Nutritionists have long claimed that yogurt is one of the healthiest things you could possibly eat. Not only is it high in calcium and protein and helps regulate your digestive system, but it may actually even help you actively burn fat.
Low fat or non fat yogurt is universally healthy assuming it is not packed with simple sugars (fruit toppings and even some granola can harm the nutritional value). Yet lately, there has been a trend towards something called “Greek yogurt”. What is Greek Yogurt and what makes it better than traditional Yogurt?
What is Greek Yogurt?
The first thing you’ll probably notice about Greek Yogurt is the taste. It is creamier, tangier, and less sweet than normal yogurt by itself. This is because Greek Yogurt is strained for an extensive period of time in order to eliminate much of the lactose, sugar, and liquids.
This gives it a thick consistency and a number of unique health properties. In the same amount of calories, Greek Yogurt can have twice the protein and half of the sugar of normal yogurt. These traits have caused sales of the dairy product to skyrocket exponentially over the last couple of years.
Greek Yogurt contains large amounts of protein. This helps make you full, and recent research indicates that individuals eating diets high in protein tend to lose weight more easily. A single serving of Greek Yogurt can contain as much as 22g of protein, which is a large portion of your Recommended Daily Amount.
A similar serving of normal yogurt usually only has 8g or so. This makes Greek Yogurt a fantastic option for vegetarians who may not be getting the protein they require.
Perhaps the only downfall of Greek Yogurt is its potential fat content. A full fat serving can have as much as 18g of saturated fat alone, and that is the vast majority of your daily allowance. Luckily there is a solution to this. Look for low fat or non fat versions. In fact, low fat Greek Yogurt can have double or more the amount of protein as fat.
Greek Yogurt has half of the naturally occurring sugar as regular yogurt, but that is rarely where most of the carbohydrates come from anyways. This statistic will most often be decided by what is added to the yogurt; fruit toppings, honey, and other sweeteners can bring as much as 30g of simple sugars. Avoid them if you are looking for a super healthy snack. Despite this drawback, Greek Yogurt does contain much less lactose, making it a great option for the lactose intolerant.
Calcium and Sodium
Greek Yogurt contains significantly less sodium than its regular counterpart, making it healthier and slightly altering its flavor profile. High levels of sodium can lead to high blood pressure, bloating, and other health problems.
Greek Yogurt does, however, contain about a third less calcium than regular yogurt. That is not to say it doesn’t have plenty. A single serving still contains about twenty percent of your recommended daily allowance. You can always supplement it with other dairy products or nuts and seeds.