7 Reasons Kefir is Better than Yogurt Sometimes ...

Heather

I’m a huge fan of both kefir and yogurt, but there are a few reasons kefir is better than yogurt in certain circumstances, or for certain purposes. Kefir and yogurt are both great forms of dairy to consume, so long as they’re from ethical, humane and organic sources. You should also be sure to choose no sugar added varieties, and preferably low fat or plain kefir and yogurt, at all times. You can always sweeten them with some healthy and calorie-free all natural sweetener if you want. Kefir is basically yogurt in a more powerful form, even though they’re made very differently. Kefir is milk cultured with a beneficial yeast for the body, not a harmful one, that’s wonderful for aiding in everything from better digestion to immunity and more. Yogurt is simply cultured milk that has been fermented with a culture that doesn’t have yeast, but still contains probiotics. Both have benefits, but there are some reasons kefir is better than yogurt, which I’ll share with you below.

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1

Higher Probiotics

One of the main reasons kefir is better than yogurt, is that it is higher in probiotic content. This means you’ll get more healthy bacteria in just a very small serving. Most yogurts contain around 1-1.5 billion cultures or less in a serving. Kefir actually contains anywhere from 10-100 billion, depending on the brand. If you ask me, they both taste so similar, and while I enjoy both, I know I'm getting more probiotics from kefir than I am my smoothies.

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Indeed, those billions of friendly bacteria are working overtime for your gut health when you opt for kefir over traditional yogurt. It's like a probiotic powerhouse, with live organisms that aid in digestion, enhance your immune system, and even promote mental well-being. Not to mention, the variety of good bacteria strains in kefir is often more diverse than in yogurt, which can be limited. So next time you're on the fence, choosing between the two, remember kefir's probiotic punch could give your body that extra bit of love it needs.

2

Lower Lactose

Kefir is almost always lactose free, or 99% lactose free. Since there are more beneficial bacteria counts in kefir, they actually “eat up” all the lactose. Healthy cultures and yeast feed off sugars, including the natural sugar in milk, known as lactose. This means you’ll actually be consuming no lactose at all with kefir, versus some with yogurt. If you’re highly sensitive to lactose, but not allergic to dairy, you can still consume kefir most likely, with no issues at all.

3

Better for Your Immunity

Kefir has different probiotic strains than yogurt does, simply because it’s made from a different beneficial source of bacteria. Yogurt is awesome for your immunity, but kefir contains several specific strains that target your immune health more than those in yogurt. Yogurt’s strains do contribute to immunity, but most strains in yogurt target digestion and assimilation of nutrients more than anything, such as bifidus and acidophilus strains. Those are found in kefir in higher amounts as well.

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Kefir's distinctive probiotic profile includes Lactobacillus kefiri, which is specifically known to safeguard against harmful bacteria. Furthermore, the inclusion of the carbohydrate kefiran adds another layer of protection, boasting both antimicrobial and antifungal properties. This means a cup of kefir might give your immune system that extra edge, especially during those times when it needs a little boost. It's not just about bolstering your body's defenses; it’s about introducing a variety of good bacteria that work together to maintain your overall health and well-being.

4

Cheaper per Serving

For the probiotic culture content you’ll get in yogurt, you’ll get a much higher dose in a smaller serving of kefir. Most kefirs actually only cost around $3-4 and have around 4-5 servings per container. This equates to a much cheaper price than yogurt to begin with, but you can also use less kefir and get more benefits. Most people only need around 2-3 tbsp. of kefir a day to gain the benefits it has to offer, meaning a container could last you up to 20 servings instead of just the 4-5 cup servings that the label reads.

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Additionally, kefir is often sold in larger volumes than yogurt, providing even greater value. When you consider the cost per beneficial probiotic organism, kefir comes out on top. It's also worth noting that making kefir at home can further reduce expenses, as kefir grains can be re-used to ferment new batches, making the process cost-effective and sustainable. With its potent probiotic profile and lower cost per serving, kefir can be an excellent dietary choice for those looking to improve gut health without breaking the bank.

5

Substitute for Milk

Another great benefit to using kefir instead of yogurt is you can directly use it as a sub for milk in everything from smoothies, to oatmeal, to baked goods. While you could use yogurt the same, since kefir is easier to pour, it can make it easier to use depending on the recipe you’re using. I even like pouring it into ice cube trays like you would milk, freezing it and adding it to smoothies for a thicker, frostier treat. Just 3-4 cubes is all you need!

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Kefir's versatility doesn't end there! It's also a fantastic creamy addition to your morning coffee or tea, offering a subtle tang and a boost of probiotics to start your day right. For those who love baking, kefir can be easily swapped in for buttermilk in recipes to give pancakes, muffins, and bread a delightful, fluffy texture. It's lower in lactose too, making it a great option for those with sensitivities. Plus, it's just as nutrient-dense, ensuring you're not missing out on essential vitamins and minerals.

6

Salad Dressing Replacement

My favorite trick for making a low calorie ranch dressing is to use kefir as the base instead of sour cream, buttermilk or milk. Season it with salt, pepper, garlic and herbs, and you’ll never know the difference. It’s delicious and so healthy for you! If I’m in a hurry, I just drizzle a little right on top of my salad, and in such a small amount, you’re only looking at around 30 calories at most. It’s deliciously creamy and one of my favorite salad dressing secrets!

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Kefir is a fermented dairy product that is similar to yogurt, but it contains more probiotics than yogurt. It is made by adding special kefir grains to milk, which ferments the milk and creates a thick, creamy drink. Kefir is high in vitamins, minerals, and protein, and it has many health benefits, such as improving digestion, boosting the immune system, and helping to regulate blood sugar levels. It can also help reduce inflammation, aid in weight loss, and improve skin health. Kefir is a great alternative to traditional salad dressings, as it is low in calories and full of flavor. It is also a great source of probiotics, which can help improve gut health. Kefir is a versatile ingredient, and can be used in smoothies, sauces, dressings, and more.

7

Mood Food

Kefir is a wonderful mood food. Kefir actually means “to feel good” in Greek. It’s also known to help with depression, mood disorders and gut problems that affect the brain. Your digestive system affects your brain on a direct basis, since 80% of the nerves that influence your mood are derived from the nerves in your digestive system. Kefir’s high probiotic content is one reason it helps balance gut health, and in return it helps your mood improve greatly.

You can find many kefir recipes, along with tips on how to make nondairy kefir, at one of my favorite websites, Cultured Food Life, which you'll find below. If you consume kefir, what’s your favorite benefit to using it?

Sources: culturedfoodlife.com

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Spot on, David. People should only buy whole milk kefir. Goat milk is better than cow's milk. Trader Joe's has goat milk kefir. Julia, you can buy "kefir grains" and make your own real kefir at home, which is better than buying any commercially produced kefir. Yemoos and Cultures for Health are two sources. Etsy and Ebay also have kefir grains sellers.

I’m reading in lots of places that kefir is better than yoghurt, 3 x probiotics. I make my own yoghurt so wondering a. If home made has more probiotics or b. Is the best thing is to make yoghurt with kefir - will this ramp up the probiotics in the yoghurt. Don’t really drink milk.

Brilliant and so informative. Being middle eastern I eat both and preferred labne (kefir) but thought I should eat less due to the higher fat content. No more. I'm back on my high dose of labne

Please stop promoting low fat. Fat is good for you. As long as it is not refined (high heat treated) unsaturated fat (from seed oils like Canola); and not heated (cooking with it) unsaturated fat in general. These fats are full of free radicals that causes inflammation and is damaging in general. Low fat is a 40 year old mistake; from when we didn't know the difference between various fats. Your body requires saturated fat, and will make it from unsaturated fat and from carbs if you don't eat it. So why not enjoy some saturated fat in your diet. Also when you eat no to low fat, you cannot absorb the fat soluble nutrients in your food. If you consistently eat no to low fat, you can become deficient in vital nutrients like vitamin A, D, and E. Saturated fat is stable (long shelf life and you can cook with it at moderate temperatures, and does not contain health damaging free radicals that commercial vegetable oils have. A balanced diet is essential for good health. A variety of fats, from raw or dry roasted (= low heat) nuts and seeds (healthy omega 6), monounsaturated fat (avocado, olive), omega 3 fats from fatty fish like salmon and (in lower amounts) from certain nuts and seeds, and (preferably organic grass fed) saturated fat, from dairy and meat and unrefined coconut oil. The body uses each one of these fats in different ways, and they are all essential for good health! Refined sugar is a very unhealthy food and is the most damaging to the heart, as it is converted to storage in the body as unhealthy triglycerides. It is true if you eat a lot of carbs, especially starches (like bread and rice) you should be moderate with your fat intake (as the excess from your immediate needs is turned to fat, and circulates in the blood = an overload) but never no to low fat. It is way better to limit your carbs and enjoy some fat too. Everything in balance and moderation is best! (There is a lot more involved in heart disease, but this post is about fat).

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