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The Health Benefits Of Greek Yogurt vs. Regular Yogurt

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

a bowl of greek yogurt with honey and walnutsGreek yogurt has become a very popular alternative for normal yogurt, and it is believed to have many health benefits. It is especially popular with those on high protein or low carbohydrate diets, and its creamy texture makes it a good alternative to many dairy products in desserts. Greek yogurt vs. regular yogurt: which is best for you?

How is Yogurt Made?

Greek (Greek-style yogurt) means yogurt that has been strained more than normal yogurt. Yogurt is made from milk using live bacteria that ferments the milk. In the US, most yogurts are made of cow’s milk, although in many countries goat milk is a popular alternative. Greek style yogurt is thicker than the normal variety because it is strained several times, usually three times compared to just two strainings when making normal yogurts. The straining process removes water and whey (a liquid by-product of yogurt making). The leftover whey can be used in food production as an additive, and some types of whey that are not suitable for food production end up in animal feed or in fertilizers.

All yogurts contain calcium and protein and are good source of both. They also contain some minerals and vitamins. All natural yogurts contain live, probiotic bacteria that are beneficial to the digestive system and is often called “friendly bacteria.” People who have difficulties digesting other dairy products including some people who are mildly lactose intolerant, can usually eat natural live yogurts including the Greek-style varieties.

The Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt and its benefits are plentiful. Because the Greek variety is thicker and more concentrated, it is higher in protein than normal yogurt. The higher protein content has made it popular with those on high-protein diets. However, because the triple-straining process also removes calcium with the water and the whey, Greek-style yogurt contains slightly less calcium.

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It also contains fewer carbohydrates than normal yogurt. Those on low-carb diets appreciate Greek yogurts because of the lower carbohydrate content is combined with many nutritional and health benefits. The sodium content in Greek yogurts is also lower than conventional yogurts, which makes it suitable for people on low sodium diets.

Many people prefer Greek-style yogurts simply for their thicker, creamier consistency. The triple straining makes the yogurt naturally thick, so it does not need any artificial thickening agents. Because of the creamy texture, it is especially suitable for eating as a dessert, and can be used as a healthier and more nutritious alternative to cream.

Are There Any Downsides to Greek Style Yogurt?

One of the few downsides of Greek yogurt vs. regular yogurt is that Greek-style yogurt contains more fat and a higher amount of calories. However, there are some low-fat Greek yogurts on the market that still have a similar, creamy texture.

It is even possible to make Greek-style yogurt at home by straining normal (natural and unsweetened) yogurt through a cheesecloth into a container. It needs to be left to strain for several hours but the result is a creamy, thick yogurt that collects in the cloth. The leftover whey, which has been collected into the container, can be then used in baking, for example to replace the liquid (milk or water) in many biscuit recipes.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 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 "

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