January 17, 2009

You Ask, I Aswer: Kefir

[For whatever reason,] it seems that the only dairy I can somehow tolerate is kefir.

Is it simply liquefied yogurt?

-- Dennise O'Grady

Bay Head, NJ

There's a rather simple explanation as to why kefir is the only dairy you can somehow tolerate -- it contains a significant number of probiotic bacteria that help break down lactose!

Probiotic bacteria is the same reason why people who can not tolerate milk can often enjoy yogurt with active cultures.

That said, kefir and yogurt are two different foods.

Unlike yogurt, kefir contains kefir grains (which house all that healthy bacteria), which are then left to ferment in milk.

Although plain kefir is a healthy addition to a diet thanks to its share of calcium and potassium, beware of "kefir-based" ready-to-drink smoothies which contain teaspoon upon teaspoon of added sugars (AKA extra calories).

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