Greek Yogurt vs.. Traditional
I recently tried Greek yogurt for the first time, and I was impressed!
In recent years, I have noticed the yogurt case at the supermarket getting larger and larger, with more and more variety. Most noticable is the appearance of Greek yogurt. What is it? According to www.motherjones.com, “both Greek- and American-style yogurt are made by fermenting milk with live bacteria cultures—the only difference is that Greek yogurt is strained to remove the liquid whey, hence its thicker consistency. (The Greek yogurt company Fage has a good explanation of the process here.) Both are nutritional superstars: They’re excellent sources of calcium and good sources of protein, their bacteria cultures aid digestion, and the unsweetened low- and nonfat varieties are low in calories. But according to Shertzer, Greek yogurt does have a few nutritional advantages over regular yogurt: “Since it’s a more concentrated product, it packs a few more grams of protein per serving,” she says. It’s also a bit lower in sugar and carbohydrates, since lactose, a form of sugar present in all dairy products, is removed with the whey.”
Since it is thicker and more creamy, I knew that I would probably like it, and I did! My brand of choice so far is Chobani, although I have only tried one other, and I don’t recall the brand name. The taste and texture of Greek yogurt is a clear winner to me over regular yogurt, but how does it stack up nutritionally? Very well! Greek yogurt has almost double the protein of regular yogurt. Eight ounces of Greek yogurt has about 20 grams of protein, whereas regular yogurt provides around 11-13 grams. Greek yogurt’s high protein content makes it a favorite among people trying to manage their weight as it helps ward off hunger.
Greek yogurt has fewer carbohydrates than regular yogurt. This could be beneficial to diabetics, who have to watch their carbohydrate intake. It has half the sodium of regular yogurt.
Plain, nonfat versions of Greek and regular yogurt have a similar calorie count per serving, but added sugars can significantly increase the calories of either variety.
Another plus is that Greek yogurt can also be used in cooking as it does not curdle when heated like regular yogurt, according to FitDay.com.
Nutritionally, the only drawback is that regular yogurt has about three times the calcium of Greek yogurt. Both are still considered good sources of calcium, but women who don’t get enough calcium from other foods may want to stick to regular yogurt for its bone-building benefits.
Other than the lower calcium issue, the main drawback is the cost. A single serving of Chobani is around $1.22 at Walmart, and is much higher in some areas. I am unsure whether it is because of the extra step in processing that Greek yogurt requires, or whether people are just willing to pay more for this new “it” food. At any rate, I will likely continue to purchase it!