It’s amusing for me to see the Greek yogurt market explode, since I consider myself an original U.S.A. fan-club member, using it in everything from dips and dressings to smoothies and desserts. In fact, I had been making it myself from regular yogurt, and including the steps to do so in my recipes for years before it became so widely available. You probably already love it too, but may be wondering, how does it differ from regular yogurt? And is it better for you?

What is Greek Yogurt?

Greek yogurt is basically just regular yogurt that has been strained of much of its liquid (called whey), making it thicker and creamier with less tanginess than regular yogurt. To make your own just put regular yogurt into a fine mesh strainer lined with a paper towel and position it over a bowl to catch the liquid. Place in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours, depending on how thick you want it.

Nutritional Pros and Cons

The whey that is strained off to make Greek yogurt contains a fair amount of calcium as well as lactose, the naturally occurring sugar in milk. So the straining process concentrates the protein and calories in Greek yogurt and lowers the sugar and calcium compared to regular yogurt.

Here’s a side by side comparison for 6 ounces of the plain, nonfat variety:

Regular Yogurt                           Greek Yogurt

Calories               70 calories                                      90 calories

Protein                      7g                                                   15g

Sugar                       10g                   7g

(naturally occurring lactose)

Calcium                 225mg                                               112mg

The Bottom Line: Both Greek yogurt and regular yogurt are wonderful options, each with its own unique taste, texture and nutritional benefits. Enjoy both!

 

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