Both Greek and regular yogurt can be part of a healthy diet: They both contain little calories and are loaded with calcium and live bacterial cultures. It’s worth noting, however, that Greek yogurt — which is more concentrated because of its thorough straining process to remove most of the liquid whey, sugar, and lactose — is healthier than regular yogurt.
Here are just some of the reasons why going for the Mediterranean option, which is known for its thick consistency and strong flavor, is the better option.
It’s high in protein: Greek yogurt contains more protein than regular yogurt. One serving of Greek yogurt typically contains 15 to 20 grams (g) of protein – which you can get in 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat – compared to 9 g to that of regular yogurt. Getting enough amount of protein every day is essential for the immune system, fluid balance, and the nerves. Adhering to a diet rich in protein can also help boost metabolism and build muscle. In addition, protein can help you feel full, which is helpful for people trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight. The daily reference intake (DRI) is 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight or 0.36 g per pound.
It’s low-carb: Choosing Greek yogurt over its conventional counterpart is beneficial, especially for people who are on a low-carb diet. Greek yogurt contains about half the carbs as its regular counterpart – about 5 to 8 g per serving compared with 13 to 17 g. In addition, during the straining process of Greek yogurt, some of the milk sugar and lactose are removed – this makes it more suitable for those who are lactose-intolerant.
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It is less in sodium: Greek yogurt’s sodium content is nearly half the amount in most brands of regular yogurts – approximately 50 mg of sodium. Opting for foods that are low in sodium is a great idea because too much salt in the body can result in high blood pressure and a higher risk of other heart diseases. Experts recommend limiting daily sodium intake at 2,300 milligrams (mg), or 1,500 mg for people who are 50 years old and above, African-American, or those who suffer from hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.
If there’s a drawback with Greek yogurt, it’s that it loses some of its calcium because of its straining process. Nonetheless, it provides nearly 20 percent of the daily recommendation for calcium, while regular yogurt has 30 percent. Except for this, Greek yogurt definitely has a nutritional edge over regular yogurt. (Related: 11 Delicious Key Ingredients that Make The Mediterranean Diet So Nutritious.)
How to add Greek yogurt to your diet
Because Greek yogurt is very versatile, you can enjoy it in many ways. You can:
- Add it as a topping for chili instead of sour cream.
- Add it to a pasta sauce to make it more creamy.
- Add it to pancake batter instead of buttermilk.
- Eat it on its own or add banana and blueberries to it.
- Mix it with chopped fresh herbs, minced garlic, fresh lemon zest to make a dip.
- Use it as a spread on crackers or bread.
- Use it for soups as a substitute for cream.
Read more news stories and studies on the health benefits of Greek yogurt by going to Yogurt.news.
Author: Michelle Simmons