What Are Live and Active Cultures?

Yogurt bowl

The FDA mandates that live and active cultures be put in yogurt. We have all seen the labels on the yogurt cups. That little symbol meaning they contain…what? Microbes? How the heck do they help with digestion as often shown on Activia commercials?

There are plenty of microbes in yogurt, but I'm just going to name a few. Two big microbe names in yogurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Say What?
Well, lets look at each name to find the meaning of each microbe and figure out what it does..


Lactobacillus bulgaricus
Lacto means milk, and bacillus means its a rod shape. This microbe is actually a rod shaped bacteria that helps you convert lactose into lactic acid. This aids in digestion, especially with lactose intolerant people. it also helps promote other healthy bacteria that keep your immune system up to grow.



 Streptococcus thermophilus
Strepto means it is found in small lines
or strips, coccus means it is a small
round shape, Streptococcus thermophilus means it can withstand really hot temperatures!  This is good because when milk and other dairy products are pasteruized, they are put in extremely hot temperatures to kill "bad bacteria." Since Streptococcus can handle the heat, this process wont kill it, but your stomach might. The picture on the right is what this little guy looks like under a light microscope. S. thermophilus actually does not stay active in the gut of healthy humans. It's main purpose is to help culture and form yogurt.

Lactobacillus acidophilus
This microbe is also a lactose fermenting rod. It is part of the natural flora in the human gut and vagina. It's growth helps prevent yeast infections and ward off harmful bacteria growth.

Heat Culturing
Some companies heat culture their bacteria because it supposedly takes away the "off" flavor. Most people can't even taste the difference. But there is a difference. It kills all the good bacteria! Even the tough ones! A good suggestion is, if you can't tell the difference, don't buy yogurts that were heat cultured, or you are cutting yourself short.

Yogurt woman

Now go eat some yogurt!


Protein With Breakfast

 Many of us know how important it is to eat a good breakfast in the morning. Commercials, schools and Health Experts have done pretty well informing us of this. What many people don’t know is how beneficial adding lean protein to your breakfast can be.

 There are many benefits to having protein in your breakfast. Studies have shown that participants have kept more lean muscle mass when eating lean protein with breakfast. Lean muscle is more metabolically active, and thus can aid in weight loss. Participants were also full longer (about 4 hours) compared to those who ate carbohydrates such as a bagel.
What about Cholesterol?
According to the American Heart Association, a healthy person is okay to eat about an egg a day. This means that people on healthy, low fat diets can enjoy eggs without putting themselves at risk for heart disease.



    • scrambled, sunny side up, hard boiled, and omelets  

    Peanut Butter

    • On toast, with banana, on pancakes  

    Turkey Bacon

~Have a Healthy, Protein filled breakfast,
   ~Healthy Girl


Simple Changes to Help You Eat Less


Take Time With Your Food
Scientists are discovering one of the key things to eating less at meal times is to take more time eating your meals. Around 30 minutes to be exact. When you sit down at a table and focus on eating and enjoying your food slowly, your body digests better, and your metabolism works in your favor. Eating stimulates hormones that get released by cells in your GI tract, which essentially tell your brain your not hungry anymore. When you eat food fast, and don’t take the time to enjoy it, it lowers the levels of these hormones that control your appetite and tell your body it’s full. According to RealAge, blood tests have been shown that eating slower will increase two chemicals up to 30%. These chemicals are peptide YY and Glucagon-like peptide 1, which are appetite lowering chemicals.

Pay Attention To Portion Size
Slimware Many of use love to eat big slabs of meat or an extra helping of rice or mashed potatoes with dinner, and we know that we aren’t following portion sizes correctly. But actual suggested portion sizes may surprise you. One company has found a way to make knowing your potion sizes fun, and stylish. Slimware.com has a great variety of plates that show you how much you should be eating. They have neat designs right on the plates to help you control your portions. The biggest design is meant for your for your vegetables, the middle size is for your carbs, and the smallest size is for your meats. It’s a cute way to remind yourself of what you should  be putting on your plate, and what you actually are.
To Check it out visit

Eat a Snack Before Your Meal
Try eating a snack high in good fat before you sit down for a meal. Good examples are nuts, or peanut butter. This helps your brain to think you are less hungry than you were before and allows you to eat comfortably and responsibly like you deserve.

~Happy Eating, 
   -Healthy Girl