Move over, regular yogurt. When it comes to our favourite creamy snack, we’re all about going Greek. Not only is it tangier, less sweet and creamier than regular yogurt — making it super versatile for cooking and baking — but this Mediterranean food staple has more protein per ounce than its conventional counterpart.
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A six-ounce serving of plain Greek yogurt contains just 100 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates and 17 grams of protein — twice as much protein and half the sugar of regular yogurt. It also contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, which work together for strong, healthy bones.
Also Read: Is Non-Fat Dairy Really Healthier?
And since we now know that sugar — not fat — is to blame for the obesity epidemic, feel free to enjoy the full-fat version in moderation. Of course, there are plenty of low-fat and non-fat options for you to enjoy as well.
Whether you’re looking for a quick breakfast, post-workout snack or an enhancement to soups, dips, salads and baked goods, plain Greek yogurt is a healthful (not to mention, delicious) choice. Here’s why.
High In Protein
All yogurts are an excellent source of all-natural protein, but Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier because the liquid whey has been strained out. You’ll feel fuller longer than you will with regular yogurt.
Low In Carbs
If you’re watching your carb intake, put Greek yogurt on the approved foods list. Greek yogurt averages about six to nine grams of carbs per serving; regular yogurt can have up to 20 grams or more per serving.
Loaded With Probiotics
Greek yogurt contains probiotic cultures, which aid in digestive function and the immune system.
Low In Sodium
Greek yogurt is low in salt. A six-ounce container has only 65 milligrams of sodium, much less than cottage cheese and sour cream.
Lower In Lactose
Greek yogurt has lower lactose content than regular yogurt. People with lactose intolerance can usually tolerate Greek yogurt because the live active cultures break down a majority of the lactose into glucose and galactose, which are easier to digest.
May Contribute To Weight Loss
Greek yogurt fills you up on protein, not calories. Eating it can help control your overall calorie intake during the day. Avoid high-calorie, high-sugar Greek yogurt varieties and stick with the plain kind, adding your own fruit and nuts for flavour.
Ways To Enjoy Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is so versatile. It can be used as a replacement for sour cream, mayonnaise, ice cream or heavy cream.
Combine Greek yogurt with honey, granola, walnuts and fresh fruit. Add it to homemade pancake or waffle batter instead of buttermilk, or try it in your favorite biscuit recipe.
Smoothie And Smoothie Bowls
Add Greek yogurt to a post-workout shake instead of protein powder. Combine it with your favorite fresh or frozen fruit and milk for a filling breakfast.
Use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream in your favorite dip recipe.
Mix it in tuna, chicken or egg salad instead of mayo. Greek yogurt adds creaminess and cuts down on fat. Add a dollop on top of taco salad to replace sour cream.
Add Greek yogurt instead of cream in soups and sauces. It adds thickness and flavor without all the calories and fat.
In Baked Goods
Use Greek yogurt instead of oil in baked goods such as banana bread or blueberry muffins, pound cakes and even cheesecake. A good rule of thumb is: When a recipe calls for butter, replace half the butter with half as much yogurt. For instance, instead of 1 cup butter, use 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup yogurt. When a recipe calls for shortening or oil, replace half the oil with 3/4 the amount of yogurt. For example, instead of 1 cup oil, use 1/2 cup oil and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons yogurt.
Combine juice and Greek yogurt to create healthful, high-protein, flavorful ice pops.
Substitute nonfat plain Greek yogurt for cream in creamy pasta dishes such as Alfredo pasta.
Top baked potatoes with yogurt instead of sour cream, or add it to mashed potatoes with garlic, chives and a touch of butter. Toss Greek yogurt in your favorite potato salad with olive oil, fresh herbs and a touch of Dijon mustard or in twice-baked sweet potatoes.
Is It Really Greek?
The term “Greek” isn’t regulated, so make sure what you’re purchasing is a genuine product. Look for milk and live active cultures in the ingredient list. Also, be sure the label says “contains live active cultures,” rather than “made with live active cultures” to ensure the yogurt is packed with probiotics. Also avoid varieties with added sugar and artificial ingredients.