By Jeni Tackett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutrition Blogger
When you look at the yogurt aisle in the supermarket, regular yogurt has been almost completely replaced by Greek yogurt.
Greek yogurt is made by straining regular yogurt to remove the whey protein.
What is left is mainly casein and a higher protein, thicker textured yogurt.
But is it better?
Let’s break down the pros and cons of Greek yogurt:
- Protein: The extra protein in Greek yogurt is satisfying. Meals and snacks with more protein leave people feeling full which helps with weight control.
- Carbohydrate: Greek yogurt is also a source of carbohydrate from the lactose in milk. The combination of carbohydrate and protein is a nice mix for fueling your muscles with glycogen from carbohydrate and providing protein for muscle repair.
- Probiotics: Greek yogurt made with active bacteria cultures is good for your gut. With overuse of antibiotics, eating foods such as yogurt that replace the healthy bacteria in digestive tract is beneficial.
- Calcium: Greek yogurt is a good source of calcium, which is a mineral that is important for bone health.
- Added sugar: You have to be careful of the added sugar in Greek yogurt. Don’t fool yourself: yogurts that contain chocolate chips are a dessert, not a healthy snack. You can look on the food label for “added sugar” for the lowest option (less than 4 grams is a good goal). Your best bet is a plain low-fat Greek yogurt with added berries or slivered almonds for flavor.
- Saturated fat: The American Heart Association recommends limiting the saturated fat for heart health. You can look for fat free or low fat Greek yogurt to reduce or eliminate saturated fats. Some of the “traditional” Greek yogurts are made with whole milk and contain 4-5 grams of saturated fat. On average limiting saturated fat to 13 grams or less per day is a good goal.
- Animal protein: Some studies have shown a benefit to having more plant protein in the diet than animal protein. If you follow a vegan diet or dairy free diet then Greek yogurt is not an option for you.
Greek yogurt can be included in a healthy diet. Just take time to read foods labels, make the best choice, and enjoy!
|Meet Jeni Tackett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutrition Blogger. Jeni is a registered and licensed dietitian for Rock Valley Health. Jeni counsels her clients on weight loss and nutrition. You can read Jeni’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.|