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7 Benefits of Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is known as a healthy snack that you can enjoy during any time of the day. It is estimated that in 2021, Americans bought 7.2 billion U.S. dollars of yogurt, with 51% of those sales estimated to be Greek yogurt.1
The earliest records of Greek yogurt were recorded by Herodotus in the 5th century BCE. In ancient Greece, Greek yogurt was known as straggisto and was primarily used to make dips for flatbreads. The ancient Greeks also used sheep’s milk rather than cow milk to make their yogurt.2
Many people in America currently enjoy the taste of Greek yogurt as well as the benefits that come with consuming it. Here are 7 health benefits of Greek yogurt you can get from eating some today!
What is Greek Yogurt?
Greek yogurt differs from regular yogurt because it is strained. The whey and liquid are poured out of Greek yogurt during the manufacturing process, resulting in its creamy texture. Milk will be added to create the manufacturer’s desired number of batches, and more milk is used in the Greek yogurt process than the normal yogurt making process. Generally, Greek yogurt has a consistency thick enough for you to stick a spoon in it and have it stay upright, while regular yogurt can be easily poured.
According to Healthline Media, 8 ounces of low-fat Greek Yogurt contains:3
- 179 calories
- 10g carbs
- 9g of sugar
- 24g of protein
- 5g of fat
- 22% of DV of calcium
- 4% of DV of sodium
Here are some of the health benefits of eating Greek yogurt.
Greek yogurt contains a noticeable amount of protein, with 8 ounces of low-fat Greek yogurt containing 24 grams. Protein helps our bodies build muscle, bone, skin, hair, and other tissues. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) suggests that you need 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For example, someone who weighs 140 pounds and does not exercise would need 53 grams of protein a day.4
Improves Bone Health
The low-fat 8 ounces of Greek yogurt contains roughly 22% of your daily recommended calcium intake. Calcium is a mineral that helps your body build healthy bones and teeth, and the body stores 99% of its calcium in the bones. The bones will use calcium to rebuild themselves when they are broken. Your bones will also deposit calcium into your body whenever needed to maintain normal functioning.5
Improves Gut Health
Greek yogurt contains probiotics, which are known as the “good” bacteria that help your digestive system.6 Probiotics are known to help your body digest food, fight disease-causing cells, and produce vitamins your body needs. Studies on probiotics found that they can help protect the body against issues including Clostridium difficile, cavities, and gum disease.7
Aids in Weight Loss
Greek yogurt is known to contain less sugar than regular yogurt, with Greek yogurt having 5-8 grams for every 12 grams of equivalent regular yogurt. Greek yogurt also contains half of the carbohydrates that regular yogurt has. Furthermore, regular yogurt is more likely to have sugars and extra sweeteners that are not typically found in natural Greek yogurt.8 However, be sure to check the nutritional labels of Greek yogurt to ensure that you are getting these health benefits without extra sugars or additives.
Improves Heart Health
Another one of the benefits of Greek yogurt is it can lower your body’s cholesterol levels, which play a role in heart health. Cholesterol build-up in the arteries can put you at risk for heart issues such as heart disease and atherosclerosis. One 2013 study found that those who ate Greek yogurt had better metabolic health, including lower blood pressure and lower triglycerides levels than those who did not eat it.9
Reduces Diabetes Risk
A study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) found that eating a daily serving of yogurt was positively correlated with an 18% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.10 While there is still ongoing research, another study published in Evidence Based Care Journal found that those with type 2 diabetes who ate 100 grams of probiotic yogurt per day had lower blood glucose, cholesterol, and diastolic blood than those who did not eat yogurt. Research suggests that the probiotics in yogurt may be able to help regulate the body’s blood sugar levels.11
Good for Lactose-Intolerant Individuals
Some people are lactose-intolerant, which means they are unable to consume products that contain lactose. The straining process in Greek yogurt removes most of the lactose, and the probiotics found in Greek yogurt help the body digest the excess lactose. Please talk to your doctor with questions about eating Greek yogurt if you are lactose intolerant and need to find food options that are safe to eat.12
How you can eat more Greek Yogurt
Now that you know some benefits of eating Greek yogurt, here are some ways you can add more to your diet:
- Eat Greek yogurt as a snack
- Create your own fruit parfait with Greek yogurt and fruits such as strawberries, cherries, and blueberries
- Make a homemade salad dressing with Greek yogurt
- Make a sweet or savory dip with Greek yogurt
- Make a pasta salad recipe with Greek yogurt
- Try adding Greek yogurt on top of meats, such as tuna or chicken
- Make a frozen popsicle with Greek yogurt
- Make a smoothie blended with Greek Yogurt as an ingredient
- Add Greek yogurt to your soup for a creamy consistency
- Use Greek yogurt as a butter substitute on your toast or pancakes
- Add Greek yogurt to your oatmeal or cereal bowl
- Mix Greek yogurt with protein powder
Eat More Greek Yogurt Today
Now that you are aware of some of the health benefits of Greek yogurt, try adding some to your diet. If you can, support the local farmers who make Greek yogurt in your community.
Here at Saber Healthcare, our dietary team works to create menus that help our residents achieve their nutritional goals. We focus on meeting the daily recommended vitamins and nutrients while making our food taste great.
To learn more about Saber Healthcare and what we offer, click here.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- “U.S. Greek yogurt market - statistics & facts.” Statista. Accessed 20 February 2023. Link: https://www.statista.com/topics/2351/greek-yogurt/#topicOverview
- Faden, Allie. “Greek Yogurt: An Origin Story.” Positively Probiotic. 12 January 2020. Accessed 20 February 2023. Link: https://positivelyprobiotic.com/the-bacteria-blog/greek-yogurt-a-story
- Lang, Ariane. Butler, Natalie, ed. “What's the Difference Between Greek and Regular Yogurt?” Red Ventures, Healthline Media. 22 June 2020. Accessed 20 February 2023. Link: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/greek-yogurt-vs-yogurt#nutrients
- “How much protein do you need every day?” The President and Fellows of Harvard College, Harvard Health Publishing. 19 January 2022. Accessed 20 February 2023. Link: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-much-protein-do-you-need-every-day-201506188096
- “Calcium.” The President and Fellows of Harvard College, The Nutrition Source. Accessed 20 February 2023. Link: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/calcium/
- Burguess, Lana. Olsen, Natalie, ed. “Is Greek yogurt good for you?” Healthline Media, MedicalNewsToday. 25 September 2018. Accessed 20 February 2023. Link: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295714#nutrition
- “Probiotics: What You Need To Know.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Accessed 20 February 2023. Link: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics-what-you-need-to-know
- Julien, Stacey. “Greek Yogurt vs. Regular Yogurt: Is One Better?” AARP. 25 May 2017. Accessed 20 February 2023. Link: https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2017/weighing-yogurts-fd.html
- Wang, Huifen et al. “Yogurt consumption is associated with better diet quality and metabolic profile in American men and women.” Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.) vol. 33,1 (2013): 18-26. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2012.11.009 Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23351406/
- “Yogurt may reduce type 2 diabetes risk.” The President and Fellows of Harvard College, School of Public Health. Accessed 20 February 2023. Link: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/yogurt-may-reduce-type-2-diabetes-risk/
- Hugues, Stacey. Weiss, Danielle, ed. “The Best Yogurt for People With Diabetes.” Dotdash Media, Very Well Health. 1 January 2022. Accessed 20 February 2023. Link: https://www.verywellhealth.com/greek-yogurt-nutrition-1087149
- “3 Things You Didn’t Know About Greek Yogurt.” The Dairy Alliance. Accessed 20 February 2023. Link: https://thedairyalliance.com/blog/3-things-you-didnt-know-about-greek-yogurt/#:~:text=Greek%20yogurt%20is%20lactose%20intolerant%20friendly.&text=The%20straining%20process%20eliminates%20a,yogurt%20brands%20are%20lactose%2Dfree!