Greek yogurt in the traditional sense of the word is a very tasty, unlike any other yogurts you may have tasted before.
However, there are many untraditional yogurts on the market today with retailers labeling as “Greek” something that is not all that.
Ingredients to read on the label of a Greek yogurt made the old fashioned, traditional way are milk and bacterial cultures. Any other ingredients, most common thickeners and additives like corn starch and milk-protein concentrate are gimmicks that yogurt producers use to substitute for the more elaborate process of making genuine Greek yogurt.
How Greek yogurt is made traditionally
Making yogurt is hundreds of years-old practice in Greece and the Middle East, and Greek yogurt is produced by straining off the whey, which is all the excess liquid that remains in regular yogurt. The result is a much denser, thicker and creamier yogurt packed with protein and scarce in carbohydrates. Strained yogurt also contains less sugar than regular yogurt.
Traditional Greek yogurt is never sweetened or flavored. The flavored varieties that some yogurt brands offer usually contain a lot of sugar and sometimes natural dyes that only serve to make yogurts look fruitier than they actually are.
Tip: To serve sweetened Greek yogurt that is also healthy it’s best to avoid any varieties loaded with ingredients other than milk and live cultures and simply add a bit of honey and some sweet fruits to the plain natural Greek yogurt.
A health contributor
With twice as much protein than regular yogurt, less sugar and less lactose too, Greek or strained yogurt has some extra benefits from which not only bodybuilders and athletes can benefit but everyone.
- Greek yogurt has a high concentration of calcium, 100g containing about 20% of the daily recommended value, which makes it a highly recommended food for both adults and children. Calcium is very important to the healthy development of bones and teeth, as such the nutrient also helping with prevention of various bone-related diseases.
- The protein amount in Greek yogurt, almost double to the protein found in regular yogurt is good for building muscle strength. Protein is, in addition, a very good nutrient for combating sluggish energy as the nutrient acts as an energy booster, this translating into a very nourishing and healthy food.
- There is also a good source of vitamin D in Greek yogurt. Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins that help with calcium in the body and studies have demonstrated a correlation between the two nutrients, respectively that calcium is absorbed more properly when ingested with vitamin D.
Getting into Greek yogurt
Probably the tangiest of all yogurts, Greek yogurt has worked its way into many diets and is today very popular in the States too.
The rich and thicker texture appeals to many people, and the yogurt is a much healthier substitute to sour cream for example. But Greek yogurt can be consumed in so many ways that it is truly an exceptional and versatile food.
- Consume Greek yogurt for a protein-packed and energy booster breakfast.
- Use Greek yogurt to make desserts such as muffins, mousse pies, cheesecakes, cupcakes, lemon yogurt cakes and other varieties.
- Blend creamy smoothies.
- Add to salads.
- Make dips and dressings.