Greek yogurt is one of the latest health food crazes – but is it really better for you than any other type of yogurt? And are all types of Greek yogurt created equal? Read on to learn more about this health food breakfast and power snack.
What Is Greek Yogurt?
Before we get into the details, let’s talk about what makes Greek yogurt, well, Greek.
It turns out that not all yogurts made in Greece are what we might call Greek yogurt… and it turns out that Greece doesn’t have a monopoly on “Greek” yogurt (it’s a traditional food throughout the Mediterranean and as far east as South Asia).
Essentially, Greek yogurt is a cultured dairy product that has been strained, giving it a thicker consistency. The straining also reduces the sugar, fat, and carbohydrate content.
The Benefits of Greek Yogurt
WebMD calls Greek yogurt one of the “six best foods you’re not eating.” Why? It contains tons of vitamins and minerals that your body needs, like vitamin B6, vitamin B12, zinc, potassium, and calcium.
The probiotic content of Greek yogurt also helps improve digestive function (and is especially useful for people who are experiencing antibiotic-related diarrhea, gas, and cramping).
Greek yogurt is also an excellent source of protein. According to Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., a dietician who discussed Greek yogurt with sheknows.com, Greek yogurt has two times the protein of non-strained (regular) yogurt, and as much protein as a three-ounce serving of chicken.
Another bonus: the thick, creamy consistency of even non-fat Greek yogurt can make you feel full and satiated. Since a cup of Greek yogurt is filling, you’ll be less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks later on.
Is There a Catch?
As always, there’s a catch. Greek yogurt is often touted as a healthier yogurt alternative because of its low sugar and fat contents, but not all Greek yogurt is created equal. You’ll only be able to get all of the above health benefits without tons of calories and sugar if you stick with plain, nonfat Greek yogurt.
But there are plenty of other types you can buy. The surge in popularity of Greek yogurt has led to all kinds of varieties that are heavily sweetened, contain tons of artificial flavorings, and are no better than the most dessert-like of traditional yogurt.
Plus, “Greek-style” yogurt is not the same as Greek yogurt. It often achieves its consistency through thickening agents and sugars, not by straining, so the lactose and other natural sugars haven’t been strained out. In fact, it may not even contain active cultures!
So, Greek yogurt can be healthier than other yogurts if you buy the right one. The real deal has a higher amount of protein content with less fat.
However, it’s important to continue to check your labels, as you may find traditional yogurts that are healthier than Greek or Greek-style ones, at least on an individual basis.
Have you hopped onto the Greek yogurt bandwagon, or is this still all Greek to you?
- Here’s Why Eating Coconut Oil Is Great For Your Brain, Heart And Digestive System
Long prized for its sweet flavor and high fiber content, coconut has been deemed by many health gurus to be …
- Black Lemonade Recipe: The Cleansing Drink That Is So Powerful, You Need To Be Careful When Drinking It
With all the toxins in our environment, it’s a good idea to cleanse your innards every now and then. Sipping …
- Is it Safe to Eat Mango Skin? The Hidden Benefits of Mango Peel
Some produce can be eaten straight out of the garden while others require extensive cleaning, scrubbing and peeling. As you …
- 7 Compelling Health Benefits to Eating Cucumber
You probably eat cucumbers all the time, but do you know the many cucumber benefits? Cucumbers are in the same …
- 32 Signs That You Need More Magnesium Right Now (And How To Get It)
In 2009, the World Health Organization published a report (1) that stated that 75% of Americans consumed less magnesium than …
- The Shocking Story of How Aspartame Became Legal
Did you know that Aspartame was banned by the FDA twice? How is this product legal now? The bittersweet argument over whether …
- How To Make Your Own “Tea of Immortality” At Home With This Foolproof Recipe
The origin of Kombucha is a thing of legends. Depending on whom you ask, you may get a completely different …
- Eat Half a Teaspoon of Turmeric Every Day And These 10 Things Will Happen To Your Body
Turmeric, commonly found in curry, is an increasingly popular spice. Not only is it delicious, it’s also effective in maintaining …
- This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Start Eating 3 Bananas Per Day – And No They Won’t Make You Fat
Health gurus are going “bananas” for bananas! When any creature naturally relies on or gravitates toward a specific food, you …
- 5 Delicious Fruit-Infused Water Recipes To Drink Instead Of Soda
Soda can feel like a cool, refreshing drink on a hot day, but it’s hardly the most health-conscious option available. …
- Decayed Meat Treated With Carbon Monoxide to Make It Look Fresh At The Grocery
Did you ever wonder how the meat sold in the grocery store always looks so fresh? Have you thought about …
- Mangoes Destroy Cancer, Blast Fat, Reduce Cholesterol, and More
The sweet, unique, delicate flavor of a succulent mango brings the tropics to your plate. Although the tree is in …
- Here’s Why You Need to Stop Eating Commercial Soy Products
Soy became somewhat of a fad starting in the late ’70s. With the alarming rise in the numbers of people …
- Ginger, Honey and Cinnamon Mixture to Reverse Inflammation, Colds, Flu, Cramps, Diabetes And Cancer
Tea is often the first thing we reach for when we aren’t feeling well. While green tea has many benefits, …
- Soak Chia Seeds To Supercharge Your Metabolism, Burn Fat And Fight Inflammation
You may have heard about chia pets, the adorable children’s toy made from sprouted seeds. These beloved toys are actually …