Diet & Nutrition

Should you stir in or pour out the liquid on top of your yoghurt?


If you find the layer of yoghurt-y liquid gross, maybe you should consider the nutritional value before you throw it out.

When foods separate, the untrained eye may think there’s something wrong with it. Think – lumps in off milk or curdled cake batter. Not a vibe.

But what about your yoghurt? When you rip the top off your tub to find a layer of liquid, does that mean it’s bad? Should you pour it off and dig in?

The answer to this age old question has finally been answered.

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Speaking to Well+Good, registered dietitian Lori Zanini said that the layer of liquid on top of your milk is actually extremely beneficial for your diet.

She explains that this yoghurt-y concoction has a name – acid whey – and that it contains calcium, protein, potassium and lactose. So – if you’re throwing it down the drain those nutrients go with it.

According to Dairy Australia, the process of making yoghurt involves the heating of milk (pasteurisation) and the adding of bacteria to begin a fermentation process. The bacteria cultures convert the lactose in milk to lactic acid, which helps to set the yoghurt.

While it would be wonderful if the acid whey stayed in place, it’s less dense than the yoghurt mixture and will naturally separate over time. There’s nothing wrong with it – it’s just not gelling.

There’s yet another reason why you should consider stirring in your liquid – it helps with the texture of the yoghurt.

Zanini explains that yoghurts such as Greek yoghurt have the whey layer strained away and that this process means they are much thicker in consistency.

It’s the acid whey that helps keep that creamy, smooth, thinner texture we appreciate in our day-to-day yoghurts.

While throwing away the acid whey won’t get rid of all the nutritional content of your yoghurt, if you can stomach it – it’s worth keeping in.

Yoghurt is a great addition to healthy diets (if you choose yoghurts that are low in sugar and higher in protein). Dairy Australia says that yoghurt contains 10 essential nutrients to the body, including Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, and riboflavin.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines also recommend opting for a lower fat option where possible and they do recommend having dairy consumption in the diet.

They say that it’s probable the consumption of at least two serves per day of dairy foods (milk, cheese and yoghurt) is associated with reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.

Consumption of three serves is associated with lower risk of hypertension and two to four serves with lower risk of developing diabetes.

Like we needed any more convincing to pour some yoghurt on top of our berries and chia seeds each morning!

Side note: please make sure your yoghurt is in date. Consistency will change with out of date yoghurt.