What is the Difference Between Curds and Yogurt?

One of the most common misconceptions around curds, also known as dahi, and yogurt is that they are one and the same and the terms can be used interchangeably with one another to describe the food. This misconception has led many to believe that both terms mean the same thing and that the only difference is that the term, curd, is used in India and yogurt, used in the United States. In this article, we will take a look at what the differences are between these two, including how they are prepared, what the differences are in their nutritional makeup, and what their benefits are.

How Dahi or Curd is Prepared in India

Unlike yogurt, which is mass produced, Dahi can be made at home by boiling and cooling milk to 30-40 degrees Celsius. Once you have boiled and cooled it, add in a bit of curd, which has lactic acid bacteria in it. This bacteria multiplies itself when in an environment of 30-40 degrees Celsius. This, in turn, is what makes the milk ferment and form the curd. You can use other types of edible acidic substances, if you are making curd at home, like lemon juice or vinegar. Essentially, in order to get the milk solids, you add in a curdling agent.

How Is Yogurt Created?

Yogurt, on the other hand, is prepared using a similar technique but the fermentation is done by adding in two specific strains of bacteria. These two strains, known as streptococcus thermophilus and lactobacillus bulgaris is what makes yogurt homogeneous and standardized.

What Are The Nutrition Differences?

Curd generally has more nutrition to it, with 98 calories per 100grams with 38 of those coming directly from fat while yogurt only has 61 calories per 100 grams and 29 calories from fat. While both do contain saturated fat and trace amounts of omega-3 and omega-5 fatty acids, it is yogurt that contains more of it. Unlike curd, the carbohydrates that are found in yogurt mostly come from the sugar which is found in the lactose component of the product. To break this down even further, let’s look at the daily percentages of vitamins and minerals found in both.

Curd

Yogurt

Riboflavin – 10%

Riboflavin – 8%

Vitamin B12 – 7%

Vitamin B12 – 6%

Pantothenic Acid – 6%

Pantothenic Acid – 4%

Vitamin A – 3%

Vitamin A – 2%

Thiamine and VB6 – 2%

Trace Amounts

Phosphorus – 16%

Phosphorus – 9%

Sodium – 15%

Sodium – 2%

Selenium – 14%

Selenium – 3%

Calcium – 8%

Calcium – 12%

Potassium/Zinc – 3%

Potassium/Zinc – 4%

Magnesium  – 2%

Magnesium – 3%

What Are The Main Benefits of Both and How Do They Differ?

Both curd and yogurt have many benefits which overlap and crossover since they are created in a similar manner, however, there are some key differences between how they impact your body. Here is a comparison between the five major benefits and how they work.

  1. Helps In Weight Loss: both aid in weight loss as they have a decent amount of protein to them and the calcium count will inhibit the body from releasing cortisol, the stress hormone which reduces an individual’s likelihood of developing hypertension, high cholesterol, or obesity.
  2. Boosts Immunity: both have good bacteria in them which reduces inflammation in the body, fights against gut disorders and infections and improves immunity through antioxidants like selenium and vitamin C.
  3. Benefits The Heart: both can benefit your overall heart health as saturated fat that comes from whole milk may help increase HDL or the good cholesterol that normalizes blood pressure.
  4. Strengthens Bones: the vast array of minerals found in both curd and yogurt help sustain bone density, keeping you at a reduced risk for things like osteoporosis.
  5. Improves Digestion: curds help neutralize heat found in spicy dishes and is known to help treat H. Pylori infections and peptic ulcers. Yogurt, on the other hand, helps comfort those who have irritable bowel syndrome and can help curb stomach bloating.

When it comes to choosing either of these to consume, you can’t really go wrong as both are rich in vitamins and minerals. However, be wary of flavored yogurt, as these can be chock-full of preservatives and sugars, which are not good for overall health. If you can, make curd at home and add in your own flavoring with real fruits or extracts.