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Friday, July 22, 2011

All About Greek Yogurt

Lately, Greek yogurt has been getting a lot of attention so we wanted to break down the information and share why it has been in the lime light of health, nutrition, and dieting.  First of all, there are many brands out there providing options in the Greek yogurt realm of the grocery store including: Chobani, Fage, Oikos, Athenos which all have predominately Greek products (all brands are not listed) and other brands like Yoplait and Dannon (all brands that have Greek lines are not listed) that have introduced a Greek yogurt line in their overall line of yogurts. 

Traditional and Greek style yogurts both have a straining component to the process of production, but when making Greek yogurt additional straining occurs.  The straining process removes water or whey from the yogurt and this is what gives the yogurt a thick, creamy and dense consistency. 

The process of production gives way to the nutritional components and benefits to Greek style yogurt.  It depends on what your goals are for your diet as to whether Greek yogurt is 'better' for you or not.    Because more water is removed in the Greek style yogurts; they are more calorically dense, have a lower amount of calcium (some is lost in the additional straining of the whey), the protein content is higher, and they are lower in carbohydrates per ounce of yogurt when compared to traditional yogurts.  Some brands boast up to 23 grams of protein per 8 ounce container!

Greek style yogurts are gluten free, and are also free of corn, nuts, and soy which are common allergies.  They are vegetarian and a good substitute for many food items.

Using Greek style yogurts as a substitute for mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, or salad dressings can boost nutritional value while trimming unnecessary calories in dips, dressings, and spreads. 

The Food Network did a taste test on Greek yogurts-you can read HERE for more information on the scores and how the different brands lined up.  Recipes and additional resources can be found on any of the Greek style yogurt products web pages. Do you enjoy Greek yogurt? If so, what kind and how do you eat it?

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