Yogurt…an American food staple since the early 20th century. It comes in all
shapes flavors and sizes and is a go to snack for millions of Americans every day. There is an entire section of supermarkets devoted to this item and to the naked eye, it is overwhelming! Do you go with added fiber? lower sugar? what your Mom fed you? zero guilt? whatever that means…cute cartoons on front? or just whatever is 10 for 10$? The options are abundant!
What to do!? What to do?! I won’t tell you what yogurt to go out and buy, but what I will do is give you a little insight into an increasingly common question…what is so good about Greek yogurt?! It is usually double the cost of regular yogurt, so there must be something super special about it…but what? Hopefully this information will help you make sense of the oh so daunting yogurt section! (***I am not a registered dietician. The following information is solely from my personal experience and research)
Is Greek yogurt even from Greece??? The answer is YES! Well, not only Greece. Greek yogurt originates from the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, where it is commonly used for cooking. Greek yogurt, also known as strained yogurt is used in Greek food mostly as the base for the common tzatziki dip. It is also used for a sweet dessert made with sweet fruits and/or honey on top. But besides the novelty of the stuff…why are so many health fanatics (myself included) spending the extra $buck$ at the grocery store each week on Greek yogurt. I’ll tell you why….
- Greek yogurt can have twice as much protein as regular yogurt. On average, adult females should eat 46 grams of protein a day, while males can benefit from 56 grams.
- The extra protein from the Greek yogurt will help you feel full and leave you feeling satisfied.
- Most Greek yogurts at supermarkets, such as Fage and Chobani, often have more than double the protein content of standard yogurt brands. One cup of plain, low-fat non-Greek yogurt usually contains 5 to 10 grams of protein, where Greek yogurt averages about 14 to 20 grams of protein.
- Greek yogurt is much lower in carbohydrates. Regular yogurts often have upwards of 15 to 17 grams of carbohydrates per cup, where Greek yogurt averages around 9 grams. Carbohydrates are important in one’s diet, but are much more easy to get your hands on than protein. I prefer to get my carb fix through whole wheat toast or oatmeal rather than my yogurt 🙂
Check out the nutritional differences between a Chobani Raspberry Greek Yogurt and a Dannon Light and Fit Raspberry yogurt.
Chobani is much higher in protein. You may have noticed the calorie differences and thought to yourself, lower calorie is a smarter choice…but if you aren’t getting enough protein in your diet, you will be left feeling hungry and likely end up consuming more food in the long run anyway. You may have also noticed the ingredients in Chobani Yogurt. The ingredients for Dannon Light and Fit include: Raspberry Flavor: Nonfat Yogurt (Cultured Grade A Non Fat Milk, Modified Food Starch, Fructose, Kosher Gelatin, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3), Water, Fructose, Contains Less than 1% of Raspberry Puree, Modified Corn Starch, Natural Flavor, Black Carrot Juice Concentrate (for Color), Aspartame, Potassium Sorbate (to Maintain Freshness), Acesulfame Potassium, Malic Acid, Sucralose, Sodium Citrate. Blueberry Acai Flavor: Nonfat Yogurt (Cultured Grade A Non Fat Milk, Modified Food Starch, Fructose, Kosher Gelatin, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3), Water, Blueberry Puree, Fructose, Contains Less than 1% of Modified Corn Starch, Natural Flavor, Aspartame, Red 40, Blue 1, Potassium Sorbate (to Maintain Freshness), Malic Acid, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Sodium Citrate. Contains Active Yogurt Cultures Including L. Acidophilus.
yeah…I don’t think I need to say anything about the ingredient list. I try to stick by the motto: if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.
Back to some more highlights on Greek yogurt…
- Greek yogurt can be used for many dishes including savory and sweet. Due to its thick texture and rich taste, many people use it as a substitute for milk, sour cream and even use it for baking.
- Greek yogurt has a thicker, creamier texture which I really like. Standard yogurt is generally strained two times, whereas Greek yogurt is triply strained to remove more of the whey (the leftover yogurt once the liquid has been strained). When whey is removed, so is water, which creates a thicker, more substantial yogurt product.
- Greek yogurt promotes intestinal health, improves lactose intolerance, builds stronger bones, enhances immunity, and lowers blood pressure.
So there you have it, a little more insight into the world of Greek yogurt. My affinity for Greek yogurt has opened up a world of possibilities in my cooking/baking. A few meals I have created with Greek yogurt…
- Greek yogurt, granola and fresh berry parfait
- Mix with lemon juice, salt and pepper for a veggie dip. Especially good with artichoke hearts
- Mix with spices to create a rub that turns a regular roasted chicken into a crispy, juicy, delicious chicken!
- Use in place of buttermilk in pancakes or muffins
- Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with chocolate chips for a simple yet satisfying dessert.
With so many types of Greek yogurt on the market these days, you are bound to find one you like!
So check ’em out and let me know what you think!