6 Healthy Benefits of Greek Yogurt

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October 22, 2013

We eat a lot of yogurt in our home and my preference is Greek yogurt. There seems to be some confusion over what exactly Greek yogurt is – but really it’s just one additional strain than traditional yogurt. Let me explain … Yogurt is created through a process called fermentation. The yogurt thickens and becomes slightly tangy during this process. It is then strained through cheesecloth to remove the whey (liquid). Traditional yogurt is strained through cheesecloth twice. Greek yogurt is strained through cheesecloth three times.This leaves Greek yogurt a slightly thicker consistency than traditional yogurt.

Benefits of Yogurt

There are many benefits of yogurt – both Greek and traditional.

  • Greek yogurt has almost twice the protein of traditional yogurt.  More protein means that you will stay full for longer than if you eat a traditional yogurt.
  • Greek yogurt is lower in carbohydrates.  This is an important fact to consider if you are either diabetic or trying to follow a low carb diet.
  • Greek yogurt has LESS calcium than traditional yogurt so if you are eating yogurt to help with your calcium level, you may want to purchase traditional yogurt.
  • If you are watching your calories, both traditional and Greek yogurt have about the same amount of calories.  You may want to choose a low or non-fat version of yogurt and watch what is added to the yogurt. Fruit,  honey, maple syrup, crushed cookies, nuts, granola and candy will all add calories to your yogurt.
  • If you want to cook with yogurt, Greek yogurt is the best choice. It will not curdle when you add it to something hot like traditional yogurt will.
  • Both traditional and Greek yogurt (plain version) make a wonderful substitute for sour cream.

Greek yogurt is generally more expensive than traditional yogurt. Because it is strained an extra time, it uses more milk. It’s also more popular and more in demand which raises the cost as well.

Whichever version of yogurt you choose to add to your diet, be certain to look for the healthiest option at the store. Try to avoid artificial sweeteners, colors and preservatives. Opt for a plain yogurt and bring it home to add your own fresh fruit or throw it in a smoothie. If you want to purchase a yogurt with fruit already added, look for one that doesn’t have extra sugar or artificial corn syrup added. Make sure that it has no extra food dye to change the color.

Avoid yogurts that have added carrageenan or thickeners for health reasons.  You should be able to read the label of your yogurt container and know what every ingredient is. What kind of  yogurt do you enjoy?

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