They might come in similar white tubs, but all yogurt is not created equal, and consumers are catching on. Greek yogurt sales have skyrocketed, and for good reason. The straining process removes whey, sugar, salt, and lactose from the yogurt which makes it more thick and creamy. For about the same amount of calories, Greek yogurt has less sugar and twice as much protein as regular varieties which makes it very nutrient dense. For people who are lactose intolerant Greek varieties might be better tolerated as well.
6 ounces of Greek yogurt has 15-20 grams of protein which is similar to 2-3 ounces of meat. Protein keeps you feeling full longer which can help keep your appetite controlled. Greek yogurt is also very appealing to vegetarians and people seeking more protein in their diets. In comparison 6 ounces of regular yogurt has around 9 grams of protein.
Going Greek reduces carbohydrates, but only if you are cautions about the added sugar. Plain Greek yogurt is best for you (try sweetening it with fresh fruit). Many sweetened Greek yogurts can be very high in added sugar with total carbohydrates of 15-30 grams. Read the food label and select plain as often as you can.
Be cautious of Greek yogurt’s fat content, which can be much higher in saturated fat than regular yogurt varieties. Evidence-based research continues to encourage low saturated fat intake to reduce heart disease and diabetes risk. Eating healthier unsaturated fats in moderation is better for you. Select nonfat or 1% dairy products and pair them with healthy fats such as chopped nuts, flaxseeds, or chia seeds.
Whether you select Greek yogurt or regular varieties, both contain probiotics which promote a healthy digestive tract and a healthy immune system. It is encouraged to eat probiotics regularly, making Greek yogurt a wonderful addition to your daily routine.
Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad Recipe
90 calories per serving
1 5-ounce can chunk light tuna in water, drained
¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1 stalk celery, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Refrigerate at least one hour until chilled. Pairs well with salad, whole grain bread, or with whole grain crackers.