Yogurt: good or bad for your health?

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

Every second, 30 kilos of yogurt are consumed in France, or close to 1 million tonnes per year.

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

But is your yogurt a health asset or, on the contrary, should you be wary of it?

What exactly is yogurt?

According to French regulations, yogurt is the product of milk fermented by two types of specific bacteria.

Just one more bacteria and the dessert no longer has the right to the appellation, at least in France!

And there are different kinds of yogurt: Firm, stirred, whole, lean, plain, fruit, sweet, Greek, drinkable, cow’s, sheep’s, goat’s milk, etc.

Fruit yogurts, sweetened or flavored, do they follow the regulations?

There is actually a decree that allows producers to add sugar, cereals or fruit.

And if 70% of the dessert offered is yogurt, the name is still accepted.

Beyond that, however, yogurt becomes a “dairy dessert” or a “dairy specialty”.

Is yogurt good for your health or not?

Undeniably, yogurt has several qualities:

  1. The most obvious is the intake of calcium, essential in particular for the growth of children and for the strength of bones.
  2. The protein intake is also notable, especially since, predigested by lactic ferments, they are better assimilated by the body.
  3. Yogurt is also excellent for the intestinal flora.
  4. It is also an essential ally for diets, thanks to its proteins, which help you feel healthy.

So, unlimited yogurt?

Despite all its benefits, yogurt should be consumed in moderation…

In 2013, the National Nutrition and Health Program (PNNS) launched the recommendation to eat three dairy products per day.

But in March 2017, experts from the High Council of Public Health recommended reducing the consumption of dairy products to two per day for adults, particularly because studies have highlighted a link between overconsumption of dairy products and cancer of the prostate.

Furthermore, there are hidden substances in yogurts:

As for natural yogurts, no problem. The only difference in quality between the different brands is the origin of the milk.

The concerns actually concern the 30% of added elements in yogurts, “other foodstuffs giving a specific flavor”.

In fact there is a legal loophole into which manufacturers have fallen because if any additive is prohibited in the yogurt itself, the vagueness remains for the added preparations.

Moreover, 60 million consumers (https://www.60millions-mag.com/2018/04/12/ces-alimentes-qui-nous-poisonnent-11717) claims to have found additives in many fruit yogurts, including:

  • dyes
  • thickeners
  • acidity correctors
  • and conservatives.

When we find up to 12 additives in a yogurt (you recognize them because they start with the letter “E” followed by a number), it overexcites the taste buds, it creates addiction phenomena and moreover, a link has been made between the consumption of a diet rich in additives and the risk of cancer.

My advice

Stick to natural yogurt or check that there are no artificial ingredients added to your yogurts, and to do this, read the labels!

Be a non-passive consumer!

To sum up :

  • Yogurt is made from milk and specific lactic ferments
  • Yogurt provides calcium, proteins and is ideal for your intestinal transit
  • A “dairy dessert” or a “dairy specialty” is not yogurt
  • Be careful with additives of all kinds: read the labels!
  • Recommendation for consumption in adults: 2 dairy products per day.