Greek yogurt has become very popular in recent years, but what exactly is it? And are the health benefits of Greek yogurt really so much better than regular yogurt?
Greek yogurt is basically yogurt that has been strained more extensively than regular yogurt, removing the liquid whey. Greek yogurt therefore has a much richer texture than regular or unstrained yogurt.
Because this straining process also removes some of the lactose, strained yogurt is lower in sugar and carbohydrates than unstrained, or less strained, yogurt.
A Low-Calorie Healthy Snack
In Western countries, Greek yogurt has become so popular mainly because of its reputation of a low-calorie healthy snack. Greek yogurt contains much less sugar and calories than regular yogurt, but twice as much protein.
Whilst Greek yogurt has a large fat content, it gives you that feeling of being full quite easily, so you won’t usually eat too much of it. And the high protein content not only helps in building lean muscle, it can also help with losing weight.
Greek yogurt also offers digestive health benefits, because it contains probiotics that keep the bacteria in your gut healthy. The label of real Greek yogurt should mention that it contains live and active cultures.
And like most regular yogurts, Greek yogurt is very rich in calcium, which promotes bone and teeth health.
If you don’t like the somewhat sour taste of plain Greek yogurt, try adding berries or other fruit to your cup of yogurt, or use it as an ingredient for your green smoothies.
Greek yogurt, with its thickness, can also act as a more healthy alternative to mayonnaise.
Greek yogurt is definitely a very healthy addition to your diet, but be aware of Greek yogurt products that aren’t all that Greek.
There are yogurts out there that contain additives like thickeners and protein concentrates to make it look and taste like Greek yogurt. Make sure you always read the labels before you buy.