Yogurt, a food with a lot of science

Yogurt is part of all the pyramids of healthy eating and is located in the seat of honor, at the base, in the space reserved for the foods that the specialists recommend to eat daily, like fruits and vegetables. It's not by chance. Its nutritional qualities are supported by scientific evidence. It favors the intestinal bacterial flora and its recovery after antibiotic treatment and decreases the incidence of infantile diarrheas, among many other effects.

The nutritional profile of yogurt is so complete that its consumption, along with other healthy habits, has become a formidable tool to cope with the healthcare challenge of tackling the overweight, obesity and the chain of diseases that they carry, such as the Diabetes. "It is the most important public health problem of the 21st century in the developed world," says Francisco Tinahones, president of the Spanish Society for the Study of Obesity (Seedo).

Until the mid-twentieth century was marketed in pharmacies, in fact, was considered almost a drug for the benefits it provided. Today these are known much better than then. Spreading its healthy effects is the aim of the campaign the yogurt feeds your health that the manufacturers of this food have launched in Spain. The campaign was presented in the first public act of the Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Yogurt and dairy desserts (AEFY), comprising the 13 largest companies in the sector. According to its president, Antoni Bandrés, the objective of the organization and the campaign is "to provide complete and truthful information about yogurt, we have the science on our side."

A complete food

The discovery of yogurt is located between the fourth and fifth millennium of our era. Born in Sumeria, in today's Iraq, it has spread across the five continents. In the Mediterranean diet has a long tradition and is also one of the most studied food by specialists. Nuria Guillén, dietitian-nutritionist at the San Joan de Reus Hospital and associate professor at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Barcelona, emphasizes that "it is a food of high nutritional density that provides a great quantity of favorable nutrients and very few Calories. "

A yogurt contains approximately 1.3 billion of milk ferments that preserve it naturally, give it flavor and texture and provide a characteristic that distinguishes it from other foods: easy digestion. The fats and proteins it contains are easier to assimilate than milk. Their nutrients are essential to the organism. It provides vitamins of group B and fat-soluble vitamins A and D, and the proteins that it includes are of high biological value, that is, they contain all the essential amino acids, like those of the egg. Taking two yoghurts a day (specialists advise between two and four) allows to cover 30% of the recommended daily intake of calcium and phosphorus.

The nutritional benefits of this food are favored by its milky matrix (the set of components of the food and the interactions that establish each other). This structure is the equivalent of a multiplication in mathematics, as Nuria Guillén points out: "Thanks to her, dairy products have a more beneficial effect than the sum of their isolated nutrients. They are perceived in bone health, body weight or decreased cardiovascular risk, among others. " The milky matrix favors, for example, the absorption and use of calcium that contains yogurt.

Fuente: Asociación Española de Fabricantes de Yogur y Postres Lácteos Frescos (AEFY).Enlarge photo Source: Spanish Association of Manufacturers of yogurt and fresh dairy desserts (AEFY).

For the consumption data, it is to be deduced that a large part of the population knows its benefits or intuits them. It is present at the tables of nine in ten households and each day are consumed in Spain 22 million of yoghurts and dairy desserts. However, in recent years some myths have been disseminated that have led some people to take them out of the diet, the most common is that it considers that yogurt fattens because of the sugars it contains. "In the world of nutrition there are many beliefs that counteract scientific evidence and extend exponentially," denounces Francisco Tinahones.

The specialists insist on a basic fact: the sugar that is related to the overweight is the one that we add when taking a product, not the intrinsic one of some foods like the lactose of the milk products or the fructose of the fruit. On the other hand, it should be borne in mind that sugar contributes to the organism and to 10% of the daily caloric intake may come from added sugars, according to WHO.

There is also an alternative, very natural, to the sugar cube, which is pointed out by chef Paco Roncero: "Why not sweeten it with fruit? The healthy defines the kitchen of Roncero and the ingredients that it uses. These include yogurt, in addition to its effects on health, for its versatility: it can be taken as a dessert and also used in the elaboration of sauces and skewers.

Yogurt is nutritionally complete, suitable for all ages, accessible, natural and can be eaten at different times of the day. Antoni Bandrés, President of AEFY, qualifies him as "a magical food". They are some hallmarks of a millennial food that, says science, provides healthy benefits from head to toe.