24 hour yoghurt, otherwise know as ‘Specific Carbohydrate Diet’ Yoghurt is a cornerstone for many people on SCD and GAPS diets. Yoghurt is a living food, full of active, beneficial bacteria that have a vital job to do. If you’re interested in healing your gut, it’s important you read this post. SCD 24 Hour yoghurt may be just what your body needs!
SCD yoghurt can be tailored to suit almost anyone.
A bit of background info. What is SCD?
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) is a diet created by Sidney V. Haas (1870–1964) One of his patients was a young girl who was very sick with Ulcerative Colitis. Dr. Haas helped her get into remission through diet and the use of fermented foods. (This is the same bowel disease I have, you can read my story here)
Elaine Gottschall, the girl’s mother, then dedicated her life to researching the diet and the effects of food on the gut. Since then the diet has become a popular, alternative way to treat inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease and various other gastrointestinal and autoimmune diseases. The GAPS diet was later derived from SCD.
I won’t go into the details, but the main basis of the diet is to reduce inflammation by eliminating hard to digest foods and sugars that bad bacteria in your digestive system thrive on. The diet also encourages good bacteria to flourish and, naturally, fermented foods are essential in achieving this.
Homemade 24 hour yoghurt, in particular, is a key part of the diet. In this long fermented yoghurt, the bacteria feed on the milk sugar (lactose), multiply and populate the milk, blocking out the harmful bacteria in the process. 24 hour yoghurt is the most easily tolerated fermented food allowed on the diet. And for good reason; it has virtually no fibre, it’s soft on an inflamed gut and full of friendly bacteria. If you’re keen to know more about this yoghurt super-food you might like to read 24 hour yoghurt vs a probiotic pill.
How is SCD 24 hour yoghurt different?
Milk, before fermentation, is not allowed on the SCD diet because it contains lactose (a type of sugar found in milk). The key difference between SCD 24-hour yoghurt and regular store bought yoghurt is the lactose content. SCD yoghurt is different because, over the course of a 24 hour fermentation, bacteria have consumed more of the lactose.
Why is lactose-free yoghurt so important to our gut health?
Just as good bacteria (in the starter culture) consume the sugar in milk, bad bacteria (living inside your digestive system) also like to consume sugar. Inside the gut, lactose is a source of food for these guys. 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 24 hours is not only wildly abundant with healthy bacteria, it starves the bad bacteria of their favourite food source. 24-hour yoghurt is a gentle, fermented dairy that comes without the concern of too much sugar! source
It must be homemade!
Natural, unsweetened, Greek yoghurt is the nearest thing in the supermarket to homemade 24 hour yoghurt, however, even this remains full of lactose. I doubt many commercial yoghurts are left to ferment longer than 6 hours.
Commercial yoghurt will feed bad bacteria and is often intolerable for many people with digestive issues. On the other hand, 24-hour yoghurt feeds good bacteria and is known to be easily absorbed without upset . “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
And what about Casein?
Fermenting yoghurt for between 24 – 30 hours does remove 99% of the lactose sugars, BUT… it still contains the casein. Many people worry about casein; the protein found in milk that is well known for causing allergic symptoms and digestive upset. People who have problems digesting casein can often tolerate 24 hour fermented yoghurt however. If you’re worried try; raw milk, goat or sheep milk. Coconut milk or almond milk yoghurt are other great alternatives if you prefer to avoid casein altogether.
Temperature and bacteria
Higher heat will speed up the fermentation process but that’s not such a good thing if you are aiming for a probiotic rich yoghurt. Too much heat will damage or kill off your starter culture. Conversely, if the temperature is too cool, the culture will become dormant and fermentation will not occur.
Homemade 24 hour yoghurt requires a stable, continuous heat between 38 – 43 degrees Celsius for (obviously) 24 hours. I recommend a yoghurt maker with SCD settings to ensure gut loving, homemade yoghurt goodness.
SCD yoghurt making is not difficult nor time-consuming.
Apart from the (set and forget) fermentation time and a few hours chilling, the actual “hands-on” time is minimal; about 10 minutes. It requires planning though because if you forget to get things started, you’re more than a day without yoghurt. Find the original dairy milk recipe here.
Ease into fermented foods.
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 24 hour yoghurt. Start with a few teaspoons and monitor your sensitivity.
SCD & GAPS
If you are interested to learn more about SCD, I highly recommend Elaine Gottschall’s book: Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Management Through Diet. You can also find an introduction here and the science behind the diet here, or click over to the GAPS website (Gut and Psychology Syndrome).