By now, no one is surprised to hear that yogurt is good for the body. Not only does it provide a good dose of calcium, but most yogurts are stuffed full of protein and happy, friendly bacteria that help the intestines do their job. The most recent yogurt superstar on the scene is Greek yogurt, and it’s rapidly becoming a winner in the yogurt versus Greek yogurt debate. Greek yogurt has a thicker, more buttery texture than regular yogurt, packs an additional protein wallop, and leaves the diner more satisfied.
The reason for the substantially richer consistency lays in the fact that Greek yogurt is made with at least twice as much milk. This can mean an enormous protein difference in yogurt versus Greek yogurt. A single serving size of regular yogurt is no protein slouch, offering between four and ten grams of protein, but its Greek cousin beats it out of the gate with as much as 24 grams.
It’s important not the make the logical jump to thinking Greek yogurt must also contain two to three times more calcium than the thinner, American-style yogurts. Sadly, calcium actually gets lost in the translation. A single-serving container of Greek yogurt offers only 20% of the recommended daily amount to thinner yogurt’s 30%. This may not make sense on the surface, but the reason is because Greek yogurt is heavily strained.
In fact, straining explains a lot of the difference been yogurt versus Greek yogurt. As whey, lactose, and sugar are strained out of the Greek version, the resulting yogurt is both creamier and more flavorful. Also, because Greek yogurt loses about a third of the calcium, it also manages to dump about half the sugar content as well.
In the great yogurt versus Greek yogurt debate, however, there lies a cautionary tale. Some yogurt fans have conditioned themselves to reach for a whole-milk yogurt because the differences in flavor and mouth feel over the low-fat or fat-free versions are noticeable. With regular yogurt, this adds about four grams of fat, which many folks consider a fair trade-off. Full-fat Greek yogurt, however, can stop hearts with the 16 grams of saturated fat it hides.
Fortunately, one taste assures most yogurt eaters that even fat-free Greek yogurt is more flavorful, smoother, and creamier than full-fat American yogurt. It’s also a tad tangier, so many breakfast connoisseurs like to add some fresh raspberries, strawberries, or bananas. If a little more sweetening is necessary for a particular tongue, a few drops of honey will do the trick.