total? I know the paleo community is insane about 'full-fat'... for good reason sometimes. And I'm afraid just asking this question will give me a bunch of "full-fat-but-I-don't-have-any-scientific-justification-just-that-I-have-read-it-a-bunch-of-places" response (sorry don't mean to be antagonistic, but I've gotten this response several times.

Here's what I know, please correct me if I'm wrong. I've been dying to know where my error in logic has occurred

All varieties 0%, 2% and "total" are made with skim milk + cream (even total). While the Fage website advertises that they use 100% raw milk and raw cream. The 2% and total versions have the following as ingredients

2%: Grade A Pasteurized skimmed milk and cream, cultures Total: Grade A Pasteurized milk and cream, cultures

Yes, I notice the 'skimmed' but if we're worried about the fat soluble nutrients they will be in the cream fraction anyway. They might be a bit less concentrated, maybe even a bit less concentrated by caloric content, but reasonably comparable.

So is it 100% raw? is it pasteurized? What the claim raw mean? Does that just mean that they don't homogenize it? Life's so confusing in a world full of trillions of types of processing

Also, unfortunately there is no mention that these cows are pasteur raised (haha, don't we all wish). The yogurt is 100% white, and unfortunately this means that it is probably devoid of many fat soluble nutrients and might just have more fat soluble toxins (yuck).

I'm particularly interested in the vitamin k2, menaquinone for its cardioprotective effects. Anyone with a physical chemistry (or probably a basic organic chemistry) background can evaluate the conjugation of this molecule themselves. Unfortunately I cannot find any literature support for the absorbance spectra of menaquinone to reinforce this claim. There are predictive models to determine the absorbance spectrum, the isoprenoid polymer will not add to the conjugation. My evidence that this yogurt is devoid of nutrients/ higher in toxins is that it is white and yogurt made from true raw milk which I got from a farm is a rich buttery yellow color. I suspect many of you have found pasture fed butter that is this color at the supermarket. Note: Really all this evidence says is that the yogurt has a different chemical composition, not that is it better or worse.

Now onto the carbohydrates: 2%: 9g/ cup Total: 6g/ cup

The cultures put into yogurt metabolize the lactose to lactate rendering it not really a carbohydrate. Lactate can be converted to pyruvate (the principle product of glucose) via lactate dehydrogenase with the consumption of 1 ATP (giving us a net product of like 14 ATP for that pyruvate), but this conversion happens only in the liver. So yes it has the ability to give us energy but it acts kind of like fructose where only the liver can metabolize it and therefore only contributes to body glycogen stores and not muscle glycogen. Note there is probably still a good amount of galactose left in the mix because the cultures can't really metabolize galactose to my knowledge.

I know that the FDA makes you list the total nutrition value of all the ingredients so I'm not sure if the fact that carbohydrate is water soluble effects the carb count. Greek yogurt is strained which gets rid of the majority of the aqueous fraction which should have the majority of the carbohydrate (and whey, unfortunately) dissolved in it.

Also, if 3g of carbohydrate is really effecting anyone, you might need some other serious help.

Protein Now, I know that there is a bit more protein (I think something like 3g again) in the 2% and that casein might get into your bloodstream denatured and act as an antigen. But then again we're back to the 3 grams... I'm not sure if the denatured form retains enough tertiary structure to be antigenic... would hope that your stomach is acidic enough to denature, but I guess its miscellar if the milk isn't homogenized (or maybe even if it is). I guess the casein retains enough tertiary structure to cause an immune response in some.

With all this said and done, why wouldn't it just be okay to do 2% + coconut milk to get similar satiety + some coconut milk benefits. (plus I like the taste better). I like to do it before bed hoping that I get a slow partial digestion of the casein during sleep/ my 12 hr fast...

Now I defer to all of your expertise for some recommendations. I'm trying to gain performance/ weight and minimize fat gains...

72a1e3ccf044c2fe1f994e10927e18a8

(183)

on August 01, 2010
at 09:05 AM

Per unit of 'satiety' (assuming satiety is directly proportional to fat content), the mixture is cheaper than either. If you were interested in following the above protocol for reasons of expense

72a1e3ccf044c2fe1f994e10927e18a8

(183)

on August 01, 2010
at 09:03 AM

Thank you! this table was very informative. I've always been in search of some conclusive work on the extent of fermentation that occurs in cultured dairy And yes, I figured they just started with skim milk and added cream because that would be the easiest for them. However the skimming process might just be so costly/ produce so much waste that it isnt. according to their nutrition facts it might not be the case for the full fat version.

72a1e3ccf044c2fe1f994e10927e18a8

(183)

on July 31, 2010
at 06:58 AM

yes of course, very stupid of me. milk must of course be boiled to kill the native bacteria before it is cultured... I still gotta wonder about the homogenization because of the xanthine oxidase which is purportedly produced by the homogenization process... I've read about it but no where explicitly scientific, so its hard for me to comment o it. Nope, not really worried about the calories, mostly toxins. I also think that coconut milk is more nutrient rich than what could be in fage. Also trying to cut down on dairy. I LOVE it but it could be stalling my performance gains. Thanks!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 30, 2010
at 05:23 PM

You don't say explicitly why you want to substitute the 2% for the Total. Is it that you are concerned about the potential toxins in the fat, or is it the extra calories, or something else?

D63a9a7789b948a1e88647f6c0e504ca

(1453)

on July 30, 2010
at 02:20 PM

No, all the fat levels are the same price -- unless one kind is put on sale by a particular store. Prices vary widely at different stores, of course!

52cae90a114ca8f0404948e2b7ccb7ef

(1595)

on July 30, 2010
at 02:12 PM

Is the 2% cheaper than the Total?

52cae90a114ca8f0404948e2b7ccb7ef

(1595)

on July 30, 2010
at 11:32 AM

Sure the milk starts raw, but then it is pasteurized. See Step 2 on: http://www.fageusa.com/HowItsMade.aspx

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3 Answers

1
424563ee2575f0620ea221badabb40d7

(272)

on July 31, 2010
at 07:50 PM

I'm guessing they start with skim milk then add whatever amount of cream to achieve any desired percentage of fat in the final product. That'd be for manufacturing efficiency.

Also, I don't think that store bought yogurt contains zero lactose. If you make your own yogurt and let it go fermenting on and on, it gets quite sour. This page agrees:

http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/digestive-health/nutrition/lactosecontent.pdf

saying there are 11g in 1 cup milk and 5g in 1 cup yogurt.

72a1e3ccf044c2fe1f994e10927e18a8

(183)

on August 01, 2010
at 09:03 AM

Thank you! this table was very informative. I've always been in search of some conclusive work on the extent of fermentation that occurs in cultured dairy And yes, I figured they just started with skim milk and added cream because that would be the easiest for them. However the skimming process might just be so costly/ produce so much waste that it isnt. according to their nutrition facts it might not be the case for the full fat version.

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 31, 2010
at 03:45 AM

The point is to not fear fat and many find that an easy and simple rule to follow. SOme products put carbs and sugar in to make up for the fat loss, which is not good, but that does not apply here. And also fat contributes to satiation more but like you said, adding in some other fat instead of the milk fat will solve that issue. If you like 2 percent plus coconut milk for taste, I don't think there is any great cause for concern. The only other thing I can think of is that sometimes/often we find out way down the line that food items in their natural state contain a perfect balance of various nutrients, or should I say that our bodies are best adapted to that particular balance, so sometimes or even often, when we starting splitting out parts and eating constituents instead of the whole, we find out that it is for some or other reason not as good for us. But moreso, I think many paleo eaters find it easier to just learn some simple rules to follow and one of those rules is that healthy fats are good for you. SO they will tend to respond with that in mind. -Eva

0
D63a9a7789b948a1e88647f6c0e504ca

on July 30, 2010
at 01:26 PM

I eat 2% because that's mostly what I can find in stores -- and I can add some nuts for the same calorie outcome as a cup of the Total plain (I find it more satisfying with crunch). I'm eating the cup with nuts and berries and some vanilla whey protein as breakfast, generally.

One thing you didn't mention is that the 2% has more protein -- 17g vs. 14g for the Total.

I don't know about raw, pasteurized, etc. but I think the 2% gets a bad rap for no reason.

52cae90a114ca8f0404948e2b7ccb7ef

(1595)

on July 30, 2010
at 02:12 PM

Is the 2% cheaper than the Total?

D63a9a7789b948a1e88647f6c0e504ca

(1453)

on July 30, 2010
at 02:20 PM

No, all the fat levels are the same price -- unless one kind is put on sale by a particular store. Prices vary widely at different stores, of course!

72a1e3ccf044c2fe1f994e10927e18a8

(183)

on August 01, 2010
at 09:05 AM

Per unit of 'satiety' (assuming satiety is directly proportional to fat content), the mixture is cheaper than either. If you were interested in following the above protocol for reasons of expense

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