Greek Yogurt - Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts

What Is Greek Yogurt?

Greek yogurt is a thick high-protein yogurt produced by straining out the lactoserum, or whey after bacterial fermentation of the lactose present in milk. This whey is retained in regular yogurt, which is thinner and has lower protein levels or concentration. Greek yogurt has a velvety texture and thick consistency.

The health benefits of Greek yogurt include lower blood sugar levels, better mood, boosts to immunity, healthy muscles, improved bone strength, healthier blood and weight control. Greek yogurt contains twice the amount of protein compared with regular yogurt and has less remnant lactose. This makes it a high protein, low calorie and low fat substitute for sour cream, mayonnaise and cheese, and in various recipes.

Greek Yogurt is more nutritious than regular varieties and is a healthier choice
GGreek Yogurt is more nutritious than regular varieties and is a healthier choice. Source: Public Domain

How is Greek Yogurt Made?

Regular Yogurt is made by heating milk, adding a bacterial culture, and leaving it to ferment until it becomes acidic with a pH of about 4.5. It is not filtered. It is stirred and cooled, and other ingredients like sugar and fruit may be added. The final product has a smooth and thin consistency and may be drinkable or can be eaten with a spoon. Regular yogurt is generally sweeter than Greek yogurt.

Greek yogurt is essentially a concentrated or strained type of yogurt. It is made by removing the liquid from the solids in fermented regular yogurt. This concentrated the milk solids and protein. This concentration can be done in three ways:

Nutrition Facts for Greek Yogurt

The table below compares the nutrition of a range of regular and Greek yogurts. This clearly shows the higher protein concentration and lower carbohydrates in Greek Yogurt. Most Greek yogurt has lower fat and is less sweet, creamier and thicker than conventional regular yogurt. It is a also a great source of various essential nutrients especially calcium, potassium, vitamin B12, vitamin B2 and phosphorous. It has two to four times the the protein content of regular yogurt and this promotes fullness and helps to suppress hunger for longer. Also it contains less carbohydrate and sugar, and is often considered a smart choice for weight control and dieting.

Table 1. Comparison of the Nutrition of a Range of Greek and Regular Yogurts

Nutrition for 250 g serve

Calories

Carbohydrate (g)

Sugar (g)

Protein (g)

Siggis's Skyr

167

18

15

23

Vokes {Greek Yogurt)

200

28

22

23

Fage {Greek Yogurt)

208

32

25

22

Stonyfield Greek

217

32

32

22

Chobani {Greek Yogurt)

206

29

28

21

Trader Joe's Greek Yogurt

176

21

15

18

Yoplait Greek

221

37

28

18

Yoplait {whips)

310

55

46

11

Go Gurt

273

51

39

8

Dannon light & Fit

118

22

16

7

Yoplait light

169

28

21

7

Yoplait Regular

250

49

40

7

Brown Cow

191

37

34

7

Dannon Fruit on Bottom

221

41

37

7

Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is healthy choice for including dairy products in your diet. It provides: