“I eat healthy” means different things to different people. Your idea of a healthy diet may be far away from your mom’s or your nutritionist’s ideals.
The media plays a huge role in shaping your idea of what we should call a healthy diet. The “zero fat”, “natural”, or “cholesterol free” is pounded into our North American heads so hard that none of us is questioning the value of these messages.
The apparent health claims on front labels decide if the product ends up in a shopping cart or not. The only problem is that these “healthy” foods are not that healthy. Many consumers, possibly including you, think they are eating healthy diets, but that’s not even close to the truth. Let’s see what I mean, by starting with a “healthy” food everyone is familiar with …. yogurt.
You know yogurt is good for you, so it is just a matter of finding the right type. When buying yogurt most people use the following criteria: “0% fat” = good, “low sugar” = good, “nice flavor” = good, “has probiotics” = good.
These four steps are actually the “advanced” version of healthy option searches. The less advanced searches just rely on the word “yogurt”, which in less health-advanced minds automatically means “healthy”. Too bad any of these criteria have NOTHING to do with the “healthy” the consumer is after. So, what’s wrong with yogurt? Here it is:
Yogurt health and Cow’s health
You will not find it on the label anywhere, but milk quality is dependent on the animal’s health. You may have an image of a happy, smiling cow sharing her liquid goodies with a farmer, but that’s not the reality.
Commercially raised cows are far from happy or smiling. Lack of space, inferior feed, drug injections, and chronic inflammatory state of udders is common. Unless you deal with a passionate organic farmer do not expect healthy respectful living conditions and treatment for animals.
If you are interested in healthy foods that respect animal rights and welfare of our earth you would be better off staying away from any NON-organic dairy products. Remember your dollar acts as a vote. If you buy non-organic foods you support non-organic practices. Vote for something you stand for, not for poor health of “healthy” products.
Full spectrum of nutrients
Milk is not equal milk. There is a reason why mother’s milk is full of fat. There is a reason why cow’s milk is fatty too. You may think otherwise, but fat is necessary for health. Fat and cholesterol has been deemed unhealthy by mistake.
Unfortunately that mistake still prevails and is perpetuated by un-knowledgeable media and medical practitioners. Removing fat from naturally fatty products is not only unnatural, but also an unhealthy practice. Think about it: would you choose low-fat nuts if they are available? If low-fat nuts sound foolish to you how come you are at peace with a low-fat yogurt? There are benefits to full fat raw dairy products you should know about.
“No sugar added”? So, what’s added instead: possibly, artificial sweeteners or flavors that actually contribute more to health problems then sugar. Read the labels at the back. You may be surprised. Commercial yogurts are not 100% dairy, but frequently contain chemicals that promote poor health, making your yogurt a disease accomplice.
“Contains probiotics”, yes, but which ones? Healthy yogurt contains not just one or two, but many bacterial strains. Commercial yogurts boast probiotic health claims with big letters, but the strain in this yogurt may not be health-promoting at all.
How is your yogurt’s health? Have you been swayed by “0% fat” and “no sugar added” claims? Get healthier yogurt from now on and change your health qualifiers: choose
- full fat,
- full nutrient,
- full probiotic spectrum, and
- zero additives products.
But… do not expect these claims to be on the front label. The labels are designed to attract an impulsive consumer. For knowledge you must reach to the back of the label and look for an organic stamp, evidence of no additives in the ingredient list, and high MF (milk fat) percent. For those with a more detailed streak check farmer’s web site, or even better, visit the farmer yourself. We do.