August 24th, 2014
Special to The Globe and Mail
The answer: Yogurt and kefir are both cultured milk products rich in protein, calcium, B vitamins and potassium. Both have a similar tart, slightly sour taste and can be purchased plain or flavoured with fruit or vanilla. They also improve lactose digestion, since the live cultures used to make them break down milk sugar. Their differences lie in consistency and the numbers and types of beneficial bacteria they contain.
Kefir, however, typically contains three times the amount of probiotic cultures than yogurt. To make kefir, milk is fermented with a mixture of 10 to 20 different types of probiotic bacteria and yeasts; most yogurts are made using only a few. Liberté organic kefir, for instance, delivers 40 billion probiotic organisms per half cup, while most probiotic yogurts contain roughly one billion per serving.
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