Pass the Yogurt

Associated Press: Some bacteria may be good for your digestion and strengthen your body’s defenses.  These bacteria in your food are advertised as probiotics and are found in yogurt, snack bars, cereals and pills.  So eat, eat, eat! But you can’t stop there.  Once you have the burgeoning zoo in your digestive track they want to be fed.  Enter “prebiotics.”  Prebiotics are food for the bacteria  Prebiotics contain fiber and nutrients for the probiotic bacteria.  Does this mean ‘good bye’ to my black coffee and doughnut? 

Read here for more information on probiotic


17 Responses to Pass the Yogurt

  1. Harris Bloom says:

    Saw on Today SHow that Americans may actually be TOO clean – we wash too much – didn’t stick around for whoe story – maybe on their website if you care

    rock on,


  2. jennifer400 says:

    You’re right. We probably are too clean. However, ingesting bacteria should help some.
    They’ll be on the inside, even if we pulverize them on the outside.

  3. cynthiacloskey says:

    I want the good yogurt cultures, but I’m loathe to give up coffee. Is black coffee negative for the little cultures? Or is only the doughnut bad for them?

  4. jennifer400 says:

    I think the hot coffee kills off many of the bacteria. You could drink day old luke warm coffee and be assured of lots of little zoo like creaturese are swimming in the black pool of zest!

  5. Migraineur says:

    I’d only add to this that the stuff that is commonly labelled “yogurt” has no resemblance to the real thing. If it is lowfat (or heaven forbid, nonfat), has sugar or artificial sweeteners, or has flavors added at the factory, it’s not going to be good for you no matter how many live and active cultures it contains.

    Here’s my favorite way to eat yogurt – a half a cup of plain whole milk Greek yogurt (I like Fage or Krinos brands) mixed with a tablespoon of good quality flax oil and a teaspoon of cinnamon. If you have no nut allergies, sprinkle with chopped nuts of your choice. The cinnamon adds sweetness without sugar, and the Greek yogurts are thick and creamy. The omega-3s in the flax oil are a great partner to the short chain fatty acids in the butterfat, all very healthy fats. And this is a power snack – eat it and you won’t be hungry again for hours.

    I’m skeptical about hot coffee killing bacteria, though – coffee itself might have a compound that’s bad for bacteria, but the temperature surely has nothing to do with it. If the coffee were hot enough to kill bacteria, wouldn’t it be undrinkable by humans, too? I know I’d have a hard time drinking coffee over 120 degrees, but aren’t we routinely warned that food has to be cooked to 160 degrees to kill the bad bacteria? Are the good ones that much more sensitive to heat?

  6. jennifer400 says:

    I’m going to have to start a recipe category here. I love your yogurt recipe. I have flax seed oil in my frig and it sits there because I’m not sure what to do with it. I’m trying your recipe on Monday. I’ll get back to you on the taste.

  7. jennifer400 says:

    Migraineur. What else can I do with the flax seed oil?

  8. Anna says:

    Flax seed oil – buy small quantities from reputable companies with good pressing techniques, keep it in the dark and cold; it breaks down with heat and goes rancid very easily. Store FSO in the fridge and use it up quickly. I add a tsp or 2 to a salad, after adding my own homemade dressing made with olive oil. Sometimes I add just a touch to low sugar smoothies.

    Also, flax seed oil does not contain preformed omega 3, it needs to be converted in the body. Some people with metabolic problems or under stress or ill (diabetics, for example), may not be efficient converters of the FSO into omega 3s, so is is a good idea to also get a variety of omega 3 sources: some pre-formed omega 3s from wild caught cold water fish, cod liver oil, supplements such as fish or krill oil, or smaller but significant amounts, from grass fed meat (beef, buffalo, or game), pastured poultry, and pastured eggs (or omega supplemented supermarket eggs).

    Conventional grain-fed meats, poultry, farmed fish, and eggs do not have significant omega-3 content, in fact they are likely to be high in omega 6, which most Americans already get more than enough of. It is the balance of omega 3 to that is crucial, even more than the absolute amounts. Most Americans are out of balance at 1:20 omega 3:6 ratios, when a ideal balance is more like 1:2 – 1:4. To achieve optimal balance, most people need to boost omega 3 sources (purslane, flax seed oil, wild caught cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, herrring, krill, etc., and pastured/grass-fed animal products) while reducing omega 6 sources (vegetable oils, grains, soy, and grain-fed animal products).

  9. jennifer400 says:

    Thanks for the knowledgable post! This is great information. Thanks for sharing it.

  10. Anna says:


    You are more than welcome. By the way, I forgot to add that I completely agree with Migraineur about the high sugar “yogurt” products being subpar compared to plain whole fat yogurt, that can easily be flavored any way you desire or left plain (my favorite). And unless consumed in huge quantities or boiled/percolated, coffee (especially espresso-brewed coffee) is full of great antioxidents and leans more on the positive side or at least neutral, than the negative side, healthwise. So stick with the coffee (perhaps with some real cream), ditch the sugary donut (don’t have a bagel either, there isn’t much difference IMO) and have a couple of nice eggs cooked in butter. I could go on forever about donuts, but I’ll leave it at that. 🙂

  11. jennifer400 says:

    I do shy away from the advertised yogurts (gogurt types) and stick with the plain yogurts. Is Dannon okay? or not. What type of yogurt do you recomends? We know that Migraineur perfers Greek (Fage or Krinos). What do you like?

  12. Anna says:

    The Migraineur and I have a lot in common. I like Fage, too (it has cream added I think and is strained to be extra thick), though I probably buy Trader Joe’s European style organic plain whole milk or Strauss organic plain (CA, where I live) most often – I prefer Strauss, but TJ stopped carrying it, in the quart size because we use so much. I try to avoid yogurts with added milk solids and thickeners such as gums, starches, etc. (so I generally don’t buy the TJ version of Greek style or Dannon), and I aim for as many cultures as possible (2 minimum, but 3 or 4 is better). I never buy reduced fat or non-fat yogurt, but that’s another can of worms.

    Sometimes I make yogurt at home, with an easy Salton yogurt maker and either cow or goat milk (I get fresh goat milk delivered to my home in season, but I usually make fresh cheese with it). I also strain yogurt sometimes to make it thicker. Basket shaped coffee filters in a colander work well in a pinch, but special containers are available, too, for longer draining in the fridge. I use the drained whey for other things, like smoothies; I don’t discard it. Yogurt whey is full of protein and probiotics.

    Homemade or purchased creme fraiche is another cultured dairy product I use for garnishing soups, chili, casseroles, gratins, frittatas; making hot cream sauces (it doesn’t curdle like yogurt will), etc. My 9 yo son loves CF. I’m waiting for the day he asks for creme fraiche at a friend’s house :-).

    I’m trying to make sure we consume a variety of probiotic foods on a regular basis and cultured dairy products are useful foods to include.

    Probably way more than you wanted to know, but it’s a favorite subject :-). And probiotics are my favorite bacteria. I don’t stress so much about the nasty ones if I know I have enough good ones.

  13. jennifer400 says:

    Anna, thanks for all this info! So if Trader Joe doesn’t carry Stauss, where do you get it? We have a Trader Joe’s here in Pittsburgh. I’ll ask if they carry the Stauss in the smaller size. I’ve made creme fraiche. But I just used regular cream from the grocery store. I can only find whole buttermilk at the Indian grocer.
    Do the probiotics bacteria have a name?

  14. jennifer400 says:

    Anna, I just looked up Stauss dairy. there isn’t an outlet within 100 miles! I have to try their delivery company.

  15. Migraineur says:

    I see you’ve been having a nice conversation with Anna.

    I agree with Anna about flax not being the best source of omega-3s – for that I use marine products like fatty fish, fish oil, or cod liver oil. I take the flax precisely because the body burns most of it for energy rather than converting it to DHA (or so it says in a book called The Brain Trust), and I am experimenting with a ketogenic diet to keep my migraines under control. The more fat burned, the more ketones produced, and the more ketones produced (in theory), the happier the brain. And my poor brain needs all the help it can get.

    As for how I use it, mostly I just swallow it from a spoon – not to everyone’s taste, I know, but I like it! Some people mix it into their salad dressings – try replacing about 1/3 of the olive oil in your favorite salad dressing recipe with flax oil. In my mind, though, flax oil and cream have a natural affinity for each other, so any full fat dairy product – yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese – would be yummy with a little flax mixed in. Or grind some flax seeds in your coffee grinder and sprinkle them on a dairy snack …

    The one thing you must avoid is heating it – it’s very fragile.

    I buy a bottle that is small enough to use up within a week. Then again, I take a LOT of the stuff. Most people would probably take a month to go through what I consume in a week.

  16. jennifer400 says:

    Great ideas. I have a flax seed bottle in my frig. It’s probably been there a year. Too old?
    I found the FAGE yogurt in my grocery store! I’m trying it tomorrow morning!

  17. jennifer400 says:

    Migraineur, I just had some Fage yogurt with berries and flax seed oil. It was great! Thanks for the tip.

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