The Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt differs from other yogurts as it goes through a straining process to remove the whey. Whey is a liquid that contains lactose, a natural sugar found in milk. Strained Greek yogurt is lower in sugar than regular yogurt, and removing the whey produces a thicker, creamier yogurt with a tart taste.
BEWARE: Some companies add thickening agents to regular yogurt, and market it as "Greek-style" yogurt, which most likely doesn’t share the same health benefits as true Greek yogurt. Also, low or no-fat Greek yogurt is not the same, and will not be as beneficial.
Eating Greek yogurt may be good for health thanks to the nutrients it contains, including: calcium, protein, probiotics, iodine, and vitamin B-12. There are numerous ways to enjoy this tasty treat such including:
as a breakfast or dessert bowl with banana and blueberries
as a topping for chili instead of sour cream
as a topping for soups instead of cream
as a spread on crackers or bread instead of butter
as an addition to a pasta sauce for extra creaminess
Many of the potential health benefits of Greek yogurt relate to its high protein content as a protein-rich diet may help reduce hunger, boost metabolism, and build muscle. Greek yogurt is also an excellent source of calcium, which can help improve bone health, and contains probiotics, which support a healthy bacterial balance in the gut.
These benefits include:
1. Improving Bone Health
Calcium promotes bone health and can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a degenerative bone disease. Consuming enough protein is also vital for bone health.
2. Reducing appetite and hunger
Greek yogurt is protein-rich, so it may help people feel fuller for longer. Research suggests that people may eat less throughout the day after a meal that is high in protein.
3. Boosting Metabolism
Eating Greek yogurt, as part of a balanced diet that includes enough protein, fibrous carbohydrates, and healthful fats may aid weight loss and boost metabolism.
4. Improving Gut Health
Greek yogurt contains probiotics—these are good bacteria that may restore a healthy bacterial balance within the gut.
5. Encouraging Good Mental Health
A 2016 study found that workers who ate 100 grams of probiotic yogurt a day or took a daily probiotic capsule experienced less stress, depression, and anxiety than those who did not.
This effect is likely due to the relationship between the gut and brain, and the ability of the gut to make neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine.
6. Building Muscle Mass
Protein-rich foods, such as Greek yogurt, may help build muscle mass, and research shows that a high-protein diet may increase muscle mass in people who incorporate resistance training into their fitness regimen.
Greek yogurt makes a great breakfast, lunch, dinner or late-night snack!