The Benefits of Greek Yogurt
Is Greek yogurt healthier than regular yogurt?
Fermented foods provide good bacteria to your gut (called probiotics), which help to crowd out pathogenic or unhealthy bacteria. This is what makes yogurt such a beneficial part of a healthy diet. Yogurt is also a good source of protein and calcium, with far less lactose (milk sugar) than milk so people with lactose intolerance can often enjoy yogurt without all of the crippling stomach woes.
You may have noticed the recent increase in “Greek” yogurt on store shelves. Greek yogurt, which traditionally came from Greece (of course), is certainly trendy right now but is Greek yogurt all it’s cracked up to be? Is it actually healthier for you than regular yogurt? That depends on what you are looking for in a healthy snack.
What’s the difference between Greek yogurt and other kinds of yogurt?
The main difference between Greek yogurt and other kinds of yogurt is that Greek yogurt is strained to remove more of the whey, the watery part of milk that remains after yogurt fermentation, resulting in fewer carbohydrates and lactose. This results in a thicker and creamier product, which provides almost twice as much protein as regular yogurt. This extra protein is an additional health benefit of Greek yogurt over traditional yogurt. Protein helps with satiety, building muscles, recovery and healing.
Consider this before you eliminate regular yogurt from your diet: Traditional yogurt still wins when it comes to calcium, providing almost three times the calcium as Greek yogurt. Calcium is the major mineral for bone building and is important in muscle function, too. So go ahead and enjoy both types of yogurt as part of a healthy diet.
What’s the healthiest kind of Greek yogurt and how can you incorporate it into your diet?
When choosing Greek yogurt, or any yogurt for that matter, look for varieties that are low in added sugar, artificial ingredients and candy. Yes, they actually put candy in yogurt nowadays! Plain yogurt is always best, but some may find it too tart for their liking. If that’s the case, try one of these other ways to incorporate Greek yogurt into your diet: add plain Greek yogurt to a smoothie, make a Greek yogurt sauce, or add it to a homemade ice cream recipe for an easy version of frozen Greek yogurt. These are just a few ideas, there are many other Greek yogurt recipes easily found on the Internet.
When should you eat Greek yogurt?
Greek yogurt can be enjoyed anytime you are looking for a healthy snack. Try it before a workout, post-workout, or anytime you need a little something to hold you over until your next meal. Keep in mind that your body requires extra protein anytime you are injured or sick, another good reason to stock up on Greek yogurt whenever you are healing.