Healthy Eating Spotlight: Greek Yogurt

Posted Jun 16, 2011 | Posted in Fitness & Nutrition

greek-yogurt-snack-2Looking for a high protein snack to boost your energy and trim your waistline? It’s time to embrace your inner Greek goddess. Greek yogurt is one of the hottest food trends in history, growing more than 100 percent each year for the last three years.

So how is Greek yogurt different from regular yogurt? It’s all in the preparation. Greek yogurt is strained to remove excess liquid whey, yielding a more concentrated product that is thicker and creamier. It differs in consistency and taste and also boasts the following health benefits:

  • Higher in protein: One cup of Greek yogurt can contain more than 23 grams of protein (nearly double regular yogurt). The protein will help you feel fuller and less likely to overeat, aiding in weight loss.
  • Reduced sugar and artificial flavor: If you stick to plain, non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurts you’ll avoid the refined sugar and preservatives of comparative traditional yogurts.
  • Contains active probiotic cultures: Most Greek yogurt brands contain a bounty of healthy probiotic bacterial cultures which promote healthy digestion.

All yogurts are excellent sources of calcium, potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12.

To add flavor to plain Greek yogurt, try topping it with fresh or dried fruit (to add fiber and natural sweetness), drizzling it with honey, or mixing in nuts or spices. It also makes a great substitute for high calorie/high fat condiments like sour cream, whipped cream or mayonnaise in dips, salad dressings, and desserts.

For a refreshing summer side dish, combine Greek yogurt, chopped cucumber, garlic, mint, salt and pepper and serve as accompaniment to grilled chicken and vegetables.

Do you enjoy Greek yogurt? What’s your favorite way to eat it?

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