Greek yogurt seems to be all the rage lately. Is it healthier than the regular stuff?
You're right. Greek yogurt is becoming very popular. Many companies are adding it to their line up. Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt, so many people feel like they're eating a decadent, rich treat. It's also a great low fat substitute for regular sour cream.
Greek yogurt is made slightly differently than regular yogurt and this is what changes its consistency. After the milk is heated and cultured (i.e. the active live cultures are added), Greek yogurt is strained in a filter or cheesecloth. This straining process removes the whey, the liquid part of milk.
The result is a thick yogurt with twice as much protein as regular yogurt. One serving (3/4 cup) of plain, non fat Greek yogurt has 18 to 21 grams of protein and 110 to 120 calories. The same amount of regular, plain non fat yogurt has 9 grams of protein and 100 calories.
Greek yogurt has slightly less milk sugar (lactose) than regular yogurt as some is removed with the whey. If you are looking for more protein in your diet, Greek yogurt is a better choice.
Regardless of the type of yogurt you choose, always read labels. Ideally, choose a yogurt with no more than 20 grams of sugar per 175 g (3/4 cup) serving. Once you subtract the 12 to 14 grams of natural milk sugars, you're left with 6 to 8 grams of added sugars, (Remember, the sugar numbers on a label include naturally occurring sugars too.)
Look for at least 20 per cent of your daily value of calcium per 175 g serving. That means you're getting a minimum of 220 milligrams of calcium.
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