Greek yogurt – healthy or hype?

Facts about what Greek yogurt is and how to incorporate it into your daily diet.

Wondering what all the hype is about Greek yogurt? Greek yogurt is also known as strained yogurt because it has been filtered to remove the whey. Here are some facts on the matter and a recipe to try.

Greek yogurt has almost twice as much protein and half the carbohydrates as regular yogurt. This helps to promote the sensation of fullness, which makes it a great option in the mornings for breakfast, as it will help you last longer without feeling famished. While Greek yogurt tends to have a little less calcium than regular yogurt, it still has approximately 20 percent of your daily needs. For the most benefits, stick to non-fat plain Greek yogurt. Many of the flavored yogurts can have as much as 25 grams of added sugar. Greek yogurt has natural sugar and lactose, which is found in all milk products. Beware of the added sugars (high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar, molasses, etc.). Make sure that if there are added sugars, they are lower down on the nutrition label ingredient list. To learn how to read nutritional labels read the Michigan State University Extension article “Using the Nutrition Facts Label.”

Plain, non-fat Greek yogurt can be sweetened with pieces of fruit or a small drizzle of honey for a snack or breakfast. Greek yogurt can also be used in many recipes that call for eggs and oil, such as baking recipes because it has such a thick texture. Due to its extra creamy quality, Greek yogurt can also be a substitute for mayonnaise, such as in chicken or tuna salads, or as a sour cream substitute on tacos, enchiladas, baked potatoes and chili.

Below is a recipe with Greek yogurt from Let’s Move.gov that I recommend you try.

Parmesan Yogurt Dip

Ingredients

2 cups plain low-fat Greek yogurt

1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced

Juice and grated zest of one small scrubbed lemon or 3 – 4 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

1 bunch (or bag) baby carrots

Directions

1. Put the yogurt, garlic, lemon zest and juice and Parmesan cheese in the bowl and mix well.

2. Add salt and pepper until it tastes the way you like it. Dip the carrots in and enjoy!