One of my readers, Bill Nad, from Fitness Tips For Life, asked a great question a while ago about Greek yogurt, which I thought we’d take a look at here today.
My wife also eats Greek yogurt, which is really high in protein, but she does not like the taste of it. It would be interesting to do a profile on that stuff, to see how to use it and the health benefits, as it is a lot different than the yogurt we usually get from the store.
The benefits of Greek yogurt vs regular yogurt
Greek and plain (regular) yogurt are made by fermenting milk with live bacteria cultures, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.
The only difference, in terms of production, is that Greek yogurt is strained to remove the liquid whey, and therefore it has a thicker consistency.
In fact, both these yogurts are extremely healthy, and should be included in your diet regularly.
It’s not so much whether one is better than the other, but whether you’re eating either!
They are good sources of calcium and protein, and the have beneficial bacteria help to aid digestion, too — check the label for a yogurt containing the bacteria, bifidobacterium or lactobacillus.
The nutritional values show the benefits of Greek yogurt and regular yogurt
Obviously the nutritional value will vary depending on the brand of yogurt you choose, but here is an approximate comparison of Greek yogurt vs regular natural yogurt, to give you an idea of their similarities.
Non Fat Greek Yogurt (8oz)
- 134 calories
- 24g protein
- Calcium 27%
Low Fat Plain Yogurt (8oz)
- 114 calories
- 9.5g protein
- Calcium 34%
(The calcium content is a little lower in the Greek yogurt, because some is lost during the straining process)
So really, it’s not so much about seeing the benefits of Greek yogurt over regular yogurt. I’d be more concerned about whether someone is eating any of this type of yogurt.
Yogurt For Fat Loss
There are so many benefits of adding yogurt to your diet, but one hugely important one is that of aiding weight loss.
A 2010 study found that 200g of probiotic yogurt (containing Lactobacillus gasseri) each day, helped participants lose weight across the whole body, and particularly in the stomach area.
Other studies have demonstrated that regularly eating yogurt (and other dairy products), helps people to lose weight, without losing muscle tissue.
If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight in the past, you will know that it’s difficult to lose weight without also losing valuable muscle mass.
So, if you are trying to lose weight, add one or two servings of yogurt to your diet every day, to help maximize your fat loss, and minimize muscle loss.
3 Ways To Know the Benefits of Greek yogurt or regular yogurt
Now that you know how wonderful Greek and regular yogurt are, here are a few suggestions on how to eat them more regularly:
1. As a Breakfast Alternative
Make a breakfast smoothie by blending half a cup of Greek or regular yogurt with half a frozen banana, a handful of baby spinach, and half a cup of milk.
Don’t forget that regular yogurt is delicious just as it is, too.
2. As a Substitute
Use yogurt instead of syrup, fresh cream, or custard on desserts.
Greek or regular yogurt can also be substituted for mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, and cottage cheese, in some recipes.
3. As a Dressing Base
Yogurt makes an excellent base for salad dressings — one of my favorites is plain or Greek yogurt, half an avocado, a little lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper.
Then blend until smooth, and pour a little over crunchy salads.
You could also try adding chopped cucumber, garlic, and mint to Greek or regular yogurt — really delicious, and a great accompaniment to chicken, beef or lamb.
Do you enjoy Greek or regular yogurt? What’s your favorite way to eat it?