For the most part of my life, I was confused for curd or dahi as yoghurt. I was told that curd and yoghurt are the same. And yoghurt is just a fancy name given by Western people. They call it yoghurt for what we call curd or dahi, they are essentially the same. Later, when all the malls got those fancy and flavoured packs, my curiosity picked again. Then, I heard that yoghurt is somewhat a thicker or flavoured version and that is the difference. And to complicate it again there’s a probiotic yoghurt too in comparison. So yoghurt or curd/ dahi, or probiotic yoghurt, what’s the difference?
When nothing appeared to content my questions, I googled and talked to my Nutritionist friend and everything became very clear. So today, I am sharing it with your guys here, to help you choose your health portion wisely.
What is Curd (our famous Indian household Dahi)
Curd is made by boiling and then cooling the milk to 30-40°C, adding a spoon of curd and keeping it to ferment. Now, since curd has a lactic acid bacteria or lactobacillus. These bacteria multiply itself in the fertile temperature range. And in just a few hours it ferments the milk to form curd or Dahi.
We all know that curd is a rich source of calcium and protein. In India, the curd is considered very good for the stomach as it aids in digestion, giving relief from spicy foods. I remember easting it as a part of lunch daily during childhood and I follow the same till date. But the bacterial strength of curd may vary from one home to the another, it is not considered a standard product.
Also, the good bacteria which is present in curd may or may not reach our intestines alive. And hence may not be able to give us the expected health benefits.
What is Yogurt?
While Yogurt is prepared using similar techniques like curd. But here, the fermentation of milk is done by adding 2 specific strains of bacteria. These bacteria are called lactobacillus Bulgaria and Streptococcus thermophilus. Though, other strains (of lactic acid bacteria) may also be added.
In Yogurt, the addition of these bacteria makes it homogenous and a standardised product. This standardisation ensures that both the quality and quantity of bacteria is present in the yoghurt. Also, it has a higher content of good bacteria which reach the intestines alive. Hence making it a healthier option. Internet is filled with numerous health benefits of eating yoghurts, you may read the WebMD post here.
What is Probiotic yoghurt?
To understand Probiotic Yogurt, let’s understand what Probiotics is? These are live microorganisms that are known to provide health benefits when they are consumed in specific quantities.
Hence, for any product to be considered as a Probiotic- it must contain a specific strain of live bacteria that is resistant to the gastric acid, bile and the pancreatic juices. It should also reach the intestines alive to give the right health benefit.
Same is followed for Probiotic yoghurt or a Probiotic drink. Hence these are considered important for a healthy gut.
In my other post on Beetroot in #SuperFoodsforHealthyYou, I have shared a recipe of a famous North Indian Probiotic Drink- Kanji. It is made with Carrots and Beetroot, read it here.