Is Yogurt Good or Bad for Psoriasis? | MyPsoriasisTeam

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Is Yogurt Good or Bad for Psoriasis?

Posted on March 18, 2024

Yogurt has long been considered a health food. But for people with psoriasis, opinions are mixed. Some members of MyPsoriasisTeam claim that yogurt is a staple in their diet, while others steer clear of all dairy products, including yogurt.

“Dairy and I had to break up,” said one member. “It makes my stomach and inflammation act up pretty badly. I love yogurt and made the switch to cashew yogurt, which does the job for sure.”

“Giving up dairy is worth it ... my skin is still clear,” shared another member.

There’s no consensus on whether yogurt is beneficial or harmful for psoriasis. Yogurt’s impact on psoriasis depends on factors like genetics, overall diet, and personal triggers. Some people with psoriasis find that yogurt positively influences their condition, while others might notice flare-ups or increased inflammation. You can consider all sides of the story before deciding what’s right for you.

Dairy as a Psoriasis Trigger Food

Psoriasis involves an overactive immune system that can lead to inflammation and skin flare-ups. The lactose or specific proteins in dairy can be part of the problem for some people. There’s also evidence that people with psoriasis have higher levels of histamine (a protein associated with allergies). Cutting back on foods high in histamine, like yogurt, might help some people see less severe psoriasis flare-ups.

In addition, certain types of yogurt (particularly flavored yogurt or frozen yogurts) are high in added sugar, which promotes inflammation. Read food labels and check for sugar content and artificial additives to identify healthier options.

Yogurt Alternatives To Consider

Members of MyPsoriasisTeam who avoid dairy and yogurt have offered several suggestions on alternatives that they enjoy.

“I found the best nondairy yogurt the other day. It’s called Siggi’s, and it’s coconut-based,” shared one member.

“I found a coconut yogurt too! The brand is SoDelicious, and it is!” said another member.

Others have suggested brands of cashew yogurt. When choosing a plant-based dairy alternative, always check to see that the product is fortified with calcium and vitamin D. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, fortified soy-based yogurts have the most similar nutritional profile to regular yogurt. Yogurts made from coconut milk and almond milk tend to be lower in protein.

Potential Benefits of Yogurt for Autoimmune Diseases

Emerging research suggests links between gut health and autoimmune conditions like psoriasis. While many people use probiotic supplements to boost gut health, fermented foods like yogurt also contain probiotics. These live bacteria are beneficial for gut health and the immune system. People with psoriasis might have imbalances in their gut flora (tiny organisms that help digestion), and probiotics could help to restore this balance. But if you’re not eating yogurt, you could consider including other fermented foods, like kefir, kimchi, or sauerkraut, in your diet instead.

Yogurt can be an important part of a healthy diet due to its protein and calcium content. One cup of dairy yogurt provides 30 percent to 45 percent of daily calcium needs. People with lactose intolerance may find yogurt easier to tolerate than milk because it has less lactose. Plain yogurt can serve as a healthier substitute for sour cream, and yogurt is an easy grab-and-go option that can help replace processed foods (like sugary breakfast cereals and fast food). Top it off with some blueberries to boost its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Not All Yogurt Is Created Equally

If you decide to include yogurt in your diet, keep in mind that some forms are healthier than others. Yogurt can be plain, Greek, or flavored, and each kind has different nutrients. Plain, unsweetened yogurt contains fewer additives and sugars, which might be helpful for those with psoriasis, as added sugars can make inflammation worse. Greek yogurt has more protein and less lactose, making it easier for some people to digest.

You can learn more about what’s in your favorite yogurt products by checking the Nutrition Facts label. Here, you’ll see an ingredients list that details what’s in the yogurt container and its nutritional profile. You can also see how many grams of added sugar are in your yogurt by checking underneath the total sugar listing. Compare different brands to find the yogurt option that’s best for you.

Should You Include Yogurt in Your Psoriasis Diet?

There’s no straightforward answer as to whether yogurt is good or bad for psoriasis. Its probiotic content could support better gut health, influencing the immune system and reducing inflammation. However, dairy might trigger inflammatory responses in those who are sensitive to it. So far, the research is largely inconclusive, and yogurt alone may have little impact on inflammation or the symptoms of psoriasis.

Understanding your body and how it responds to yogurt and other foods is crucial in managing psoriasis and your overall health. As research continues, personalized approaches to diet and lifestyle changes remain key in finding the right balance for managing psoriasis symptoms. Until then, keeping a food diary to track your psoriasis symptoms and what you’re eating can help you discover what works best for you.

Choosing healthy foods mindfully can help you maintain a healthy weight, which can lower the chances of psoriasis flare-ups and make complications like psoriatic arthritis and heart disease less severe. However, food alone doesn’t cause or cure psoriasis. For more support and guidance on what to eat, you can meet with a registered dietitian nutritionist to review your food diary and come up with a personalized meal plan.

Talk With Others Who Understand

MyPsoriasisTeam is the social network for people with psoriasis and their loved ones. On MyPsoriasisTeam, more than 126,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with psoriasis.

Have you noticed a change in your skin condition after adding or excluding yogurt from your diet? What other lifestyle changes or home remedies have helped your skin? Post your suggestions in the comments below, or start a conversation on your Activities page.

Posted on March 18, 2024
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Kathryn Shohara, MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC is a clinical dietitian for adults at Baylor Scott & White Hospitals. Learn more about her here.
Anastasia Climan, RDN, CDN is a dietitian with over 10 years of experience in public health and medical writing. Learn more about her here.

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