Greek Yogurt Nutrition

Greek yogurt is common in the Middle East, South Asia, the East Mediterranean, and Greece. Greek yogurt is made from a centuries-old technique by combining live cultures (bacteria) in milk, then straining out liquid whey, creating a thick and creamy yogurt without the addition of milk fat or thickeners. Straining also removes some of the lactose sugars, water and salt, which is why Greek yogurt is higher in protein and thicker than standard yogurts, but also lower in carbohydrates and sugar.

Greek Yogurt Nutrition

  • ŸProtein: Greek yogurt provides a good source of dietary protein. This makes it a great option for vegetarians looking to increase their intake of this nutrient. Protein is essential for maintaining and promoting new muscle growth, immune health, and tissue repair. As a snack it helps to keep you feeling full longer.
  • ŸCarbohydrates: Greek yogurt is a smart choice for those looking to decrease their carbohydrates. It contains about half of the carbohydrates as its regular counterparts. As a result of the straining process, more of the lactose-milk sugar makes Greek yogurt less likely to cause distress for those who are mildly lactose-intolerant.
  • ŸCalcium: Calcium is a very important mineral for optimum bone health, and it also aids blood clotting, muscle and nerve function and cell signalling (governing basic cellular activities). Greek yogurt also provides important nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which work together with calcium in promoting strong healthy bones.
  • ŸVitamins and Minerals: Greek yogurt contains a significant amount of vitamins and minerals. B vitamins such as riboflavin, vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6, thiamin and pantothenic acid, are all essential for energy metabolism, as well as the health of the neurological, immune, and cardiovascular systems. When combined with fruit and nuts, Greek yogurt becomes even more nutritious.
  • ŸProbiotics: Greek yogurt also contains live probiotic cultures that may help to protect against bacteria that can be potentially harmful. The probiotics found in Greek yogurt may also help to treat digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, and diarrhoea, as well as other intestinal, and urinary tract infections.

Nonfat Greek Yogurt Nutrition Facts

Amount per 100 g

Calories 59

 

% Daily Value

Total fat    0.4g

0%

 Saturated fat    0.1 g

 Polyunsaturated fat    0 g

 Monounsaturated fat    0.1 g

 Trans fat    0 g

Cholesterol    5 mg

1%

Sodium    36 mg

1%

Potassium    141 mg

4%

Total Carbohydrate    3.6 g

1%

Dietary fiber    0 g

Sugar    3.2 g

Protein    10 g

20%

Vitamin A

0%

Vitamin C

0%

Calcium

11%

Iron

0%

Vitamin D

0%

Vitamin B-6

5%

Vitamin B-12

13%

Magnesium

2%

Greek Yogurt vs. Regular Yogurt

Some people are choosing Greek yogurt because of its higher protein content, and creamier texture. Both Greek yogurt and regular yogurt will contribute to a healthy diet. However, Greek yogurt has about half the sodium, half the carbohydrates, and twice the protein as regular yogurt. Both yogurts start with the same raw ingredient and that’s milk. The difference is in the way it is processed. Greek yogurt is strained three times instead of two, and the extra protein makes Greek yogurt an appealing snack for athletes who are trying to boost their intake of protein. It is also a great source of calcium and other nutrients.

As with all food, you should read the label and make sure you are buying the level of fat content that you desire, because most Greek yogurts include fat-free and low-fat variety.

For a better understanding of how Greek yogurt differs from regular yogurt, please watch the video at:

Healthy Benefits of Greek Yogurt

  • ŸDigestive Health: Your digestive tract contains a variety of bacteria, while some are healthy, helping you to digest food; some can be potentially harmful. Consuming Greek yogurt helps by increasing the healthy bacteria in your belly. The more healthy bacteria you consume, the better for your digestive health.
  • ŸBlood Pressure: One of the better ways to help control high blood pressure is through diet--add 2 to 3 servings of low fat or non-fat daily products into your diet daily. Dairy products, including Greek yogurt, are an important source of magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which is believed to help lower high blood pressure.
  • ŸWeight Management: Greek yogurt contains double amount of protein when compared with traditional yogurt. Since it takes the body longer to digest protein, it may help make you feel and stay fuller and longer. This is especially important when trying to curb your appetite between meals, and when trying to lose weight.
  • ŸBone Health: Greek yogurt nutrition provides essential nutrients such as calcium, which work together to promote strong and healthy bones. When taking in calcium directly from dairy foods instead of dietary supplements, it has a more positive impact on your bone health.
  • ŸLactose Intolerance: Greek yogurt has a low amount of lactose, and a single serving of non-fat plain Greek yogurt provides only 4 grams of lactose. The low amount of lactose in Greek yogurt is due in part to the straining process, making this rich and creamy food lactose-intolerant friendly.

Ways of Enjoying Greek Yogurt

1. Cinnamon Apple Pancakes

These pancakes make a great meal that’s fast and easy to prepare. Mix plain Greek yogurt, whole-wheat flour, and grated apple, together with cinnamon, vanilla, ground cloves, and protein powder to give it an extra kick. The good news is they freeze well, so make a large batch.

2. Chocolate Muffins

Whip up a batch of these muffins to satisfy your chocolate craving without going too overboard. Simply follow the instructions for the chocolate muffins, but add some vanilla Greek yogurt to add some healthy protein and some applesauce instead of the oil.

3. Yogurt Parfait

You don’t have to give up on dessert when you are watching your weight. A Greek yogurt parfait, topped with fresh fruit, or fruit compote and nuts or low fat granola is guaranteed to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth.

4. Greek Yogurt Sweet Potato

Put away the high fat sour cream and butter and use tangy Greek yogurt as a sweet potato topper. Don’t forget to add the chives. Greek yogurt sweet potato makes for a healthy side dish that also happens to taste great.

5. Apple Cinnamon Smoothie

Simply blend ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1 medium chopped red apple, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1 cup almond milk for a fibre filled way to start the day. Add a spoonful of dulche de leche, or caramel sauce for a pleasant surprise.

6. Nutella Yogurt

Great as an afternoon snack, try adding a spoonful or more of Nutella to a serving of plain Greek yogurt. It’s both sweet and chocolaty, and the nuts give it some added protein to carry you over to the next meal.

There are many more ways to eat this diary product and enjoy the Greek yogurt nutrition. It pairs well with just about anything, but the truth is, it’s also good all by itself.

 
 
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