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What Is Greek Yogurt?

This post is part of a blog series on the yummy goodness of Greek yogurt.

greek yogurt with fruit and granolaIf you have seen Greek yogurt in your local supermarket, listed on a menu or in a cookbook, you may be wondering just what is Greek yogurt.  It is a type of yogurt made from fermented milk.

It is very similar to yogurt made traditionally by American yogurt makers with several very distinct differences.  Number one less sugar is used to make it and more protein is in each serving.  The first difference a consumer will notice is the consistency.  Greek yogurt is very creamy and thick because of the way it is made.  It is filtered and whey and moisture is removed, making it thicker in consistency. As much as four pounds of milk can be used to produce just a pound of yogurt. Read the label and taste the product.  You will notice these differences right away: less sugar, more protein, high calcium content, less carbohydrates and a thicker consistency. In fact, it is rather similar in texture to sour cream and can be used instead of cream in many recipes and meals, both sweet and savory.

The good news is that in recent years, it has become much more widely available in the US, in supermarkets as well as specialist food stores and is also fairly easy to make yourself. It is available in the same variety of flavors as regular yogurt and you can buy it in large containers or the smaller four to eight oz. cup sizes, which are perfect for a healthy but filling snack.

As the name suggests, Greek yogurt originated in Greece and is one of the most popular and versatile indigenous foods there, although strained yogurt is popular in other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries as well. Yogurt is considered to be one of the oldest foods there is and there is evidence that it was being made as far back as 2,000 BC.

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In Greece, it is usually made with either cow’s milk or sheep’s milk and is often served as a dessert when accompanied with syrup, honey or sweet preserves; it is also used as the base for tzatziki dip, a type of dip made with cucumbers and yogurt. If you visit Greece, you will almost certainly be offered yogurt at some point during your stay and you may find that the distinctive sour taste and consistency – somewhere between cheese and yogurt – make it easier to digest than regular yogurt.

Greek yogurt is generally considered to be healthier than regular yogurt and has several major health benefits. It contains around twice as much protein as regular yogurt, up to 20 grams per cup. It has about half as much sodium as regular yogurt, although many people who enjoy it will tell you that it still tastes just as good.

It also has fewer carbohydrates than regular yogurt, making it ideal for anyone watching their weight, or anyone sensitive to carbohydrates, such as diabetics. Fewer carbohydrates also means less lactose, making it a good choice for anyone who is lactose intolerant or who is prone to an upset stomach. In fact, many people maintain that is a lot easier to digest than regular, thinner yogurt.  As such, sales of Greek yogurt have increased every year since 2006, as more and more people discover both its benefits and its pleasant taste.

If you have not discovered the health benefits and versatility of this simple but tasty food, you may want to try some. It tastes delicious eaten straight out of the container, or you can use it in a variety of ways when cooking. There are plenty of web sites that will give you some ideas as to how to use this tasty and healthy food.

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__________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

About the author

Diane Nassy

Diane is a New Jersey-based writer and blogger. She is a wife and the mom of a 9-year-old little boy. Through her blog, she wants to inspire moms to find Zen in their lives while offering practical tips and other valuable information to help families deal with everyday issues. Check out Diane's Google+ profile "

7 Comments

  • I added Greek yogurt to my Saturday shopping list this afternoon in hopes of finding it in our small town grocery. It’s been something that I’ve been wanting to try, especially as I get back into a healthier diet.

    Thank you for the post!

  • We recently started eating Greek yogurt and love it. My husband was first introduced to it while in Greece and at first had a hard time finding it in the U.S. But now it’s everywhere.

  • when i saw the title of your post my first thought was “Greek Yogurt is yummy goodness” It’s deelish!! That picture is making me hungry!