If you didn’t know, Greek yogurt is getting more and more popular these days, consuming it alone isn’t complete without knowing its benefits towards health. The health benefits of Greek yogurt are many and they are really appealing especially to those who are health conscious.
Loaded with lots of good bacteria, this probiotic rich food is excellent not only for breakfast and mid-day snack; but also for making delicious healthy salads, desserts and even ice-creams. Today, you can easily find them at your local store or supermarket in various sizes and packaging ranging from carton packed to a mini sized grab-and-go cup.
Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt contains more protein than a regular yogurt. A normal cup of regular yogurt usually contains about 5 grams of protein each but a similar sized Greek yogurt can contain up to 3 times or more, about 15 to 20 grams. This is one reason why Greek yogurt is particularly appealing to vegetarians since it provides a good deal of protein into their daily diet. Besides, if you want to control your appetite, more protein can also help you stay full longer and feeling satisfied.
Low Sugar Content
The process of straining away the whey to make the yogurt texture thicker during preparation also removed much of the natural sugar content with it. As such, you get about 50 percent less sugar than a typical cup of unsweetened regular yogurt. While many manufacturers usually sweeten the yogurt by adding additional sugar or other sweeteners to enhance its flavor, you can always opt for one that is unsweetened.
Not only is Greek yogurt low in sugar, another one of the key health benefits of Greek yogurt is that it contains less carbohydrates. This lower carbohydrate level makes it an ideal choice for those who are diabetics or are watching their weight. Generally, a plain Greek yogurt contains about 40 percent fewer carbohydrates than a typical American-styled yogurt. However, do watch out for hidden carbohydrates in the form of added sugars or other sweeteners that can easily shoot up the level of carbohydrates contained.
As the process of making yogurt involves fermentation, the yogurt culture has already converted most of the milk lactose into lactic acid during the process, creating a yogurt that is low in lactose. This is one of the major health benefits of Greek yogurt as it helps people who are lactose intolerance to fight calcium deficiency issues by providing them with a great alternative to fresh milk. Although the sensitivity to lactose varies greatly from one person to another, in general they are able to tolerate the minimal amount of lactose in yogurt without any negative effects.
Another one of the many important health benefits of Greek yogurt is the low amount of sodium it contains. Compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt contains only about half the amount of sodium for the same sized cup. As sodium has long been known to be a factor that contributes to cardiovascular problems such as increased blood pressure and heart risks, you might want to take note of the sodium level contained especially if you are one of those who are suffering from heart issues.
Calcium is needed to build stronger bones and healthy teeth but unfortunately the amount of calcium contained in a typical cup of Greek yogurt is only about a half that of a regular yogurt. Just as the straining process of removing whey from the yogurt reduces the sugar content, some amount of calcium is also removed during the process.
Although there is less calcium, recent studies have found that the live cultures in the yogurt do help the body to absorb calcium more readily. A typical 6 ounce cup of Greek yogurt normally provides about 150 to 200mg of calcium as compared to about 350mg in regular yogurt. You will get about 15% to 20% of your daily calcium needs.
Nonetheless, Greek yogurt is not only consumed to satisfy a grumbling stomach, its creamy and rich texture coupled with the tangy and delicious taste will definitely make you crave for more. What’s more with all the health benefits of Greek yogurt, it should be your ideal choice of healthy dairy food.
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