The Health Benefits Of Yogurt

Granola with yogurt and blueberry in glass on wooden background.
Yogurt enjoyed with granola and blueberries. Photo by Tashka2000/123-rf.

Yogurt is an ancient method of using milk to produce a delicious fermented foodstuff for both savoury use and desserts. How many of us have relied on its soothing silky taste when we’ve eaten an especially hot curry or taken a chili. It is enjoyed with fresh fruit such as blueberries and strawberries, grains, granola and cereals. It is a very healthy treat !

It originated in the Middle East. This food is easy to produce at home.

We use it as a palette cleanser in wine tasting (see article).

What Is Yogurt According To The Regulations ?

In the USA, The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) (2017) has three types, standard yogurt, low fat yogurt and non-fat yogurt which are defined according to their fat content. In all the cases the milk solids content must not be less than 8.2%.

A typical yogurt according to 21 CFR Part 131.200 has a fat content not less than 3.25%. If it is a low fat yogurt then according to 21 CFR Part 131.203, the fat content must not be less than 0.5% or more than 2%.

A non-fat yogurt according to 21 CFR Part 131.206 must have a fat content that is not more than 0.5%.

Yogurt Production

Back in 1990, just 982.6 million pounds of yogurt were produced in the USA. Fifteen years later in 2015, 4,742 million pounds wer of the stuff were produced. 

If you look at plant-based yogurt alternatives, which are set to challenge the dairy version, then between April 2017 and 2018, there was a 31% increase in sales. It is thought this type is projected to rise by 4.9% year on year through to 2027.

There has also been a considerable rise in launches.

General Health Benefits Of Yogurt

Yogurt is a dairy product which means it contains significant levels of saturated fats and causes a rise in total blood cholesterol levels . There are reduced fat and low-fat options available. Evidence is accumulating however that saturated fat might not be as serious an issue where heart health is concerned. It can also contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, very powerful antioxidants.

It can also contain an important probiotic, Lactobacillus which is important for good digestive health.

Specific Health Benefits

  • it appears to reduce osteoporosis in the elderly (see article).
  • it protects against gum disease and in so doing protects us from certain bacterial related heart diseases.
  • it could help hay fever sufferers (see article).


CFR (2017) 21CFR131. 200 Yogurt .

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