Different regions across the world have their own versions of dairy products which may sometimes sound confusing to the outsiders. Laban versus labneh is one such confusion many people have.
Similar sounding laban and labneh are quite different from each other. Let me help you understand how they differ nutritionally and in other respects.
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Laban Versus Labneh: Decoding the Differences Between the Two
Let us start by analysing the nutritional and outcome differences between laban and labneh.
Tangy & Sweet
Sour & Creamy
Morning or Noon
Morning or Noon
|ORAL HEALTH OUTCOME
|TUMMY HEALTH OUTCOME
|BODILY COOLING EFFECT
Spices, herbs & sugar
Lemon & Herbs
*Source: USDA; Quantity per serving; Laban = 240 ml & Labneh = 55g
Now that you have some clarity about the two dairy products- laban and labneh, let’s understand them in details –
What Is Laban and Labneh Made From?
Laban and labneh are both very popular dairy products that originated in the Middle east. Laban is a fermented drink which is made by fermenting milk. Traditionally milk is fermented for a day and then strained. After straining liquid is allowed to ferment further for a few more days.
Labneh is derived from yogurt made from full fat cow milk. The yogurt is strained to remove most of the water content resulting in a thick spreadable product.
Laban Versus Labneh – Differences in Taste & Texture
Laban has a sweet and tangy taste which is a result of the process of fermentation. The consistency is quite similar to regular or normal milk.
Labneh is soft and thick with a cream cheese like consistency. Taste-wise it is sour and creamy, and in my opinion very delicious.
How Much Consumption of Laban Vs Labneh is Good For You?
Laban is derived from whole milk which makes it a super nutrient rich drink which can be consumed daily. 1 cup which is around 240 ml is good enough for a day. However, in summers, you can consume up to 2 cups if you need an extra boost of energy.
Labneh is a concentrated dairy product which, although high in nutrients, should be consumed in moderation. One fourth of a cup which is around 55 grams is enough for daily consumption.
Difference in The Calorie Levels of Laban and Labneh
If we compare equal quantities of laban and labneh, labneh will have more calories than laban since it is a much denser product. However, if we compare it by serving size, laban is higher in calories but not by a very high margin.
Another important thing to remember here is that the versions I compared above are made from whole milk. You can also find in stores or make at home, laban and labneh made from low-fat milk for lower calorie intake.
Laban Versus Labneh: Comparing the Carbs Content
Carbohydrates are basically kind of sugar molecules present in foods and drinks. The body breaks down these for energy. Many people opt for a low carb diet for improving health and for weight loss.
Since the serving size for Laban is higher, the carbs quantity in laban is greater than that of labneh.
Fat Content In Laban Vs Labneh
Laban and labneh are both traditionally made using whole milk. This makes both these products high in fat content. However, the fat content in these drinks is not that bad and is said to help reduce risk of heart diseases.
For lower fat content, you can opt for low fat milk over the whole milk for making laban and low fat yogurt for making labneh.
Better Protein Content: Laban Vs Labneh
Laban and labneh are both good sources of protein since they are derived from dairy. This makes them a good addition to your daily diet.
If we compare the protein content in both, we find that one serving of laban offers much more protein than one serving of labneh.
Laban Or Labneh, Better to Fulfill Your Calcium Requirements?
Calcium is needed by our body for stronger bones, teeth and muscles. Therefore, it is important to consume the recommended quantity of around 1000 -1200 mg calcium per day.
Dairy is one of the most important and rich sources of calcium. Therefore, laban and labneh are both good sources of calcium with laban having the advantage because of the quantity.
When Can Laban and Milk Be Consumed For Better Benefits?
Laban is a very refreshing drink, and is generally served along with breakfast, lunch or dinner. However, I would recommend consuming it either after breakfast or post lunch.
Labneh is a very versatile dairy product and can be consumed any time of the day. It goes very well with breakfast and lunch as a side dish or as a dip.
Laban Vs Labneh & Their Impact on the Environment
The dairy industry is increasingly being attacked for its negative environmental impact. Since traditional versions of laban and labneh are dairy-based, they are considered unsustainable.
Consumption of milk products requires more grazing by cows to produce milk. This in turn results in deforestation along with greater release of carbon dioxide. Due to these impacts both these drinks are not considered to be environment friendly.
Are Laban and Labneh Considered as Vegan Foods
Vegan friendly foods are completely plant based. Since laban and labneh are made using cow’s milk, they aren’t suitable for vegan consumption.
Having said that, it is possible to make vegan friendly labneh by option for plant based yogurt to make your homemade labneh. Try it out, it’s quite delicious.
Laban Vs Labneh’s Impact On Oral Health
It is scientifically proven that calcium is required for strong teeth. The calcium present in laban and labneh contributes to the overall dental health. These milk products also contain vitamins like A and D which are important for oral health
Along with the calcium, laban and labneh are also probiotic foods i.e. they contain good bacteria. The fermentation produces good bacteria which keeps your mouth free from bad bacteria.
Laban Versus Labneh for Tummy Health
Laban has a very positive impact on your gut health. Loaded with good bacteria and yeast, laban helps in keeping your stomach and intestines healthy preventing you from falling sick due to infections.
Just like laban, labneh is also a good source of probiotics which contribute to a happy and healthy digestive tract. However, since laban is more easily digested than labneh because of its liquidy consistency.
Laban Vs Labneh, Better for Bodily Cooling & Hydration
In the summer, our body needs a little help staying hydrated and maintaining the temperature. Laban being a water rich drink can help in restoring the body heat balance. It is also rich in minerals called electrolytes that maintain the water level in the body.
Labneh is a thicker product with little water content, so its impact on bodily cooling is only average. However, it is rich in minerals like sodium that do contribute to maintaining the electrolyte balance of the body.
Laban Vs Labneh: How Versatile Are They With Flavours
Laban is delicious and can be had without any additives. However, if you want to make it more delicious you can add spices like cumin, pepper and herbs like coriander and mint.
Labneh is very versatile and can be served both with sweet and salty flavours. My favourite is adding a bit of lemon, salt and some extra virgin olive oil and using it as a dip.
I hope this blog gave you the much needed clarity about the difference between laban and labneh. While both are probiotic foods, they are different in many respects.
Let me know in the comment section if you have any more questions and as a nutritionist, I will try my best to answer.