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Greek Life

by Jasmine McNenny on Sep 10, 2013

In the later part of 2013, the fact that Greek yogurt is better than regular yogurt in almost every way is not really news.

In the later part of 2013, the fact that Greek yogurt is better than regular yogurt in almost every way is not really news. 

For those of you who don’t know or are a little fuzzy on the specifics, Greek yogurt is the final result after regular yogurt is strained, removing a considerable amount of leftover milk, sugar, and liquid products.  This straining process concentrates the nutrients of the yogurt making one of its biggest benefits its high protein content.  One cup of Greek yogurt on average contains more than 20 grams of protein.  This combined with its reduced sugar and carbohydrate content and increased amount of calcium, makes Greek yogurt considerably better for you and a great addition to any healthy diet. 

But as with anything, it’s not all perfection. 

Fat: The Greek yogurt market is currently split between the traditional “full-fat” yogurts and 2% or non-fat alternatives.  And while it’s important to realize that not all Greek yogurts are created equal, this doesn’t necessarily mean that one is better for you than another.  As long as you’re choosing an all-natural brand of yogurt the full-fat versions can provide healthy fats that will help to keep you full longer.  However, if you’re trying to lose weight and decide to commit to a three-day yogurt diet, you will probably want to make sure you’re eating only non-fat yogurt or you might as well not bother.     

Sugar: The close cousin of fat.  Anything that contains processed sugars might as while be considered full of fat.  Many of the Greek yogurt brands come in a variety of flavors as well as plain.  It is very important that if you decide to go with a flavored yogurt that you look carefully at the ingredients and nutrition facts.  Some flavored yogurts contain added sugars and colors to make the product pretty, delicious, and almost dessert-like.  And unless you’re a hard-core yogurt fan and like to eat it plain, you’re probably opting for one of the flavored varieties.  So let’s compromise.  An easy and straight-forward solution is to add fresh fruits or a low fat granola to plain yogurt.  This has the advantage of providing sweetness and texture while maintaining a healthy, low in sugar snack.  But it’s not always convenient or financially practical to have fresh fruit around all the time.  Therefore, you can always go with a frozen variety and keep it thawed out in the fridge, or for a quicker and easier solution, find a great fruit spread.  You’ll want to find a spread that’s all natural and low in sugar and calories.  The best ones can usually be found at health food stores.  Adding a tablespoon of fruit spread to your daily serving of yogurt provides flavor and sweetness without ruining what is otherwise good for you. 

Because of its undeniable benefits and sweeping improvements to regular yogurt, there’s no wondering at Greek yogurts expansive popularity. But businesses have a way of taking what was once good for you and making it less than such.  If you’re a fan of the Greek, just make sure you’re really getting the most out of it.  Keep a watchful eye on the fat and sugar levels, as well as the ingredient list to make sure that there’s nothing in your yogurt other than what is absolutely necessary.  And of course if you do find that your plain yogurt is lacking a little something, be sure that what you’re adding is healthy and all-natural.  

Greek yogurt is one of the best health foods available.  All we have to do it make sure we don’t mess it up.