It has become an increasingly popular food, especially among the health conscious, and is often promoted as a healthier choice than regular yogurt.
This article explores the health benefits of Greek yogurt and checks out how it compares to regular varieties.
What Is Greek Yogurt?
Greek or Greek-style yogurt has been strained to remove the whey.
Whey is the watery part of milk. It’s visible once the milk curdles, or separates into liquid and solid parts.
To remove the whey and make Greek yogurt, regular yogurt is suspended over a bowl in a piece of fabric and allowed to rest.
It’s left for a few hours, so that the liquid whey drips through the fabric, leaving behind a thick and creamy Greek yogurt.
Despite being much thicker and richer (due to containing less liquid), it tastes very similar to regular yogurt.
In some countries, such as the UK, Greek yogurt is often called Greek-style yogurt.
This is because food labeling laws in these countries don’t allow products to be labeled as Greek unless they were made in Greece.
Summary: Greek yogurt has been strained to remove the liquid whey. It tastes like regular yogurt, but it has a thicker, creamier taste and texture.
What’s the Difference Between Greek and Regular Yogurt?
The whey that’s strained off when making Greek yogurt contains a lot of milk sugar (lactose).
Thus, the straining process not only changes the texture, but also some of the nutritional properties.
|Greek yogurt||Regular yogurt|
|Carbs||3 grams||5 grams|
|Fat||5 grams||3 grams|
|Protein||9 grams||3 grams|
|Sodium||47 mg||46 mg|
|Vitamin A||4% of the RDI||3% of the RDI|
|Calcium||10% of the RDI||12% of the RDI|
|Vitamin B12||13% of the RDI||15% of the RDI|
Summary: Greek yogurt is higher in protein, fat and calories than regular yogurt. It’s also lower in carbs and slightly lower in calcium.
Benefits of Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is highly nutritious and may offer some great health benefits. Below are five awesome reasons to add it to your diet.
1. It’s Higher in Protein
This means that Greek yogurt could be beneficial for people who want to eat more protein, especially if they are trying to lose weight.
2. It’s Lower in Carbs
Greek yogurt is made by removing the whey, which contains some lactose, or milk sugar.
Therefore, gram for gram, it’s lower in carbs.
This can be useful for people who are trying to limit their lactose consumption or follow a lower-carb diet.
However, if you are trying to eat less sugar, be aware that some flavored Greek yogurts can contain added sugar.
3. It’s Good for Your Gut and Your Health
To verify that your Greek yogurt contains probiotics, make sure the label says “contains live and active cultures.”
4. It’s a Source of Vitamin B12
Like regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is a source of vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that you need to get from your diet.
It’s involved in many important functions in your body, including red blood cell production and the proper function of your nervous system and brain (14).
5. It Contains Less Lactose
Lactose is the main sugar found in milk. Some people have a condition called lactose intolerance, which is characterized by the inability to digest lactose well.
Most people with this problem can tolerate small amounts of lactose in their diet.
However, eating too much lactose can result in unpleasant digestive symptoms, such as bloating, gas and pain.
Given that the process of making Greek yogurt may remove most of its lactose-containing whey, it can be a better choice for people with lactose intolerance.
Summary: Greek yogurt is high in protein and vitamin B12, yet low in sugar and lactose. It may also promote a healthy digestive system.
Are All Greek Yogurts the Same?
Like regular yogurt, not all Greek yogurts are the same. This is because different processing methods and added ingredients can change the nutritional profile.
They May Contain Additional Ingredients
One of the key features of Greek yogurt is its thick and creamy texture.
This is usually achieved by straining yogurt and slowly draining off the whey. This process can take around four hours.
Some manufacturers shorten the processing time by adding thickeners, such as whey protein powder or starch. This can result in a product that contains additional ingredients, such as whey concentrates and modified corn starch.
Additionally, some Greek yogurts contain added flavorings, which may increase their sugar content.
The Lactose Content
While differences in production methods won’t affect the protein and fat contents of the final product, they could affect the lactose content.
Greek yogurt made the traditional way has been strained for a long period of time and is naturally low in lactose.
However, those that have added thickeners often haven’t been strained as long.
This means that they contain more of the lactose-containing whey, which could make them more likely to cause a problem in people with lactose intolerance.
If you’re worried about the lactose content, choose a lactose-free brand or look for Greek yogurts that only list milk and live cultures as the ingredients.
The Protein Content
Some brands of Greek yogurt contain more protein than others.
This can be due to differences in the straining methods used during the production process or may occur if extra protein is added during the thickening process.
To find out how much protein your Greek yogurt contains, simply check the label.
The Fat Content
The fat content of Greek yogurt can also vary, depending on the amount of fat in the milk used to make it.
For example, Greek yogurt made with full-fat milk will contain more fat than Greek yogurt made with low-fat or non-fat milk.
This is usually easy to spot, as Greek yogurt made with low-fat or non-fat milk will be labeled accordingly.
Technically, all Greek yogurt should be vegetarian-friendly. However, some companies add gelatin (an animal collagen) to it to improve its texture.
To be sure your product is vegetarian-friendly, check the nutrition label.
Summary: Greek yogurts can vary in their manufacturing process, ingredients and nutritional value. To be sure of the contents, check the label.
How to Eat Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a versatile food that can be used in a number of ways, including:
- On its own as a snack
- As a topping on fruit
- As a substitute for mayonnaise
- In smoothies or blended drinks
- Frozen in ice pops
- As a replacement for cream
- For topping pancakes
- As a substitute for ice cream
- Mixed with herbs as a marinade for meat or vegetables
- As a base ingredient for a dip
- In a salad dressing
- As an ingredient in baking
Summary: Greek yogurt is exceptionally versatile. You can eat it on its own or use it as an ingredient in snacks, baked goods or meals.
Should You Choose Greek or Regular Yogurt?
Both regular and Greek yogurt can be part of a healthy, balanced diet.
However, Greek yogurt contains more protein and less lactose than regular yogurt.
This means that if you are trying to increase the protein content of your diet or are following a low-carb diet, Greek yogurt may be a better choice.
That said, all yogurts can contain added ingredients, including sugar.
To pick the healthiest Greek yogurt, be sure to choose one that has milk and live cultures listed on the food label — and little else.
To learn more about choosing a healthy yogurt, here is a complete guide.
Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation
Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.
In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!
Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!
...even if straps, sprays and even torturing CPAP masks have failed you in the past.
Most people heal their snoring in just a few minutes per day using these powerful throat exercises. And they're so easy, you can do them, regardless of your age or physical shape.
Use them anytime, anywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.
Plus the results are permanent!
Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.