IT IS ALL GREEK TO ME! Greek Yogurts!

In the past year or two, Greek Yogurt has been taking over as “the” yogurt of choice.  It is tangier, less sweet and creamier.

Is Greek Yogurt healthier?  Better for you diet?

Both Greek and regular yogurt, in their plain, nonfat or low-fat forms, can be part of a healthful diet. They are both low in calories,  and a great source of calcium and live bacterial cultures. But our Mediterranean friend—which is strained extensively to remove much of the liquid whey, lactose, and sugar, giving it its thick consistency—does have an edge.It can be about the same amount of calories (although I have noticed that regular yogurt tends to have more carbs), it can pack up to double the protein, while cutting sugar content by half.   All that, and it tastes great too.

What is so good about it?  

(The following will explain how Greek Yogurt has half the sodium, more calcium and protein and less carbohydrates than regular 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. That makes it particularly appealing to vegetarians, who sometimes struggle to get enough of the nutrient. An identical serving of regular yogurt, on the other hand, provides just 9 grams, meaning you may feel hunger pangs sooner.

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. If you’re still worried about calcium intake, load up on milk, seeds, and almonds, says Sarah Krieger, a registered dietician and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

Be wary of Greek yogurt’s fat content. In just 7 ounces, Fage’s full-fat Greek yogurt packs 16 grams of saturated fat—or 80 percent of your total daily allowance if you’re on a 2,000-calorie diet. (That’s more than in three Snickers bars.) Dannon’s regular full-fat yogurt has 5 grams of saturated fat in an 8-ounce serving. Saturated fat raises total and “BAD” LDL choesterol, increasing the risk for heart disease. Read nutrition labels carefully. If you’re going Greek, stick to low-fat and fat-free versions.

SODIUM:

A serving of Greek yogurt averages 50 milligrams of sodium—about half the amount in most brands of the regular kind. (Low-sodium versions of regular yogurt are available.) 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 1500 if 55 plus.

CARBOHYRATES:

 Going Greek is a smart choice for low-carb diets. It contains roughly half the carbs as the regular kind—5 to 8 grams per serving compared with 13 to 17. Plus, the straining process removes some of the milk sugar, lactose, making Greek yogurt less likely to upset the lactose-intolerant. However, some of the Greek Yogurts are flavored and do have high amounts of carbs.  Fage is a good example of different choices and different amounts of carbohydrates.  If you get the plain, non-fat, there are 7g of carbs.  But, as soon as you add a flavor, it goes up to 17g or more carbs.  http://www.fageusa.com/products/fage-total-0-percent/.

However, I like Danon Lite and Fit (get it in bulk at Costco).  It has only 8g of carbs per tub and it is flavored.

You have to look at all of the choices and look at the labels yourselves.  I noticed online that Dannon has one with less sugar for diabetics, Dannon – Diabetic Friendly Light & Fit Carb & Sugar Control Yogurt.  It is only 3g of carbs…however, the store locator said it was not selling around my house and I would have to travel 18 miles to get it.  So, for now, I am stuck with 8g of carbs until I can perhaps get my local market to order it.  http://www.dannon.com/storelocator.aspx

 

CONCLUSION:

It also has many uses.  Mix it in some berries or high-fiber granola. You can also substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream for example.  It’s an acceptable replacement for fatty ingredients like cream cheese, mayonnaise, and butter. Its texture makes it an excellent swap for mayonnaise on sandwiches, or in dishes like potato salad, egg or pasta salad, and coleslaw.

But, the great news is that it tastes great and Greek yogurt seems to have a nutritional edge over regular yogurt.  But both kinds of yogurt help you lose weight by keeping you full on fewer calories. The key is sticking to plain, nonfat, or low-fat varieties and LOOK at labels.

 

 

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