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Yogurt Versus Kefir – Which Is Better?

Yogurt and Kefir

Kefir grains

Which Is Better?

So, what is the difference between kefir and yogurt? Which is better? Kefir is far superior with its many beneficial bacteria, but yogurt has its benefits too. I read once that yogurt is like wine and kefir is more like champagne. It has more pizzazz! To state it simply, yogurt felt like the first learning step in my cultured food life. I loved frozen yogurt as a child and my dad took me to the health food store many times to get a scoop of it. It was here that I discovered how cool health food stores were with their unique and healthy foods. I loved eating yogurt and breaking the curd with my spoon as I scooped it out of little containers. Little did I know it was just the beginning for me. Then I met Kefir when I needed it the most. Kefir has more strains of beneficial bacteria and good yeasts; over fifty in homemade kefir, while yogurt only has seven to ten. Kefir bacteria act like a SWAT team attaching themselves to the colon then pushing away other harmful substances.

kefir pots

Can Antibiotics Kill Kefir?

It has been said that antibiotics cannot kill certain strains of bacteria in kefir - it is that strong. Yogurt can help to ensure that good bacteria grow and remain stable so it, too, is important. From my own self-experimentation, I have found kefir to be of great benefit for certain afflictions. When I first started making kefir (and on at least ten different occasions when I would switch from kefir to yogurt) I noticed I would start to experience joint pain in my right knee again. As soon as I would switch back to kefir, within two days the pain would go away.  I try to consume kefir daily, but it has been many years since I have experienced any joint pain even if I don't consume kefir regularly. Whatever was causing the pain has healed and I live free of pain.

Summer kefir

Carb Count On Cultured Foods

The true carbohydrate count for kefir and yogurt is actually different from what is stated on the packages of most products. When labeling a food product, the government makes manufacturers count the carbohydrates of food "by difference." That means they measure everything else including water, fats, and proteins. Then, "by difference" they assume everything else is carbohydrate. This process works differently with fermented foods, but there is no way to compensate consistently for what bacteria can do, so they don’t account for this. When you make yogurt and kefir, the milk is inoculated with the lactic acid bacteria. These bacteria use up almost all the milk sugar, called "lactose," and convert it into lactic acid. It is this lactic acid which curdles the milk and gives the taste to the product. It tastes sour and tart because the sugars are gone. Since these bacteria have "eaten" most of the milk sugar by the time you buy it (or make it yourself), the nutritional analysis is not really accurate and by the time you eat it, there is very little carbohydrate left. It is the lactic acid which is counted as carbohydrate. Therefore, you can eat up to a half cup of plain yogurt, or kefir, and only count four grams of carbohydrates. Kefir has about one or two grams less than yogurt.

Kefir grains fermenting

Probiotic Yeasts in Kefir

The other great thing about kefir is the amount of good probiotic yeasts. There is not much said about probiotic yeasts but they are extremely important. They are the good yeasts that put the fizz in kefir. They dominate, kill, and control pathogens in the gut. They are the SWAT team I was telling you about. They clean house and strengthen the gut, making it harder for pathogens to dominate and parasites to exist.  So, drink your kefir and have your yogurt too. These will strengthen your whole immune system.

Purchase Starters for Yogurt and Kefir

Live Kefir Grains

Live Kefir Grains that make you gallons of kefir for the rest of your life! As long as you take care of them.

Purchase Kefir Starters

Easy Kefir

This is an easy way to make kefir that doesn't require you to take care of kefir grains. This powdered version is made from kefir grains and is a super easy way to make many gallons of kefir!

Purchase Kefir Starters

Yogurts

Here are a few of the kefir starters and yogurt cultures I sell. Some of these yogurt starters (heirloom yogurt) can be made on the counter too - no yogurt maker required. Check out all the options.

Purchase Yogurt Cultures

Listen To My Podcast

Find out why having kefir and yogurt has helped people around the globe live longer, and healthier. Learn about yogurts made famous in different parts of the world, and the centenarians who lived long lives consuming kefir.