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Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt

Published by Nanni on Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Photo credit by janineomg

Yogurt can be a delicious, creamy, wonderful snack that packs your body with vitamins and minerals while leaving you feeling as though you treated yourself. It can be eaten by itself, in recipes, or in smoothies or parfaits. It is hard to go wrong with yogurt. It’s easy to go even better with Greek yogurt.

In this era of the low carb/no carb diet, many of us are watching our intake of carbohydrates, and increasing our protein intake. Greek yogurts can contain almost half the amount of carbohydrates that regular yogurts have. This lack of carbohydrates means that Greek yogurt contains less lactose, which makes the yogurt easier to digest. Protein can help make you feel full without eating a large amount of food, and feeling bloated and guilty afterward. While regular yogurts contain protein in decent amounts, Greek yogurts can contain twice as much! A delicious cup of honey-flavored yogurt I had for breakfast earlier contained 13 grams of protein, and kept me going for three hours until lunch. Even then, I was just beginning to feel hungry, and all it took to fill me up was a boiled egg and an apple.

Sodium is a concern for many people, especially for those who are fighting high blood pressure or heart problems. Greek yogurt can contain half the sodium present in regular yogurts, while sacrificing none of the wonderful flavor. Speaking of flavor, Greek yogurt comes in many of the yummy flavors of any other yogurt, such as blueberry, strawberry, and peach.

Lowfat and nonfat Greek yogurt can have a thicker, creamier texture than other yogurts. They are yummy, but can be a bit on the runny side. The reason for this is the way Greek yogurt is strained. Both the whey and water are removed, leaving a thick yogurt behind. For yogurt lovers, this texture is vital. It is because of this richness that Greek yogurt is a very versatile food. It can be eaten as a snack by itself, or added to many recipes. Many people use it as a substitute for sour cream or milk when baking. If you use it to make a protein shake or smoothie, you will have a satisfying, energizing drink you can feel good about.

Something you need to remember when considering making the switch to Greek yogurt is that they generally contain less calcium than regular yogurts as a result of the straining process they undergo. They can also contain more fat and calories. However, the nonfat Greek yogurts available are still very thick and creamy, and have a wonderfully rich flavor. Don’t think that going for the nonfat varieties will mean you are sacrificing taste or texture, by any means.

While your Yoplait still has a place in your fridge, on those days when you don’t have much time to pack a lunch or prepare a fortifying breakfast, a cup of Greek yogurt can keep you going (and keep your tummy from rumbling) until you have time to sit down for a meal.

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