Greek Yoghurt – Benefits, Nutrition Value & Healthy Recipes

Greek yoghurt is a dairy product quite similar to regular yoghurt. However, it is much denser, thicker and richer. Its texture and thickness distinguish it from regular yoghurt. People use Greek yoghurt in many recipes due to its rich texture.

You get Greek yoghurt when you strain down regular yoghurt. The process helps remove extra moisture, whey and lactose. As a result, it gets a thick and rich texture. Greek yoghurt is almost in a solid form.

Greek yoghurt has several benefits. For example, it has almost twice the protein in traditional yoghurt; it improves gut health, promotes weight loss etc. Therefore, it is a much healthier choice.

Greek Yoghurt: How is it Made?

The process of making Greek yoghurt starts with regular yoghurt. First, it includes fermenting milk with bacterial starters. Once the yoghurt is ready, it is further processed. The next step involves separating the whey liquid using a centrifugal separation method.

This separation method helps get rid of some lactose and whey liquid. That makes the Greek yoghurt low on carbohydrates and sugar. You can readily find Greek yoghurt in your regular grocery stores. It is available in different flavours and also in low-fat form. In addition, there are some lactose-free variants as well. 

Greek Yoghurt: Nutritional Value

One hundred grams of Greek yoghurt contains:

  • Calories: 120 Kcal
  • Fats: 8 g
  • Proteins: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.4 g
  • Sodium: 55 mg
  • Dietary fibre: 0
  • Sugar: 4.62 g
  • Vitamin A: 93 mcg
  • Potassium: 156 mg
  • Calcium: 131 mg
  • Vitamin C: 0.8 mg
  • Vitamin B complexes: 0.422-1.4 mcg

Greek Yoghurt: Interesting Facts and Impressive Benefits

1. Contains High Protein

Proteins are the building blocks of the human body. All the human muscles are made up of proteins. Having a protein-rich diet helps maintain muscle mass. In addition, it also acts as an energy source for your body. Protein also helps in cell repair and boost metabolism.

Unlike regular yoghurt, Greek yoghurt is high in protein. It contains up to twice the protein in regular yoghurt. Therefore, it helps reap all the benefits that proteins provide. 

2. Greek Yoghurt Boosts Metabolism

Research suggests that consuming a high protein diet may help increase the number of calories a person burns in a day. Therefore, it is highly recommended to include some protein in every meal to have a healthy metabolic function. 

3. Greek Yoghurt Promotes a Healthy Gut

Since Greek yoghurt is made from the fermentation process, it has various good bacteria. These are also known as probiotics. These good bacteria create a healthy bacterial balance within the intestines. In addition, these bacteria ensure that the food breaks down properly within the gut and maintain a healthy pH balance.

4. Greek Yoghurt Rich in Potassium

Greek yoghurt contains up to 156mg of potassium. So, if you include it in your diet, it can help cover up potassium deficiency in the body.

Greek yoghurt also helps create a balance between body sodium and potassium levels. Due to this property, people with high sodium levels should consume Greek yoghurt. It may help balance out the electrolyte levels.

5. Greek Yoghurt Improves Bone Health

Greek yoghurt has a high calcium food value. Calcium is the building block for all the bones in our body. In addition, it helps to strengthen them. Calcium also helps decrease the risk of many bone-related diseases like Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis decreases bone density and increases the chances of unexpected fractures.

A study shows that Greek yoghurt is an excellent post-exercise food supporting bone formation in young adult males. In addition, high calcium also helps regulate cortisol in the body.

6. Greek Yoghurt Improved Mental Health

Several studies show the association between gut health and the brain. It also focuses on the gut’s ability to make neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine. These transmitters help improve mental health. Greek yoghurt helps maintain gut health. Therefore, it plays a crucial role in improving mental health.

Research shows that consuming probiotic yoghurt is beneficial for mental health. 

7. Reduces the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that affects how the body processes blood sugar. Unlike other dairy products, greek yoghurt helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. 

Research suggests that a higher yoghurt intake is associated with a reduced risk of T2D. However, other dairy foods and total dairy consumption are not appreciably associated with the incidence of T2D.

8. Greek Yoghurt Aids Weight Loss

Greek yoghurt is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Research suggests that a protein-rich diet may keep you full for longer. As a result, it reduces your appetite and helps you lose weight. 

9. Low Carbohydrate Content

Unlike regular yoghurt or curd, Greek yoghurt is low on sugar and carbohydrates. As a result, Greek yoghurt is an essential food in many diet programs. It provides all the required nutrients and protein without added sugars or carbs.

10. Improves the Immune System

Greek yoghurt contains vitamins like vitamin A, C and B complex, responsible for a healthy immune system. It also contains probiotics, which help improve the immune system and maintain a healthy gut. The combination of these two also contributes to overall improved health.

Healthy Recipes Using Greek Yoghurt

1. Banana Strawberry FROYO

Benefits of Greek Yoghurt- HealthifyMe

  • Servings: 4
  • Preparation Time: 5 min

Ingredients:

  • Bananas (sliced and frozen): 3 pieces
  • Frozen strawberries: 1 cup
  • Greek yoghurt:  4 tablespoons
  • Mint for garnish (optional)

Method:

  • Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth
  • The texture should be soft- ice cream like
  • Transfer all the ingredients into a container
  • Place the container in the freezer for about 3-4 hours
  • Scoop the FROYO with an ice cream scoop and serve cold.

2. Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • Servings: 1
  • Preparation time: 5 min

Ingredients:

  • Cilantro (coriander): ½ cup
  • Greek yoghurt: ½ cup
  • Olive oil: 3 tablespoons
  • Jalapeno: 1 (optional)
  • Clove garlic (minced): 1
  • Lime juice: ½ lime
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Method:

  • Combine the cilantro, Greek yoghurt, olive oil, garlic, jalapeno, line juice, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  • Put the mixed ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.
  • Transfer the ingredients from the blender to an air-tight container. (You can store it for up to a week).
  • You can use this dressing for your salads.

3. Smoothie Bowl

  • Servings: 1
  • Preparation time: 5-10 min

Ingredients:

  • Blueberries (frozen): 1 cup
  • Pineapple chunks (frozen): 1 cup
  • Bananas (frozen and sliced): 2 cups
  • Unsweetened milk: ½ cup
  • Greek yoghurt: ½ cup

Method:

  • Combine all the fruits with the milk, and add the Greek yoghurt.
  • Put the ingredients in a blender and blend.
  • Keep the mixture a little thick in texture. Do not make it runny.
  • Put the blended mix into a bowl and garnish it with some fresh blueberries and bananas and enjoy

4. Potato Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing

Benefits of Greek Yoghurt- HealthifyMe

  • Servings: 2
  • Preparation Time: 15 min

Ingredients

  • Potatoes: 4
  • Eggs: 2
  • Fresh chives
  • Cream cheese: ½ cup
  • Greek yoghurt: ½ cup
  • Yellow mustard: 1 tablespoon
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon
  • Pepper: ½ teaspoon

Method

  • Boil the potatoes until they are soft. Don’t let them become mushy.
  • Let them cool under the water
  • Now, peel them and cut them into small pieces.
  • Meanwhile, hard boil the eggs and cut them in half.
  • Mix the cream cheese, yoghurt, salt, pepper, and mustard to prepare the dressing.
  • Chop the chives
  • Mix the potatoes with the dressing
  • Keep the salad in the fridge for 15-20 min to chill
  • Top it off with the eggs and chives and serve it cold

Greek Yoghurt: Things to Remember

Greek yoghurt is a milk product. Therefore, it contains some amount of lactose. Even though the process used to make Greek yoghurt eliminates some lactose, it is still not lactose-free. So, if you suffer from lactose intolerance, you should not eat Greek yoghurt. It is low on lactose content,  but you still need to be careful.

However, there are lactose-free Greek yoghurt variants, so while purchasing Greek yoghurt, look for lactose-free products.

Conclusion

Greek yoghurt improves intestinal health, bone health and immunity. In addition, because of its high-protein content, it has a high satiety value. Therefore, it is an excellent addition for vegetarian meal options, which tend to be protein deficient. Furthermore, it contains less sodium and less lactose, making it easier to digest. Even though it may have less calcium than regular yoghurt because of the straining process, it is still an excellent option for a healthy lifestyle. The smooth texture makes it versatile, and it is easy to include it in exciting recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is the difference between yoghurt and Greek yoghurt?

A. The main difference between the two is the texture. Greek yoghurt is thicker, rich and solid, unlike regular yoghurt. Greek yoghurt is also high in protein.

Q. Is Greek yoghurt good for you?

A. Yes, Greek yoghurt is full of nutrients and is high in protein. In addition, it also has probiotics that promote a healthy gut.

Q. What is so bad about Greek yoghurt?

A. Greek yoghurt is a beneficial food. However, it contains some amount of lactose. Hence, it is not suitable for people with lactose intolerance.

Q. Is it OK to eat Greek yoghurt every day?

A. Greek yoghurt is highly nutritious and may help reduce the risk of heart diseases and osteoporosis. It can also aid in weight reduction. So, it is OK to eat Greek yoghurt every day.

Q. Is Greek yoghurt good for losing belly fat?

A. There is no scientific evidence to show a correlation. However, Greek yoghurt is low in fat and high in protein source. So, it can help in weight management.

Q. What is the best time to eat yoghurt?

A. You can have your yoghurt after a meal. The acidic environment in your stomach post a meal is the best for Greek yoghurt to show all its benefits.

Q. Is it bad to eat yoghurt at night?

A. Eating Greek yoghurt at night will not do any particular harm. The low sugar content might even help you sleep better at night.

Q. Can yoghurt help you sleep?

A. Greek yoghurt is rich in amino acids and proteins. These amino acids can help boost melatonin, which can improve sleep quality.

Q. Can we eat egg and yoghurt together?

A. Eggs and yoghurt are high in protein content and are pretty digestible. Therefore, having them together won’t do any harm.

Q. What are the benefits of eating Greek yoghurt?

A. Greek yoghurt is high in protein and contains probiotics. Our bodies require high proteins for damaged cell repair and to build muscle, while probiotics help to ensure a healthy gut.

Q. Is Greek yoghurt carb or protein?

A. Greek yoghurt contains a high protein content (5g). At the same time, it includes some good carbohydrates. But Greek yoghurt is naturally considered to be a protein source. 

Q. Is the Greek yoghurt keto?

A. Greek yoghurt is a high protein source, but it contains some carbs. Therefore, it is not a part of the keto diet.

Q. Is Greek yoghurt healthier than normal yoghurt?

A. Yes, Greek yoghurt contains twice the protein present in regular yoghurt.

Q. What type of yoghurt is the healthiest?

A. While Greek yoghurt is high in protein, Icelandic yoghurt has high protein, calcium, and low fats. Therefore, it is the healthiest.

Q. Is Greek yoghurt good for skin?

A. Greek yoghurt contains vitamin A, D and B complex, which are essential for a healthy skin

Q. How many calories in 100g full-fat Greek yoghurt?

A. There are 117kCal in 100g of plain Greek yoghurt.

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