Greek Is More Popular, but Is it Better than Regular Yogurt?

Traditionally, the distinct flavor of Greek yogurt has made it less popular in the U.S. than regular yogurt. However, its high protein-to-carb ratio has made it more appealing in recent years as a trendy food. It is now one of the most popular dairy products in the U.S. and outsells normal yogurt.  

Greek yogurt and regular yogurt start out the same. But Greek yogurt has the whey strained out. Whey is quite thin and fluid. Removing it makes Greek yogurt much thicker and causes a higher concentration of lactic acid, leading to a more sour flavor.

Whey is a form of protein. However, yogurt also has protein in the form of casein. By removing the fluid of the whey, Greek yogurt has a higher amount of protein per serving. Also, because of its high lactic acid content, it has less sugar. A serving of Greek yogurt has 14 grams of protein, while regular yogurt only has five.

On the other hand, Greek yogurt has less calcium than traditional yogurt. Flavored Greek yogurts can have more added sugars. And the live bacteria in Greek yogurt can cause problems for people with weak immune systems who may become ill. If you have immune system concerns, speak to your doctor before Greek yogurt.

Yogurt has become a part of many people’s morning routines. While both Greek and regular yogurt can be healthy additions to the diet, their nutritional content varies,” said Mackenzie Burgess, a registered dietitian nutritionist and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices.

Both kinds of yogurt are filled with probiotics that help your digestive health. No matter which you pick, you should go for plain yogurt and add your own flavors, as they don’t have added sugars.

Both Greek and regular yogurts can have added sugars and things you don’t want. Read the nutrition label to find out what’s in it. Look for high fructose corn syrup, food starch, gelatin, malic acid, potassium sorbate and food dyes. Avoid those, and you’re good to go.

Paul Jaeckel, a registered dietitian nutritionist, said Greek yogurt may be healthier as it tends to be lower in salt. “It not only has more protein, which keeps you satisfied quicker and for longer, but also contains less sodium, which is a big concern in most Americans’ diets right now.”

Another perk is that Greek yogurt is lower in lactose. Most people who are lactose intolerant can enjoy Greek yogurt safely.

In the end, our conclusion is what it often is. The best yogurt is the one you enjoy eating. If you don’t like Greek yogurt’s tart flavor and thick texture, that’s okay! As long as you read labels and pick a yogurt that is low in sugar, it doesn’t have to be Greek yogurt. Regular yogurt has more calcium. It has more natural sugar, but balance it with fiber, and it will still be an excellent, healthy part of your diet!

Banner image: Sara Cervera via Unsplash

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