YOGURT vs. KEFIR: What are the Differences

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Just because yogurt and kefir are both fermented milk products probiotic rich, people  would often assume they’re pretty much the same thing. Though they share some similarities, yogurt and kefir differ in a number of ways from each other.

Yogurt and kefir have a similar texture that’s thicker for yogurt, while kefir is more like a beverage to drink up. Kefir is mildly carbonated and tingle on the tongue, and it has a very low alcohol content while yogurt does not.

Kefir grains are used to culture milk kefir, while yogurt requires yogurt cultures. There are no yogurt grains to move from batch to batch. Few tablespoons of the previous batch are enough to be mixed into the new to start the batch, rather than a starter culture.

There are dried and powdered cultures available for both, but for kefir grains simply work best. There are different bacteria found in yogurt than there are in kefir. Fewer bacteria strains are present in yogurt, and the most common types aren’t likely to stick around for long in our digestive tract. Kefir contains more varieties of bacteria, some of which may settle down in our intestine for good.

If you are willing to start making your own yogurt and kefir, you may want to have a look at these articles: “How to make kefir: easy method from commercial kefir“, “Easy homemade yogurt“.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Kefir is the more biodiverse choice when it comes to probiotics. It does contains same of the same bacteria found in yogurt, plus a few of its own. It also contains a number of yeasts not found in yogurt. These yeasts, along with the bacteria, release enzymes that improve digestion. Yeasts found in kefir hunt other pathogenic yeasts in the body, boosting our entire immune system.

Another key difference between the two lies in the fermentation process. Some yogurt varieties can be cultured at room temperature while others have to be heated to develop. Milk kefir is always fermented at room temperature and this represent an advantage for self production, especially for those that don’t have a yogurt maker available.

Store-bought yogurt is filled with sugar and artificial additives that spoil most of its health benefits. If you’re making your own yogurt, it’s surely healthier and possibly more tasty than commercial one, but still not as healthy as kefir.

When buying commercial yogurt or kefir, make sure you’re getting products that contains live cultures and they were not pasteurized. Pasteurization aims to extend the shelf live of products, unfortunately inhibits the bacteria cultures present inside.

The consumption of one doesn’t exclude the assumption of the other. You don’t have to choose one over the other simply because the beneficial bacteria found in both are different and can cooperate together to keep your gut working like the finest swiss watch.

The only dietary problem is due to consuming store-bought sugar-filled products, if you are making your own, then you shouldn’t worry about. An even better option is to integrate other fermented food packed with probiotics in your diet.

You may be interested in the articles”13 Fermented foods with probiotics“.