Greek yogurt has really become all the rage in the last year. It’s thick, it’s creamy, it’s expensive! So, what’s the big deal about Greek yogurt? I would love to say that it has twice the awesomeness simply for being Greek, but that’s actually not true. Most Greek yogurts sold in this country are manufactured in this country. For example, the Oikos yogurt above, which has a lovely picture of Santorini, Greece on it, is actually manufactured by Stoneyfield Farms right here in the USA.
That’s not to say that I don’t buy Greek yogurt. I actually have two containers in my fridge right now. That’s because, for me, it comes down to one huge advantage. Greek yogurt has twice the protein of the same amount of conventional yogurt. As you know, protein is great for building and repairing muscles. Based on my weight, I try to consume 75-125 grams of protein per day, which is not easy to do when you’re a pescatarian. Oh and Greek yogurt also has fewer carbs per serving if you’re into that low-carb thing.
So, if you are looking to pile on the protein (or replace carnivorous sources of protein), then the cost may be offset for you. However, if you simply like yogurt in general and get your recommended protein through other sources, then you probably don’t need to invest in the Greek stuff.
Besides, I can show you how to duplicate the thick creamy texture of Greek yogurt using the regular stuff. In fact, before it became fashionable to eat Greek yogurt, my mom used this method for years to get the consistency right for making tzatziki.
First, put a medium sized strainer over a bowl. Make sure that there’s about an inch of room between the bottom of the strainer and the bowl. Then, overlap coffee filters so that the strainer is covered. Finally, dump your yogurt into the coffee filter lined strainer, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it over night. The next day, you’ll have a thick, creamy yogurt left in the strainer and the excess liquid sitting in the bottom of your bowl.
Another tidbit of useful information is that dairy in general is one of the few foods that can have the fat removed while retaining all of the nutrients. In other words, you’re getting the same benefits from fat-free yogurt as you would be from full-fat yogurt and the same goes for 2% cheese and skim milk. The same is not true for most other reduced calorie foods. In fact, studies show that people who consume reduced fat snacks (like Oreos or Cheez-its) actually consume more calories than if they were eating the regular version of the product. That’s because they feel less guilt consuming it so they eat more of it. Do you know what this means?? This means that I read way too many studies on diet and nutrition. Regardless, it’s true so read those labels.
Anyway, back to yogurt; however you choose to enjoy it (be it Greek or traditional), it’s definitely a good part of a healthy diet so eat up!