People often find themselves wondering about yakult vs kefir benefits. This is where as a nutritionist I can offer my expertise.
In this blog, I will help you explore the difference between yakult and kefir. Based on this information, you can take a call on which one’s better suited for your needs.
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Yakult Vs Kefir: Nutritional & Outcome Differences
Before I address the questions like, “Is Yakult the same as Kefir”, let me take you through a quick overview of difference between yakult and kefir –
Milk & Shirota Strain
Milk & Kefir Grains
Sweet & Sour
Sour & Creamy
Morning or Noon
Morning or Noon
|ORAL HEALTH OUTCOME
|TUMMY HEALTH OUTCOME
|BODY HYDRATION EFFECT
*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is 100ml
Let us now take a closer look at these differences so that you can make an informed choice –
Is Yakult the same as Kefir ?
Absolutely not! Yakult originated in Japan in 1935. It is made from skimmed cow milk, sugar, water and a bacterial strain called strain Shirota. This is Yakult’s exclusive probiotic strain. The mixture is then fermented and we get the Yakult drink.
Kefir originated in the Caucasus mountains of Eastern Europe. It is made by fermenting cow, goat or sheep’s milk using Kefir grains. These kefir grains is a colony of more than 20 good bacteria and yeast that help to ferment the milk.
Does Kefir Taste like Yakult?
The answer here is again NO! Yakult is sweet and has a hint of sourness. Yakult comes in two variations, Yakult Original and Yakult Light. The latter has less sugar content than the former.
Kefir on the other hand is slightly fizzy. It has a tart, creamy taste, very similar to buttermilk. It is generally flavoured with honey or salt & fresh spices.
What is the Daily Recommended Consumption of Yakult Vs Kefir?
Yakult is available in packs of 65ml, 80 ml and 100ml depending on your country. You can consume a maximum of 2 bottles a day. Going above that is not recommended because it is high in sugar.
Kefir is a delicious fermented dairy beverage that can become a part of your everyday diet. You can have around 1 cup which is around 250 ml of kefir in a day. The maximum you can drink is around 2 cups.
Which Has a Higher Calorie Count: Yakult or Kefir?
Yakult has a lower calorie count when compared to kefir. Yakult light has even fewer calories than regular Yakult. The calories in Yakult come primarily from the added sugar.
Kefir is usually made using whole milk and is high in calories. However, these calories come not just from the sugar in milk but also from fats, proteins and other nutrients. Therefore, despite being high in calories, it is actually better than yakult.
Yakult or Kefir: More Suited to a Low- Carb Diet?
One of Yakult’s main ingredients is added sugar. This makes it high in carbs. Even Yakult light has added sugar but it’s half the amount present in regular Yakult.
Since kefir is made using whole milk, it is moderately high in carbs. However, this carbohydrate content is still lower than that of Yakult.
What to Choose for Low Fats: Yakult or Kefir?
Yakult has no fats. This is because it is made from skimmed milk. Normal cow milk is stripped off its fat content to obtain skim milk. This way the milk loses all its good fat content.
Kefir on the other hand is traditionally made from whole milk which has around 4 percent fat content. It can also be made from low fat milk. In both the cases it does contain some amount of fat and this necessarily is not bad.
Which Has More Proteins – Yakult or Kefir ?
Whether you choose Yakult light or regular variation, both these have very low quantities of protein. Therefore, you cannot count on yakult for fulfilling your daily protein requirements.
Kefir. on the other hand, is made using milk This makes it a pretty decent source of protein and ideal addition to your daily diet plan.
Which One’s Richer in Calcium: Yakult or Kefir?
Yakult does contain calcium but the quantity is far less when compared to kefir or for that matter any other dairy product.
Kefir is a wonderful source of calcium, the nutrient most importantly required by our bones and teeth.
Which One’s Nutritionally Diverse: Yakult or Kefir?
Yakult is a probiotic drink rich is one strain of bacteria. Apart from the good bacteria it also contains small amounts of Vitamins D & E, minerals – Calcium & potassium. So, its nutrient profile is very limited.
Kefir is a very nutritious beverage in comparison. It is rich in proteins, good fats, vitamins – A, B, and D, minerals like calcium, potassium, etc. and of course the probiotics. Thus, kefir wins hands down against Yakult in terms of nutrients.
What is the Best Time to Consume Yakult Vs Kefir?
Although Yakult can be consumed at any time during the day, I recommend having it in the afternoon. This is because it is high in sugar and you should avoid sugar consumption post evenings. It can be had after meals or on an empty stomach.
Kefir is best consumed either on an empty stomach or after meals. You should try and have it in the afternoon as this gives your body enough time to digest and absorb the nutrients.
Which One’s Available as a Vegan-Friendly Option: Yakult or Kefir ?
Yakult and kefir use milk in their preparation. Therefore, they are not suitable for vegans.
However, the good thing is kefir can be made using non-dairy options. You can even make kefir with simple water.
Kefir Vs Yakult: Their Impact on the Environment?
Dairy-based products are not good for the planet. This makes both yakult and dairy based kefir non-sustainable choices. Yakult additionally is sold in plastic bottles which contributes to plastic pollution.
Non-dairy kefir is a more sustainable choice. However, the nutrition levels will vary significantly from the dairy variations.
What is Better for Oral Health: Yakult or Yakult?
Yakult has small quantities of calcium, Vitamin E and D. These can help in maintaining the overall oral health. However, make sure you choose the light version to avoid unnecessary intake of sugar.
Kefir is rich in many teeth friendly minerals most importantly – calcium and phosphorus. Both these minerals play an important role in maintaining overall oral health. Apart from this, its good bacteria prevent many oral bacterial infections.
Which One’s Better for Digestion: Yakult or Kefir?
Yakult is popular as a probiotic drink and is marketed as a gut friendly food. It has a nigh concentration of one type of bacteria which is resistant to stomach acids and reaches the intestines alive. This makes it very effective in tackling digestive issues.
One of the most prominent benefits of consuming kefir regularly is its positive impact on gut health. Kefir has a lot more bacterial strains and yeast that improve digestion, build immunity and prevent infections.
Which Has a Bodily Hydration Effect: Yakult or Kefir?
Kefir does a better job when it comes to providing hydration to the body. This is because it contains a lot of water content and minerals that help in maintaining the water level in the body
Yakult on the other hand, is not as effective as Kefir in hydrating the body.
All in all, we can conclude by saying that kefir is more nutritionally diverse and has many positive bodily outcomes when compared to yakult. Yakult on the other hand, not only lacks some essential nutrients but also has a high amount of sugar.
I hope you now understand the difference between yakult and kefir. If you have any doubts, I am more than happy to help.