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Home » How Long Does Yogurt Take to Digest: 60% People Don’t Know

How Long Does Yogurt Take to Digest: 60% People Don’t Know

Yogurt is a dairy product that consists of milk which fermented and coagulated by bacteria. Yogurt contains more protein

than any other dairy, with most having 5 grams per serving. Yogurt is also an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. Along with this, it is also a store house of probiotic bacteria that aids your digestion. But does that mean you can digest yogurt quickly?

According to Quora Users, it takes 1-2 hours to digest the yogurt. Are there any strong evidences to this claim? What will happen if I am lactose intolerant? Does everyone digest the yogurt with the same pace? How long does it take to digest greek yogurt? How long does it take to digest frozen yogurt?

There are so many unanswered questions that we are going to explore in this article. So, Keep Reading!

Yogurt is a versatile food that has a presence all over the world. The yogurt styles may be different, but one this is common – the people’s love for this nutrient-rich food. Yogurt can be eaten alone or with other foods to provide additional nutrients. It may also be used as a cooking ingredient, such as in curry or dessert dishes.

 As the nutritional value of yogurt changes with each recipe, so does its digestion time! Hence Greek yogurt may take longer to digest when compared to regular yogurt as it has more protein.

So, How Long Does Regular Yogurt Take to Digest?

Yogurt Give Me Heartburn

Yogurt takes 1-2 hours, on average, to completely digest. However, The time yogurt takes to digest can depend on several factors: how much lactose is in the yogurt (lactose intolerance), what other foods and beverages you’ve consumed during the day, and your unique metabolism. Yogurt with live, active cultures typically contains bacteria that aid digestion and nutrient absorption; these may slightly increase the time it takes for yogurt to digest.

There are many different yogurt brands on the market today, but there is no evidence that one brand digests more quickly than another.

The factors that affect how fast yogurt digests:

Lactose Intolerance

As mentioned above, lactose intolerance refers to your body’s inability to break down the disaccharide lactose in dairy products. Lactose intolerance can lead to bloating and flatulence due to the presence of undigested lactose and milk sugars in your large intestine.

For yogurt to be digested, it must first be broken down into simple sugars by an enzyme called lactase. In individuals with lactose intolerance, this enzyme is either absent or insufficient to digest the amount of lactose consumed. As a result, yogurt takes longer to digest in this population.

Other foods and beverages

Yogurt has been shown to slow stomach emptying when eaten with other food because it forms a gel that slows down digestion. In contrast, eating yogurt on its own does not slow down stomach emptying and speeds up digestion due to the presence of lactase in live cultures.

How your body digests yogurt

Your rate of digestion also affects how quickly yogurt will be broken down into simple sugars that can then be absorbed. Some people’s digestive process is faster than others’. It may depend on several factors, including age, genetics, medical conditions, stress levels and medication use.

A study by Warwick et al. demonstrated that younger individuals tend to digest yogurt faster than older individuals. It may be because reducing stomach acidity decreases absorption rates in general. Therefore, since older individuals tend to have more reduced stomach acidity, they may absorb yogurt nutrients slowly.

Warwick et al. also demonstrated that individuals with higher BMIs tend to digest yogurt faster (5). The researchers hypothesized that obese individuals had increased levels of enzymes that aid in the digestion of food after it enters your digestive tract, known as enteric lipases.

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How To Know If I Can Digest Yogurt Quickly ?

How quickly or slowly yogurt takes to digest can depend on several factors, such as age and BMI. Yogurt with live cultures contains enzymes that help break down lactose in your digestive system, so if you have lactose intolerance, the bacteria may slightly increase the digestion time of yogurt. Eating yogurt on its own does not slow down digestion, but it can slightly delay stomach emptying when consumed with other foods due to the formation of a gel.

Food digestion times vary significantly from person to person based on age, BMI, and individual digestive rates.

  • Yogurt is typically digested within 2 hours but will depend on the factors listed above.
  • Yogurt typically remains in your stomach for 1-2 hours after consumption.
  • The time yogurt takes to digest can vary depending on age and BMI.

Delaying stomach emptying

The formation of a gel when yogurt is consumed with other foods can slow down stomach emptying. However, this does not affect how long it takes to digest yogurt alone.

Individuals who are lactose intolerant may take slightly longer to digest yogurt due to the absence or insufficiency of enzymes that break down lactose.

How yogurt affects other foods?

Some yogurts contain other ingredients that may cause significant changes to how long it takes your body to digest other foods. These include:

  • Strawberry flavoured yogurts – Due to added sugars, strawberry flavoured yogurts can increase the glycemic index of food.
  • High sugar yogurts – High sugar yogurts can cause a significant increase in sugar and a corresponding rise in insulin levels.
  • Artificial sweeteners – Artificial sweeteners affect digestive health by decreasing the activity of beneficial bacteria in your gut.
  • Fruit-flavoured yogurt snacks – These products typically contain added sugars, which increase the glycemic index of food.
  • Low-fat yogurts – Low-fat yogurts often contain increased levels of sugar to help improve the taste. It can cause a significant spike in blood sugar levels when combined with other foods.
  • Fibre-added yogurt products – Yogurt products with added dietary fibre may affect the absorption of nutrients because it forms a gel in your stomach that can reduce nutrient bioavailability.

To summarize, yogurt is typically digested within 2 hours. If you’re lactose intolerant, it could take slightly longer than usual to digest due to the bacteria in yogurt breaking down some of the milk sugar. However, other factors such as high sugar yogurts and yogurt snacks can affect how long it takes your body to digest food.

Does yogurt slow down digestion?

Yogurt is not likely to significantly slow down digestion because it does not contain high levels of fiber or protein, which form a gel in the stomach that slows down gastric emptying. Additionally, live cultures in yogurt produce lactase, which helps break down lactose in your stomach. It can slightly help increase the rate at which dairy foods are digested by individuals who have a degree of lactose intolerance.

However, it’s important to remember that yogurt does not exclusively provide benefits to digestion. Other factors such as added sugars, fiber-added products, artificial sweeteners, and fruit-flavored yogurt snacks can affect how long it takes your body to digest food.

Is Greek yogurt easily digested?

Food Yogurt

Greek yogurt is made by separating whey from dairy, which makes it much thicker than regular yogurt. But if you compare it with a standard glass of cow’s milk, it has low lactose content to make it easily digestible. The good bacteria present in Greek yogurt also aids digestion.

On the other hand, if you compare it with regular yogurt, you are likely to digest it later as it contains almost double the protein as regular yogurt.

Can Yogurt Upset My Digestion?

No, yogurt does not make you digest slowly. Yogurt that contains live cultures of bacteria is known to improve digestion in some individuals. However, one must be careful about the added sugar content in yogurts which might slow down your digestive system. Fiber-added yogurts also usually have less lactose for people who are lactose intolerant. However, yogurts with fruit on the bottom might not be easily digested as these contain added sugars and a high glycemic index.

When yogurt is processed to make Greek yogurt, some whey is also removed during that process. It results in fewer carbohydrates and lactose content in the final product, making it easier to digest.

Who should avoid yogurt?

People who are lactose intolerant or milk-protein sensitive should avoid yogurt. Yogurt is generally safe for most people, but each person’s sensitivities are unique, so you should always speak to your doctor about whether it’s right for you. The microbes in yogurt can help improve digestion because they convert lactose into lactic acid.

Is it better to eat yogurt in the morning or at night?

It is best to eat yogurt at any time of the day. However, it’s excellent in the morning because bacteria present in yogurt help improve digestion and boost your gut health.

Yogurt Expert Sonia Uvezian was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. A renowned expert in Middle Eastern and Caucasian cooking and winner of a James Beard Award, she is the author of six other highly acclaimed cookbooks, such as Recipes and Remembrances From An Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen, Cooking from the Caucasus along with The Book of Yogurt.