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I’ve always been a fan of yogurt for breakfast, and recently decided to give the Greek yogurt craze a go after seeing all the Twitter buzz surrounding it!

Greek yogurt is different than normal yogurt – it’s strained extensively, which filters out the excessive liquid whey, lactose, and sugar. This gives it a thicker consistency, and also makes it much healthier than regular yogurt! Greek yogurt can have up to double the protein and half the sugar of the yogurt you normally find on the shelves, and all for the same amount of calories! Benefits include:

  • It’s lower in carbohydrates (about 5-8 grams per serving, as opposed to 13-17 in regular yogurt) for all you low-carb people.
  • It’s higher in protein – it has 15-20 grams per serving, which is around the same amount you’d get from eating a serving of lean meat.
  • It’s lower in sodium than regular yogurt – by about half!
  • It has a ton of calcium in it – about 20% of your recommended daily intake. 

When buying Greek yogurt, there are a few things to watch out for. It can be high in saturated fats, so you’ll want to stick to the low-fat or nonfat versions to make sure you don’t exceed your daily limit. Also, avoid the flavored brands, or the ones that have fruit or granola included in them. This can greatly raise the amount of sugar you’re consuming!


I tried out Fage this week for my foray into the world of Greek yogurt. It’s one of the less expensive options, but still has all the health benefits of the more expensive name brands (without making my wallet cry).  Opening up the container, I was a bit taken aback – Greek yogurt is A LOT thicker than normal yogurt. I bought the nonfat version, and upon first taste I was a little dismayed. It’s got a bit of a sour taste to it (nothing like the fat-free cherry vanilla Yoplait I usually swear by).

However, I fixed myself a bowl with some raw honey and chopped apples, sprinkled a little cinnamon over top, and I was hooked. The honey compensates for the sour taste, and the yogurt is especially creamy. Best of all? It’s thicker and has more protein, so it kept me full all morning long – no mid-morning hunger pangs to contend with!


Photo: nojuju.blogspot.com

Greek yogurt is excellent mixed into oatmeal, granola, fruit, smoothies, cereal – you name it. Not only is it a great breakfast food… you can implement it in other meals. It’s a protein-packed substitute for sour cream, and you can use it as a replacement for eggs, butter, and oil in your baked goods. Craving something savory? Mix your yogurt with seasonings like garlic and dill to make a delicious dip for raw vegetables. You can even use it in place of mayo on sandwiches!


Photo: Nikas-Culinaria.com

My vote? Switch to Greek yogurt. It’s jampacked with health benefits that you just don’t get from regular yogurt, and it’s incredibly versatile – whether you want sweet or savory, it offers a solution. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make yours count. And remember, make a healthy choice – for life!

Looking for more information on nutrition, or healthy recipes to try out on your family and friends? Visit our Food-Drink-Nutrition and Recipes sections!

4/17/2012 11:36:43 AM|KRIS.VANVONDEREN

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