Good Morning to those of you who are fasting and those of you who are not!
Today’s installment is an answer to a question from one of my clients. She wants to know, and I am sure many of you do too, if Greek Yogurt is “better than” Non-Greek Yogurt.
First, a quick rundown as to why yogurt, in general, is healthy. It is a great source of calcium and protein that is easier to digest than milk (especially for adults). It contains active cultures, loctobacteria and probiotics which can boost immunity, provide for a health digestive system (especially when one is taking antibiotics which can wipe out intestinal bacteria indiscriminately) and increase the bodies absorption of B-vitamins and other nutrients. It has also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol.
Now, on to the answer. In a minute. Well, before I answer that question, I think it would help to identify what makes a particular yogurt Greek. Unlike its “regular” or “American” brethren, Greek Yogurt is strained which removes excess water, making it thicker, creamier and more firm. The end result is a more concentrated, protein-packed treat! It provides an average of 20 grams of protein per cup as opposed to the 13 grams usually seen in other styles.
Another benefit of its dense nature and the fact that it contains fewer carbohydrates (sugars to be exact) is that it keeps you feeling full and satisfied longer. Remember, the more sugar that is contained in a food item when consumed, the quicker it gets digested and the faster you FEEL hungry.
And compared to the yogurts we all grew up eating, Greek Yogurt is much more versatile. For example, not only is it enjoyable by itself, it can also be used in savory as well as sweet dishes. Substitute it as a healthy alternative ingredient for many recipes that call for milk, sour cream and even creme fraiche!
Now, the negative…since Greek Yogurt is a blend of milk AND cream its percentage of fat can reach as much as 10 percent. Traditional yogurts are made solely from whole milk, resulting in only a 3.5% fat content. Therefore, it is imperative to the avid Body Designer that you choose either the Non-Fat or 2% versions and you can’t go wrong.
So, is it better? I would say if you are looking for ways to increase your daily protein intake and reduce your sugar intake, the answer is yes. Also, if you don’t feel satisfied after eating a cup or two of your “regular” yogurt, then yes again. However, if you just don’t like the taste, then no. I’d rather you make healthy choices with things you like as opposed to eating things you don’t like just because they are healthy. Why? Because if you don’t develop a taste for whatever it is you are eating, you won’t be eating it much longer anyway.