Why SCD Yoghurt (Specific Carbohydrate Diet 24 hour yoghurt) is so important.
Without any doubt home-made 24 hour SCD yoghurt must be my debut recipe post on A Gut Feeling! It’s the stand out, make a difference, too good to be missed, jam packed with goodness, white, wobbly stuff that is a must for everyone’s gut!
Now we all know that yoghurt is meant to be good for us. Right? Yes, all the ads tell us so. There’s a huge market out there. That’s why people eat it for breakfast, that’s why we put it in smoothies and it’s marketed to children. Ahhh but Stop!!! Most of it is rubbish! Most supermarket yoghurt is not healthy! If you’re going to eat yoghurt, why not have the real thing? Why not have the bee’s knees of yoghurt?
Did you know that not even the most expensive, organic, biodynamic, whole milk, natural tub set, blah, blah, etc etc. yoghurt can ever be as good as the white wobbly stuff you could easily make at home? It’s true.
But before you run off and make any old batch, hear me out. It must be 24 hour yoghurt, AKA ‘SCD’ yoghurt. SCD yoghurt is the holy grail of beneficial foods. It’s not just food, it’s medicine.
So what is SCD yoghurt anyway?
We all know what happens when we leave milk out on the bench on a warm day. That’s right it ferments/curdles and goes a bit stinky. Lumps form and the milk kind of separates. We ditch it. It’s gross and I can’t help but think of baby sick (sorry). But this is what naturally occurs when milk is left to sour or ferment. Natural and normal as it is, I doubt anyone finds this sour milk taste or smell appealing.
Real yoghurt has a vaguely sour smell but that’s all. The steps are simple. The milk is heated and a specific culture (bacteria) is added and left to ferment in a controlled environment at a controlled temperature. Voila! You have yoghurt. Too easy!
A quick bit of yoghurt history and a “sciencey’ explanation
“Before the age of industrialization, Europeans consumed milk as yoghurt, cheese, curds and whey. Without pasteurization or refrigeration, milk sours and separates spontaneously. This is due to the process of laco-fermentation during which lactic-acid-producing bacteria begin digesting or breaking down both milk sugar (lactose) and milk protein (casein). When these friendly bacteria have produced enough lactic acid to inactivate all putrefying bacteria, the milk is effectively preserved from spoilage for several days or weeks.” Sally Fallon from Nourishing Traditions, page 80
Us Aussies are pretty far removed from the West’s vast fermentation traditions and tend to drink fresh milk straight-up. Unfortunately, our digestive systems can’t tolerate it. That’s why many people often get a stomach ache, runny poo, sinus problems etc., etc. when they eat dairy.
How is SCD yoghurt different from commercial yoghurt?
Milk, before fermentation, is not allowed on the SCD diet because it contains too much of the milk sugar lactose. During fermentation, bacteria in the yoghurt culture eat up the milk sugar (lactose). Inside the gut, lactose is a source of food for bad bacteria. THEY LOVE IT! Bad bacteria are the dudes that are a big nuisance to our health. So, a yoghurt that has been left to ferment for longer time will result in a yoghurt with less lactose.
Natural, unsweetened, additive free, Greek yoghurt is the nearest thing in the supermarket to homemade 24 hour yoghurt, however, I doubt any commercial yoghurts are left to ferment longer than 6 hours. In fact, I worry that most commercial yoghurts may feed bad bacteria?
“These friendly creatures and their by-products keep pathogens at bay, guard against infectious illness and aid in the fullest possible digestion of all food we consume.” Nourishing Traditions, page 81
SCD yoghurt Vs a Probiotic capsule?
Why can’t I just take probiotic tablets? you may be asking. You can, but they will never stack up to the amount of good bacteria you ingest with SCD yoghurt. One serve (1-2 cups per day) is reported to deliver up to 40 times more healthy bacteria. Can’t argue with that!
Bacteria can morph quickly and has a short shelf life. You remember how quickly milk can sour if left out? Well, the same thing happens with bacteria. A bowl of fresh chilled yoghurt has an abundance of good bacteria set in the environment they grew in.
Contrast that to the bacteria in a capsule that may have become dormant? But don’t throw them away! They usually contain other good bacteria strains not available in home-made yoghurt.
Finally, consider how much do you spend on probiotics. If you’re like me….it’s a lot! With home-made SCD yoghurt, the cost is a carton of premium milk (or coconut milk) – and a bit of prep time.
And what about Casein?
Many people worry about the casein factor; the protein found in milk that is well known for causing allergic symptoms and digestive upset. Many people who have problems digesting casein can often tolerate 24 hour fermented milk. But take it slow and test for sensitivities.
“Fermentation breaks down casein, or milk protein, one of the most difficult proteins to digest. Culturing restores many of the enzymes destroyed during pasteurization including lactase, which helps digest lactose or milk sugar, and numerous enzymes, which help the body absorb calcium and other minerals. Lactase produced during the culturing process allows many people who are sensitive to fresh milk to tolerate fermented milk products.” Nourishing Traditions page 81
24 hour cultured cream (homemade sour cream) may be more tolerable for those sensitive to dairy protein. Cream has only traces of lactose and casein to start with? Cultured cream is simply fermented cream instead of fermented milk. It must be real, (additive free), full fat, heavy cream! Read about cultured cream here.
Coconut milk is another great alternative if you prefer to avoid casein altogether.
SCD yoghurt is super nutritious.
It contains calcium, proteins, B vitamins (2, 6 and 12) & vitamin C, minerals, amino acids, fats, and much more!
If you are lactose intolerant, have a serious digestive disorder or are prone food intolerances, it is highly recommended to start very, very slowly with this yoghurt or any fermented food like sauerkraut. Start with a few teaspoons and monitor your sensitivity.
Find out how to make 24 hour yoghurt it step by step!