Still believe everything that tastes good is bad for your health? Maybe it’s time you tried Greek yogurt. Chock full of benefits and just the right amount of sweet (as long as you stick with plain), it’s one snack you can feel good about adding to your daily eating plan. But just how does it differ from traditional yogurt, and why should you make the switch?
Greek yogurt is strained several times to remove more of the whey, which is where most of the sodium, carbs and calcium can be found (but don’t worry—even though some of the calcium is lost during the straining process, there is still a significant amount left). The end result is a more “concentrated” yogurt with almost double the amount of protein. Plus, each serving is packed with important nutrients. Here are four great reasons to include Greek yogurt in your daily diet:
- It’s Good for Your Tummy… and Your Immune System!
Fermented milk products (including yogurt) contain beneficial probiotic bacteria, which boost the amount of good bacteria in your gut and help maintain a balanced internal environment. The “live and active” probiotic cultures found in Greek yogurt assist with healthy digestion and regularity in addition to promoting immune health (remember, up to 80% of your immune system resides in the digestive tract).
- It Helps with Appetite Control and Healthy Weight
Greek yogurt is super high in protein, which as we know from Brenda Watson’s Love Your Heart Eating Plan helps curb your appetite and keep you satisfied throughout the day. And, eating protein at breakfast (hint, hint: Greek yogurt) is essential for helping to avoid carb cravings later in the day, which in turn supports healthy weight management.
- It’s Low in Carbohydrates, Saturated Fat and Cholesterol
Plain Greek yogurt is lower in carbohydrates, saturated fat and cholesterol when compared to regular yogurt, which benefits your heart and your waistline. Remember, carbs break down into sugar in the digestive tract, and overconsumption of sugar is a major contributor of both obesity and heart disease. Likewise, foods high in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol have been shown to increase heart disease risk.
- It Contains Less Lactose than Regular Yogurt
People who are lactose intolerant have a sensitivity to the milk sugar known as lactose, which can lead to increased gas and bloating as well as occasional diarrhea. The lower amount of lactose in Greek yogurt—the result of repeated straining—makes it a tolerable alternative, and the natural probiotic cultures actually help break down the lactose sugar to enhance digestion and help reduce digestive discomfort.