5 Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a tasty source of calcium and protein — plus, it's low in lactose.
Image Credit: wilatlak villette/Moment/GettyImages

Think of Greek yogurt as the thicker, creamier version of your regular yogurt.

Advertisement

Video of the Day

Part of what makes Greek yogurt different than regular yogurt is that it is strained to remove the whey. When whey is removed, so is water, which creates a denser, more substantial product.

There are plenty of benefits to eating Greek yogurt. It comes in the same flavors or plain, and you can eat it as a snack or use it in meals, desserts and smoothies.

Advertisement

Tip

Opt for the plain variety and add fresh fruit to bump up the nutrition. The tangy yogurt also makes a healthy topper for your baked potato or you can use it to increase the protein content in a fruit smoothie.

1. It's High in Protein

Greek yogurt has about twice as much protein as regular yogurt. One cup of plain, low-fat traditional yogurt usually contains about 8 grams of protein but Greek yogurt averages about 20 grams, per the USDA. The extra protein will help you feel full and satisfied.

Advertisement

Plus, getting as much as 30 percent of your total daily calories from protein offers a number of benefits when it comes to weight loss, including better hunger control, preserved muscle mass and higher metabolism, according to a September 2015 study in ​Food Science and Nutrition.

Advertisement

Eating dairy foods, such as Greek yogurt, is good for weight loss. A small September 2012 study in Appetite found that including an afternoon snack of Greek yogurt with 24 grams of protein reduced the amount of food eaten at the next meal. It also improved feelings of fullness and reduced hunger compared to an afternoon snack with less protein.

2. It Contains Probiotics

Greek yogurt and other fermented foods, such as kefir and sauerkraut, contain probiotics — aka friendly live microorganisms.

These bacteria are linked to helping improve digestive function and the immune system and may also help reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea, per Harvard Health Publishing.

3. It's a Good Source of Calcium

In addition to protein, Greek yogurt is a solid source of calcium — 1 cup contains 17 percent of your daily value.

For reference, adults need 1,000 milligrams to 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day, according to the National Institutes of Health. You need calcium for bone and teeth health, muscle function, blood clotting as well as nerve health.

4. It's Easy to Digest

Because Greek yogurt contains fewer carbohydrates than regular yogurt, it has less lactose, the sugar in dairy products that can sometimes upset people's stomachs, according to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

This is especially helpful for people who have lactose intolerance.

5. It's Versatile

Greek yogurt can be used for many dishes including savory and sweet. Due to its thick texture and rich taste, many people use it as a substitute for milk, sour cream and even use it in baking.

Try it in these high-protein dinner recipes using Greek Yogurt.

Does Greek Yogurt Cause Acne?

Cow's milk is sometimes linked to an increased risk of developing acne, but no studies have found that products made from milk — including yogurt — can cause more breakouts, per the American Academy of Dermatology.

If you have acne, feel free to include Greek yogurt in your diet and note any differences that it makes.

Advertisement

references