Monday, December 27, 2010

Food Fights: Yogurt

For quite some time, I have been telling my patients that the food industry falsifies information to sell their junk. One of the biggest offenders is the yogurt industry. While yogurt, originally a porridge-like gruel concocted by Russian peasants, is very healthy, in its modern incarnation, it is not. The latter is redolent with preservatives, food colorings, high fructose corn syrup and worst of all, dairy (that is another fight for another day.) The original yogurt, which you may prepare yourself, had milk that was not full of antibiotics and hormones. The negative effect of dairy’s foreign proteins like insulin, was mitigated by the fermentation process, driven by friendly bacteria.

Now, Dannon, has been disciplined by the FTC for making false claims in their advertisement. Specifically, their probiotic content is not even close to being therapeutic for the gut and for immune system issues. A conference of Gastroenterologists in Salt Lake City determined that we would have to ingest 100 servings of Dannon or Activia to get any benefits (the same goes for other brands of yogurt.) can you imagine the diarrhea you would have, then?

Another false claim is that yogurt helps you lose weight. The measly study they quote was bought and paid for the yogurt industry itself, thereby raising legitimate suspicion. Furthermore, said study at the University of Tennessee, included only 34 people on 500 Kcal diets plus yogurt. The results have been widely dismissed by clear-thinking scientists who realize that you could eat dirt and lose weight on 500 Kcal/day.

There is a whole lot more fermenting under the surface in our food industry and their claims, often allowed by secret deals with our government. In practical terms, do not believe the ads you see about processed food. By the way, do you ever see commercials about whole food? If you want to know more, read FOOD POLITICS by Dr Nestle (what a name…)


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