Greek Yogurt

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Greek Yogurt Quick Facts
Name: Greek Yogurt
Origin Greece, Middle East or Central Asia
Colors White
Shapes Creamy
Taste Tangy, less sweet
Calories 97 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin B-12 (31.25%)
Vitamin B2 (21.38%)
Phosphorus (19.29%)
Protein (18.00%)
Selenium (17.64%)
Health benefits Reverse depression, Weight loss, Prevent yeast infections, Supports digestion, Manage blood pressure
Yogurt is a fermented milk product which offers digested lactose and viable bacterial strains such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophiles. It is a great source of various essential nutrients such as potassium, calcium, protein, vitamin B12 and B2 and phosphorus. Greek yogurt is a strained yogurt which is extensively strained to discard whey and lactose resulting thicker textured yogurt by preserving distinctive sour taste of yogurt. Similar to other yogurt, Greek yogurt is made from milk enriched by boiling off some water content or adding powdered milk and extra butterfat. In North America and Europe, it is made with fat free or low fat yogurt. Generally, it is referred as Greek style yogurt in Britain and is widely consumed in Eastern Mediterranean, Levantine, Central Asian, Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisines. The straining process eliminates excess whey and non-fat varieties are much richer, thicker and creamier in comparison to yogurt which is not strained. Greek style yogurt in US uses more thickeners such as starches, pectin, guar gum, starches, locust bean gum are used instead of straining. In US and Western Europe, the popularity of strained yogurt has increased in comparison to unstrained yogurt. The straining process discards some lactose and it has lower sugar than unstrained yogurt. Due to this, Greek yogurt is higher in protein with low carbohydrates and sugar. Greek yogurt got originated in parts of Europe about hundreds of years ago. The goat and cow milk were fermented first to prolong its shelf life.

Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt

Few foods such as Greek yogurt is healthy even in small serving sizes. It grants essential nutrients and also assist to lose weight, keeps intestinal system healthy, promotes feminine health, boost immunity, increase bone density, promote thyroid function and aids digestive system.

  1. Reverse depression

Research has been carried out on mice feeding Lactobacillus (probiotic bacteria found in live cultures yogurt). The bacteria affected mood and provided direct link between mental health and health of gut microbiome. On the basis of this finding, researchers tend to confirm with depression patients. The same mechanisms and biological substances Lactobacillus used to affect mood in mice is observed in humans also suggesting that the effect is same. (1)

  1. Weight loss

Besides exercise, one should have healthy diet to provide influence over weight. It contains twice protein and less sugar that makes one satisfied for longer time period. The consumption of 200 calories from protein, the body gets only 160 calories after processing. So consumption of high protein is effective for losing weight.

  1. Prevent yeast infections

Fungus candida is responsible for causing yeast infections which lives in vaginal tracts of women naturally. Usually it occurs when the good bacteria reside in our gut and even vagina becomes wiped out. Greek yogurt is loaded with probiotic bacteria i.e. essential for natural flora’s wellbeing. It provides limiting effect on yeast so these infections could be prevented.

  1. Supports digestion

Greek yogurt also promotes digestive bacteria which have a vital role in assisting digestion and results waste. Digestive problems occur when these cultures are insufficient. The poor probiotic cultures causes’ malnutrition, as nutrients would be hard to get absorbed and suffers frequent diarrhea. It is necessary to maintain cultures well stocked and also good shape as little bacteria are beneficial for health.

  1. Manage blood pressure

High intake of sodium is the main cause for high blood pressure which occurs with concurrent deficiency of other minerals. Greek yogurt offers the minerals regulating blood pressure such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. It balance electrolyte concentrations or relaxes blood vessels.

  1. Enhance bone density

Greek yogurt has essential bone building nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, Vitamin D and phosphorus. The nutrients are essential as people ages especially to woman. Osteoporosis is associated with deficiency of these vital nutrients.

  1. Strengthen immunity

Greek yogurt has immune boosting anti-oxidants. Vitamin D and probiotics helps to enhance immunity. Probiotics support the way of promoting number of white blood cells to counteract pathogens.

  1. Thyroid health

Greek yogurt is useful for lactose intolerance due to its unique way probiotic culture digest it. The straining process leads to less sugar making it digestible easily to majority of people. It is helpful for those recovering from surgery. Being digestive friendly, it assists intestines with essential good bacteria.

  1. Formation of blood

For the formation of blood, it requires more than iron. Greek yogurt requires more co-factors such as Vitamin B12. Vegetarians find it difficult to get adequate amount of Vitamin B12 from their diet. The consumption of yogurt helps to settle these deficiencies.

  1. Muscle health

Protein is must for those trying to gain muscle mass. Meat is a great source of protein but besides it, Greek yogurt is also a perfect choice to obtain protein. It could be consumed any time even at workout period, during day and before bed.  Yogurt incorporates both casein and whey protein which supplies combo of fast and slow digesting amino nutrition.

  1. Healthy gums

Calcium is beneficial for teeth as well as bones. Probiotics could keep healthier gums. An intake of Greek yogurt helps to lower the cancer sores development and the present cancer sores to heal much faster. Sugar in low content also enhances tooth decay.

  1. Enhance mood

Gut has a nerve which is known as Vagus which directly relay signals from gut to brain and vice versa. It clarifies why anxiety results in nervous stomach and how yogurt promotes wellbeing. By lowering the chances of intestinal disorders and buffering effect of cortisol, the nerve transmits brain that calm is achieved. In response, brain creates more serotonin and calms itself. Thus, Greek yogurt is beneficial for gut.

How to Eat         

  • Usually it is used to make dips served with dates.
  • Serve it as a side dish or dessert.
  • Combine Greek yogurt with oats for making muesli parfait.
  • It could be added to muffins and pancakes.
  • Prepare breakfast smoothie by blending half frozen banana, half cup of milk, handful baby spinach and half cup of Greek yogurt.
  • Blend half avocado, freshly ground black pepper, little lemon juice and Greek yogurt and pour it over crunchy salads.
  • It could be used as a substitute for cheese and macaroni and other baked pasta dishes.
  • Make creamy mashed potatoes by mashing it with boiled potatoes.
  • Puree Greek yogurt with canned pumpkin and sprinkle cinnamon on it.
  • It is used instead of sour cream in cheesecake recipes.
  • Use it as a base for fruit smoothies instead of using juice or milk.
  • Greek yogurt is also used instead of oil for marinating fish, chicken and pork.
  • Make Greek yogurt sherbet adding little lemon juice, honey, lemon zest and freeze it till firm.
  • Use it as a substitute for mayonnaise.

How to store?

The shelf life of Greek yogurt depends on the way it is stored. All dairy products should be kept in the refrigerator immediately to keep fresh for longer time period. Store the yogurt container for long time (a month or two) by freezing them. Seal the container tightly to keep it fresh. The perishable goods when kept at room temperature for more than 2 hours is prone to growth of harmful bacteria.


  • Too much consumption of yogurt is harmful.
  • The regular consumption of Greek yogurt lead to constipation.
  • Some people might experience gas problems.
  • Consume it in moderate amounts.
  • One should choose brand wisely.

Other Facts        

  • Yogurt cultures are the bacteria used for making yogurt.
  • The bacteria ferment lactose and produce lactic acid which acts on milk protein for providing the texture or characteristic tart flavor.
  • As early at 3000 BCE, Turkish shepherds have been turning milk into yogurt.
  • National Greek Yogurt Day is celebrated on November 9.
  • Greek yogurt contains half carbohydrates and half sodium of regular yogurt.
  • Yogurt has high level of lactic acid which enhances skin health. It is used as a moisturizer for revitalizing dry and dull skin in India.






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