Chock full of benefits and just the right amount of sweet (as long as you stick with plain), Greek yogurt is one snack you can feel good about adding to your daily eating plan. But just how does it differ from traditional yogurt?
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, and each serving is packed with nutrients. Here are 4 great reasons to go Greek:
- 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, at least 70% of your immune system is in your digestive tract).
- It Supports Appetite Control and a Healthy Weight
Greek yogurt is super high in protein, which 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 those pesky 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 studies show too much sugar contributes to obesity and heart disease.
- 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 occasional 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.