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Greek Yogurt Benefits: Is It the Healthiest Yogurt?

Updated on May 6, 2012

What is Greek Yogurt?

If it's Greek to you, it shouldn't be...

Greek yogurt is not too different from a traditional yogurt. It's a milk product produced by adding live bacterial cultures that produce lactic acid during the process of lactose fermentation.

This yogurt is revered for its thick and creamy texture, due to its unique triple straining process. One of the characteristics of regular yogurt that's anathema to me is the "whey" that collects at the top of the cartons. I'm sure you're familiar with it: it's the watery substance you either attempt to drain or mix into the rest of the yogurt prior to eating it. Greek yogurt is strained more times than regular yogurt, usually through muslin cloth or cheesecloth.

Traditionally, Greek yogurt has been made with sheep's milk, but now both sheep's milk and cow's milk are being used. The majority of U.S. made varieties only use cow's milk.

Greek Yogurt Vs. Regular Yogurt: Greek Yogurt Benefits

Greek yogurt is thicker. Many people prefer the creamier and richer texture of this yogurt, either eaten plain or as a fantastic base for dips and sauces. In fact, just tonight I used it as part of my macaroni and cheese sauce... I find I don't need to add as much cheese (and fat!) this way. Some people use it as a substitution for sour cream or even mayonnaise.

Greek yogurt is lower in carbohydrates. This is great news for diabetics and people watching their carb intake. The plain kind has less sugar than regular yogurt, but you still need to be careful when you're buying the flavored variety.

One of the most celebrated of all Greek yogurt benefits is its lower sodium content. The USDA claims it has up to 50% less salt, in fact.

It has more protein, in fact most commercial brands contain up to 50% more than normal yogurt. If you're watching your weight, this will come as great news. The extra protein will serve to satisfy your appetite for longer.

Many have more probiotic strains, some contain up to six strains while the regular variety has only two. If you're suffering from intestinal problems, these healthy bacteria will help balance the flora in your intestines, replacing harmful bacteria with helpful bacteria.

It's easier to digest since it has less lactose. Lactose is the sugar in dairy products that many people have trouble digesting. During the process of the whey straining, much of the lactose is removed. This does not mean Greek yogurt is lactose-free, however. But, if you have lactose intolerance and can handle a little bit of this sugar, then you're in luck.

One way regular yogurt beats out this super food is in the calcium department. Some of the calcium is lost in the straining process. So, if you're primarily eating yogurt for its calcium, the regular stuff is the winner. That's not to say Greek yogurt isn't a good source of calcium, however.

Greek Yogurt Nutrition Facts: Greek Yogurt Brands

Some of the most popular and widely known Greek yogurt brands are called Fage, Chobani, Stonyfield Organic Oikos, Cabot, Dannon Greek, Yoplait Greek and The Greek Gods. Of course these are not the only choices out there, but for my purposes (since they're widely available and recognizable) I'm choosing the nonfat plain Greek yogurt brands to illustrate the nutritional facts.

Please pay attention to the different serving sizes for each brand of yogurt! There are differences between what constitutes a serving depending upon the brand.

Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt Nutritional Facts: Please Note Serving Size Differences!

Serving Size
Fat Content
Sugar Content
Calcium: % RDA
One cup = 250 g
0 grams
9 grams
20 grams
85 mg
8 oz = 227 g
0 grams
9.1 grams
22.9 grams
105 mg
One container, 113.5 g
0 grams
5 grams
12 grams
45 mg
Dannon Greek
One container = 150 g
0 grams
6 grams
15 grams
50 mg
Yoplait Greek
One container = 170 g
0 grams
9 grams
13.9 grams
90 mg
The Greek Gods
6 oz, 170 g
0 grams
7 grams
6 grams
105 mg

Greek Yogurt Recipe Idea


Best Greek Yogurt?

I'm very picky about my yogurt. I eat Greek yogurt everyday and I need it to be GOOD. I've tried all of the brands I reviewed above and can tell you a thing or two about each of them. Let me start with my favorite: Fage!

Top Picks for Best Greek Yogurt

  1. Fage Greek Yogurt: If you're concerned about texture and enjoy something creamy and rich, then you will love it. I do enjoy the texture of some of the other brands of Greek yogurt, but this one has them beat. It's also just the right amount of tartness, not overwhelming and slightly sweet. If you didn't know it was non-fat, you would have no idea. It really feels like you're cheating and giving yourself a naughty treat. It's my "go-to" yogurt, if my supermarket is out of stock, I'm an unhappy girl.
  2. Chobani: It's similar to Fage in terms of its thick and creamy texture, but it's more on the sour side. It's my favorite Greek yogurt to add to recipes and for dips and sauces, though. But, if there's no Fago available, it's my second pick for plain eatin'. I like to add some fresh or frozen fruit and a little bit of Splenda and I have a fabulous snack or breakfast. Yum!
  3. Stonyfield Oikos: This very well might have the best taste of all, but it's the consistency that's making it my third top pick. It is sweeter, milder and less sour than some of its counterparts, so it's quite delicious plain. But, it doesn't hold a candle to Fage or Chobani in terms of its texture, it's simply more on the "runny" side.


Submit a Comment

  • Taranwanderer profile image

    Taranwanderer 2 years ago

    My favorite yogurt of them all...and it has many health benefits.

  • othellos profile image

    Mario Psomas 3 years ago from Europe

    I grew up with Greek yogurt, mostly homemade. Enjoyed your detailed information very much. Thanks for sharing:=)

  • SopranoRocks profile image

    SopranoRocks 6 years ago from Upper Peninsula, Michigan, USA

    I eat a lot of Chobani Greek Yogurt because I need the protein and it is my favorite brand (I really don't like Oikos flavor and it is like half the protein as Chobani). My fav flavors are (in order) black cherry, pineapple, and strawberry-banana. Also my doctor says because the sugar is natural and not added, it is ok for low/no sugar diets. Well worth the switch from normal yogurt!

  • wordscribe43 profile image

    Elsie Nelson 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

    Wow, that surprises me, Claudia... I hope they start importing it as well. I'd be lost without it. Thanks for coming by and commenting.

  • Claudia Tello profile image

    Claudia Tello 6 years ago from Mexico

    I love Greek yoghurt. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find it in Mexico, where I live. I hope someone starts importing it soon!!!!!!!!!!

  • wordscribe43 profile image

    Elsie Nelson 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

    Agreed, BlissfulWriter. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

  • BlissfulWriter profile image

    BlissfulWriter 6 years ago

    I always try to get yogurt with live cultures which many Greek yogurt has. Live cultures is part of what makes yogurt healthy.