Greek yogurt is rich in nutrients and makes an excellent healthy snack when on a weight loss diet. The texture and high level of protein in Greek Yogurt, makes you feel full for longer, which helps when trying to lose weight as you tend to then eat less.
Greek yogurt was originally made from rich goat’s milk, but no matter from which milk it is now made from, all yogurts start off as plain yogurt, and the processes after this is what makes it a Greek yogurt.
Greek yogurt has a number of important health benefits which we can read about further below. Adding Greek yogurt to your healthy diet will help you not only to lose weight but also to be healthy and strong.
What is the difference between regular and Greek yogurt?
Producers of Greek yogurt add an important extra stage to the process which removes excess water and lactose. What is left is a more creamy, richer yogurt, which has less sugar and less calories, and more protein content (a generous 12-15g of protein per serving). This process also increases the acidity making it easier for the body to absorb other nutrients.
People who are lactose intolerant may find Greek yogurt easier to digest as it contains less lactose. The straining process used to make Greek yogurt reduces the level of whey and lactose.
Richer in Protein
Greek yogurt is rich in protein, alot richer than what is found in regular milk or regular yogurt. In fact there is about twice as much protein and half the amount of carbs in Greek Yogurt than in regular yogurt. Protein is important as it is the building block for muscle, hair, skin, bones and blood. Eating sufficient protein in your diet is important for your immune system. Greek yogurt is great for vegetarians, as it is rich in protein and can therefore help in avoiding meat.
Greek yogurt is rich in Probiotics
Probiotics are the healthy bacteria in your intestines that help keep your immune system working well. Probiotics also help with keeping your digestion system in good working function, decreasing the risk of getting stomach aches and diarrhea. Probiotices also keep the level of bad bacteria in your system to a lower level. Try and choose yogurts that contain live cultures inside them (check the label), as these are the ones with a high level of probiotics.
Some yogurts are processed or packed in ways that reduce significantly the level of probiotics. Try and avoid yogurts that have been heat treated or pasteurized, as these processes will reduce or even eliminate the level of probiotics in the yogurt, as the heat kills the healthy bacteria.
Probiotics can help reduce blood pressure, blood sugar levels and even lower cholesterol.
Calcium in Greek Yogurt
Greek Yogurt is rich in calcium, which is important for your bones and muscles. A serving of Greek yogurt contains 15-18% of your daily calcium requirement.
Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamin, is a water soluble vitamin important for the blood and nervous system, which is commonly found in animal based foods. Vitamin B12 is important also for cell metabolism and production of DNA. One serving of Greek yogurt contains 20% of your vitamin B12 daily requirement, which makes it great for vegetarians looking for a meat-free source of Vitamin B12.
Rich in Iodine
Iodine is important for your thyroid function, which in turn regulates your metabolism. Increasing iodine intake can help speed up your metabolism which will help in weight loss, as the faster your metabolism the more calories your burn in your every day life. Iodine is therefore important for weight loss.
Greek yogurt and Potassium
Potassium helps lower blood pressure and helps control sodium levels in the body. A typical serving of Greek Yogurt has 5-8% of your daily Potassium requirement.
Post Workout food
Greek yogurt makes a great post workout food, it is rich in protein which is important in muscle repair and keeps you feeling full and satisfied for longer. Adding fruit (fresh or dry) and nuts to the greek yogurt, and maybe some oats, creates a perfect snack to have after your workout.
Great Texture and best Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt has a great thick texture, and can be a substitute for the less healthy sour cream, mayo and butter. The best Greek yogurt is the one that is plain, unsweetened and with a low amount of additives such as gelatin or starch. Try and avoid Greek yogurts which contain alot of added sugar, artificial flavours, preservatives or stabilisers. The less ingredients which are listed in your Greek yogurt, the better. In your list of ingredients, sugar can appear under different names such as agave nectar, sucrose, fructose, syrup and fruit juice.
Be careful about reduced or low fat yogurts, as they might have a high amount of added sugar to them to make good for the loss in flavour from the fat that was removed. Always check the label and look for unsweetened low fat yogurts.