Foods that are high in fiber and protein, while still being low in calories, play an integral part in my plan to control weight and build muscle. To this end, I make liberal use of yogurt in frozen fruit smoothies and high fiber cereals, both as low calorie snacks and meal replacements. So, when I walked past the dairy case and saw Greek yogurt, it caught my attention.
Traditional Greek yogurt is made from either sheep or cow’s milk, using the same basic process as regular yogurt. Milk is heated and then allowed to ferment under controlled conditions, which produces the final product. During traditional processing, yogurt is lightly strained to remove any residual solid material remaining from the manufacturing process.
Greek yogurt, sometimes called strained yogurt, is filtered to a greater degree than traditional yogurt. The extra filtering actually removes whey from the mixture, which make a product with a consistency between that of traditional yogurt and cheese. Greek yogurt is celebrated for its thick, creamy texture, and variants of the product have been a staple of cooking in the Mediterranean and Middle East for hundreds of years.
What Are The Benefits Of Greek Yogurt?
The benefits of Greek yogurt are similar to those of traditional yogurt, with some additional perks. Like traditional yogurt, Greek yogurt is a rich source of probiotics, which promote intestinal health. Since it has less whey, Greek yogurt tends to have more protein, fewer carbohydrates, and less sodium than traditional yogurt. This also increases the fat content of Greek yogurt, relative to that of its traditional cousin.
Greek yogurt can have 2-4x the protein of traditional yogurt.
In recent weeks, I’ve been using Greek yogurt in lieu of regular yogurt in frozen fruit smoothies with great success. Even better, I’ve used it as a replacement to milk in morning cereals, and mixed with fresh berries. Either way, it gives a much needed protein boost to meals and snacks, which helps stave off hunger, and adds a muscle-building kick. All of this combine to make it a great addition to the pantry as one of nature’s best metabolism boosters.
It’s worth pointing out that since Greek yogurt is strained to remove the whey, has less calcium than traditional yogurt. Unfortunately, it also takes substantially more milk to make Greek yogurt. By some estimates, it can take as much as 4 times the milk as its traditional counterpart, which makes it (arguably) less environmentally friendly and generally more expensive. Having said that, the product appears to be growing in popularity in the U.S. While it’s been a staple of specialty food markets for some time, its starting to make a debut on “big box” store shelves, and consumers are definitely interested.
This post originated at Live Fit Blog, which is written by Greg Hayes. To read more about using healthy snacks and other simple tools to improve health and lose weight, check it out.What Is Greek Yogurt?
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