You are probably wondering why eating commercial yogurt might not be as beneficial as taking probiotic supplements. After all, traditional cultures have been consuming cultured, fermented foods like yogurt for years to support their digestive health.
The problem arises because...
- Traditional yogurts were phenomenal sources of beneficial bacteria due to their raw and unpasteurized state.
- Most of today's yogurts are pasteurized, unless specially purchased raw and unpasteurized from a local farmer. Sadly, pasteurization radically reduces most of the benefits.
- Even most of the yogurts certified organic by the USDA are pasteurized in some fashion.
So what is wrong with pasteurization?
It basically kills or sterilizes most of the beneficial bacteria during the heat processing. And some yogurts (particularly the frozen ones), don't contain any live bacteria at all.
So, as great-tasting as many of them are, don't be fooled by yogurt products advertising live cultures that are beneficial to your digestive system... many have likely had the beneficial bacteria already reduced or wiped out by heat-intensive pasteurization processes.
This is very similar to how we now have less bacteria (both the bad and the good) in our everyday environments. Antibacterial products, hand sanitizers, and the like have made for a world that's a whole lot cleaner, but is it really that much healthier?
And with helpful bacteria less available in our food and our environment, I'm even more convinced how crucial it is to take a high-quality probiotic supplement.