Greek Yogurt – A Protein Power Source

With the versatility and nutritional benefits of Greek yogurt, it has become a great source of protein and an excellent replacement to regular yogurt.

Regular yogurt provides 5 grams of protein per 6-ounce serving, while Greek yogurt provides up to 20 grams. Greek yogurt has about 1/3 the carbohydrate of regular yogurt — and since lactose is a source of carbohydrate in dairy products, this means that many people find Greek yogurt easier to digest than regular yogurt because of the lower carbohydrate and lactose content.

It can be used the same way as regular yogurt is, including as a snack, in recipes, desserts and smoothies. It comes in a variety of flavors or plain. Mix it with seasonings like garlic, dill, and parsley to create a unique dip for carrots, celery sticks, or cucumber slices. Toss in some berries or high-fiber granola.

You can also substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream on tacos, for example, or for the eggs and oil in baked goods. It’s also an acceptable replacement for fatty ingredients like cream cheese, mayonnaise, and butter. Give it a try! You’ll be surprised!

 

7 HEALTH BENEFITS OF GREEK YOGURT

• Protein – Greek yogurt is high in protein, which helps promote fullness. A typical 6-ounce serving contains 15 to 20 grams, the amount in 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat. One cup of plain, low-fat conventional yogurt usually contains 5 to 10 grams of protein.

• Less Sodium – According to the USDA, Greek yogurt has 50 percent less sodium than regular yogurt. Too much salt can boost blood pressure and increase the risk of other heart problems. The federal government’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines urge Americans to cap sodium at 2,300 milligrams a day, or 1,500 milligrams if they’re older than 50, African-American, or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.

• Fewer Carbohydrates –  Greek yogurt only contains around 9 grams of carbohydrates.  However, read food labels and pay attention to added sweeteners, as this may increase carbohydrates.

• Easier to Digest –  Because Greek yogurt contains less sugar, it also contains less lactose making it easier to digest. Although it is not considered lactose-free, if you can tolerate small amounts this is a great supplement to dairy products.

• Versatility –  Greek yogurt has a creamy texture and rich taste that makes it a very versatile ingredient. It can be eaten alone or used to enhance an existing dish like salad, pasta and various dips. Many people use yogurt for smoothies, but it also can be used to substitute sour cream, mayonnaise, and even use it for baking.

• Calcium – Regular yogurt provides 30 percent of the federal government’s recommended daily amount. Greek yogurt loses some of its calcium through the straining process, but still packs a wallop. A 6-ounce cup typically supplies about 20 percent of the daily recommendation.

• Texture – Greek yogurt has a smooth, rich and thick consistency. Because Greek yogurt is strained to remove the whey. When whey is removed, so is water, which creates a thicker, more substantial yogurt product.

 

QUICK TIP: Greek yogurt has a nutritional edge, although both Greek and regular yogurts help you lose weight by keeping you full on fewer calories. The key is sticking to plain, nonfat, or low-fat varieties.

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-Eric & Maleka Beal

Check out these resources:
Visit www.livestrong.com and www.about.com for additional information and resources.

 

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