Monday, May 4, 2015

This Just In: Yogurt Doesn't Improve Health

A recent study from Spain finds

"In comparison with people that did not eat yogurt, those who ate this dairy product regularly did not display any significant improvement in their score on the physical component of quality of life, and although there was a slight improvement mentally, this was not statistically significant," states López-García.

Most yogurt is pretty much pudding with a little bacteria. Pudding is a sugar bomb. Hard to believe the stuff doesn't improve health outcomes, isn't it?

But as usual, researchers are calling for...more research.

"For future research more specific instruments must be used which may increase the probability of finding a potential benefit of this food."


Galina L. said...

I wonder how many people eat more food in general due to endless claims about healthiness of a long list of foods. Only yogurt and at least 5 serving of fruits and vegetables is a lot of eatables items to staff yourself with. Add to it chocolate for antioxidants, red vine, very popular from recently nuts, and you will be chewing non-stop all day long. I guess if even yogurts had health benefits, it could be well counterweighted with the fact that a yogurt eating habit may lead to consuming more unnecessary calories.

Galina L. said...

Peter-Hyperlipid blogged about studies that eating more fruits and vegetables did't improve health at all.
I guess eating a lot of plants is incompatible with IF.

Lori Miller said...

Yes--five cups of fruit and veg a day, plenty of low-fat dairy, nuts, chocolate, coffee (basically a dessert now), or wine--it IS a lot to munch on.

I could have cole slaw for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but even I'd have trouble knocking back five cups of it a day. (And without the mayonnaise, I couldn't gag down very much cabbage.) Fruit and most dairy--forget it. FODMAPS and acne.

Lori Miller said...

Georgia Ede also looked at studies and didn't find benefits to eating vegetables.

It would be odd if we needed dairy past infancy--we'd be the only animals on earth that needed to eat the milk of other animals--our whole lives.

Galina L. said...

I like eating vegetables during my meals, and an occasional yogurt is fine with me, but I guess the message "the more - the better of food with declared health benefits " is troubling.

No, health will not be improved if you start spending your money even on expensive fresh artisan yogurt imported directly from Greece.

tess said...

[sarcasm alert]

but ... but ... PROBIOTICS! bifidobacteria! feed your microbiome!

... cuz for millions of years, we carefully ignored what WE wanted to eat, for their sake!

Lori Miller said...

Funny thing--five years ago, I had acid reflux so bad that I'd had an esophageal ulcer. There's a theory that acid reflux is caused by the gas made from gut bugs--and I had plenty of painful gas and bloating. All this was after I'd been on many courses of antibiotics for ENT infections, acne, and super-course for H. pylori. Those gut bugs come right back on their own.

Galina L. said...

One of most annoying claims for me is "(insert any food) is good for you". Nobody know exactly "why". Context always matters. Lets say we are talking about yogurt. I am sure it is healthy to eat yogurt instead of an ice-cream for somebody who eats ice-cream daily or regularly. Now, in the context of a different situation when somebody adds yogurt to already consumed food or eats between meals and before bed yogurt of any kind because it is "healthy", it would be unhealthy. If a mom puts a sweet yogurt in a lunch box for her kid instead of another sweet item it would be no difference.

Lori Miller said...

I think some foods are good for you because they contain necessary nutrients. But some things are supposedly "good for you" because of an ad-hoc hypothesis (e.g., there's not a pile of dead cheese-eating, pate-loving Frenchmen on every corner because they eat garlic or drink red wine) or observational studies (light drinkers have better health than non-drinkers, so a little booze must be good for you), or some miracle nutrient in a food (resveratrol!). In reality, saturated fat isn't bad for you unless you're eating quite a bit of carb; non-drinker include former alcoholics and people on medication that doesn't mix well with alcohol; and no single food is going to have miracle properties.

Larcana said...

Yanno, any of those foods are fine by themselves and not in a large quantity. But that's not the way most folks eat. ;)

Lori Miller said...

Even though most people aren't overeating green vegetables, it was a thing last year to eat a crap-ton of them...and people were wondering why they weren't feeling good.

But for many people, it's easy to overeat foods that aren't filling or leave you hungry a few hours later--grains, low-fat yogurt, fruit and veg among them.

Galina L. said...

While it seems unlikely and harder to overeat green vegetables, overstretching stomach too much too often is easier to imagine.
The advice to eat big volumes of food (volumetrix) is very popular and highly recommended by many officially reputable sources. However, I think that the negative side of overstretching one's stomach is under-appreciated at the moment, even though people started talking about not eating too often. Many who read Dr.Bernstein's book have no trouble to remember the "China's buffet effect"- his patients had elevated BS levels after eating too much of LC -friendly foods just due to the big food volume. My bottom line - eat as much vegetables as you like and tolerate during regular meals, but don't see it as a food you must to staff yourself with for increased healthiness, and don't snack on vegetables between meals just in order to eat more fiber, more servings, more whatever.

It is ,probably, going of tangent, but I want to add that fresh greens also offer very little nutrition for a dollar, and many people who struggle financially feel guilty when they can't provide their families with recommended amount of a fresh produce. Recently I saw a post about Gwyneth Paltrow failing the challenge to eat on $29 a day (a food-stamp ratio in US)
It is a small wonder - she choose kale, avocado and limes over a whole chicken price-wise.

Lori Miller said...

I agree it's not a good idea to stuff yourself. I for one just don't feel good when I do.

Some vegetables are economical--cabbage and carrots are inexpensive. Potatoes and yams (though not LC) actually have quite a bit of vitamins and minerals. They're all certainly cheaper than the cases of beer I used to see on trash day behind my Section 8 neighbors' house.

Lowcarb team member said...

I did wonder when yogurt was first available and there are many incidences, for example:

"The great Mongol warrior Genghis Khan is said to have encouraged the drinking of a fermented horse milk yogurt called kumis. Mongols of all levels of society consumed the beverage, but it was of particular importance to the warriors. The warriors would take their horse herds with them as they traveled the steppes and always have a supply of kumis. Genghis Khan reputedly believed that not only did the kumis keep his warriors healthy, but actually made them more brave when facing their enemies.

Historical record show that in the 16th century a Turkish doctor saved the life of King Francis I by treating him with yogurt made from goat's milk. The king had been suffering from some type of intestinal illness that no other medicine seemed to help, but was apparently cured by yogurt. This wondrous cure brought a new surge in the popularity of yogurt as a health food, though no one quite knew how the yogurt worked."

Many these days do eat 'natural' yogurt as opposed to those with fruits and sugar added and as for the so called 'low fat' ones ... well I would not include one on my shopping list.

All the best Jan

Galina L. said...

Actually, Jan, kumis consumed by herd nations was rather different product from our yogurt. Due to a higher carb content fermented mare milk was a mild alcoholic beverage, like beer, safe to drink during long army marches, it was very liquid and very sour. Kumis was famous in a folk medicine as a cure-for all. However, we often forget that many drinks came as healthy ones during times when people routinely got sick and even died from drinking dirty water (Tchaikovsky died after drinking unboiled tap water at the very end of 19-th century). It is most probably why such safe and mood-altering drink was of a particular importance to the Mongol warriors and many migrating herders. They spent days in a saddle eating dried cheese and drinking kumis. They even didn't leave their horses for "bathroom breaks".
A Russian writer Chekhov, who suffered from tuberculosis,"checked into a "kumis cure" resort in 1901. Drinking four bottles a day for two weeks, he gained 12 pounds, but no cure". At that time a weight gain was a desirable effect for a sick person.

Lori Miller said...

Genghis Kahn's men also lived on raw horse blood--living on uncooked food kept them from giving away their position with smoke from a fire.

The Amazon women of Eurasia (they were tribes of mounted female brigands) made a mildly alcoholic drink out of mare's milk and fed it to their babies. No limes, kale or avocados for them.

Speaking of which, I'm scratching my head over why Gwenneth Paltrow didn't buy a roasting hen, canned salmon, potatoes ($1.88 for five pounds!) and a head of cabbage to begin with.

Galina L. said...

According to Wiki, mares milk contains much more lactose than cow milk, and could be use as a laxative for that reason, so mothers fermented mares milk to feed their babies for more than one reason - no colics, and no contamination unlike a dirty water which was a norm for most human history. So kumis was a wonder drink. No one knew cholera and dysentery were spreading through a water, but when thirst was satisfied with kumis, the herder was staying healthy, even though slightly drank (but more brave). Content matters here too.

I guess Gwyneth Paltrow just didn't really try to live on a small amount of money. She is considered to be a food guru by many, and may be her guruizm prevents her from eating something simple.

Lori Miller said...

I read part of The Amazons by Adrienne Mayer (it was too dry to finish). Like the Mongol warriors, they lived on horseback, drank kumis...and got high and got laid. Many bodies that archaeologists have found buried with weapons have turned out to be women. It kind of makes me think that much female fussiness is a cultural affectation.

In fairness to Gyneth Paltrow, it looks like she shopped at Safeway (not Whole Foods, as some have said) and probably, like many people, underestimated how much she and her family eat. The eggs and garlic were good choices, but as a food guru, she should have known that beans, rice and tortillas are empty calories with nutrient blockers. For what she spent on those, she could have gotten nutrient-rich chicken livers, canned fish or some hamburger.

Galina L. said...

I was reading some recollections left by people who spent time with actual herders, one of recollections was left by the writer Prishwin who lived with Kirgizs in Kazakhstan as recently as the very beginning of 20-th century.

Kumis was also highly praised for intoxicating properties. Its alcohol content could be made higher by freezing, it even could be distilled into spirit called araka.

As I understand, Gyneth Paltrow is concentrated on things being organic, gluten-free and drinking kale juice with other herbs and lemon for a breakfast. All that is not very compatible with saving money, which was the point of that challenge.

Lori Miller said...

Juicing is wasteful and expensive--it takes a lot of vegetation to make a little juice. If juicers cared more about nutrients than being hip, they'd make eggs florentine with the kale. Who knows how much nutrition they're throwing away in the pulp?

Galina L. said...

Probably, my hate for waste is my religion, so I am not a supporter for juicing at all, from my point of view it is just another idiotic food fashion. Unless the pulp is used for a soup later.

Lori Miller said...

I don't know how someone who cares about "sustainability" can justify wasting pounds of food every day--vegetable and fruit pulp, egg yolks, and animal fat. Robert Bell over at livingstingy wrote about many people not picking up their farm share vegetables, or leaving them to rot in the fridge:

Galina L. said...

Living wastefully is a luxury, and stringiness is often the product of a hard time experience, not a sign of rational working minds, even though it can be the case as well. Most of people are not particularly rational, as easy to notice looking around.
I think that farm shares do create a high risk for food wasting. Giving big amount of random, often non-standard produce to the people who are not used to cooking in general and eating something beyond usual standard fare can't have another result in most cases. Kids who grew on pop tarts pizza pockets and pb sandwiches will not eat what their mom ,who doesn't know how to cook, tried to prepare from Swiss Chart or Kale. or Sandchoks. Personally, I wouldn't be glad to be presented with a necessity to figure out how to utilize in my kitchen a bump crop of Swiss Chard or Mustard Greens or something like that what I don't like. Sandchoks, btw, are well known for producing intense farting, even though it taste pretty good.
For the people who don't have chicken, like me, the best utilization road for produce is a soup or a stew, for root vegetables - sauteing and using it everywhere after. Tomato souse can accommodate a lot of produce too.