7 Reasons why non-fat Greek Yogurt is a superfood all-star:
- Weight Control. Non-fat Greek yogurt is a power house for lean protein. One serving (1 cup) of plain non-fat Greek yogurt has 130 calories, 0g fat, 6g sugar (naturally occurring in all dairy), and a whopping 22g of protein. Nutritionally speaking, that is half the sugar and 2x the protein found in plain nonfat regular yogurt, which will help you feel fuller, longer. This is the Holy Grail for those who are looking for healthy snacks while on the path to weight loss or healthy weight maintenance.
- Diabetes. There are so many foods and snacks that are not ideal for those with insulin resistance or diabetes. Greek yogurt is certainly not one of them. Greek yogurt is absorbed slowly into the blood stream, which allows for a slow and steady release of energy. Greek yogurt undergoes a straining process which removes the liquid whey. Subsequently, half of the sugar is also removed, but the protein remains intact. It’s because of this process that Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt.
- Digestion. Greek yogurt is a great source of probiotics. What’s so great about probiotics? They are tiny little microorganisms that help improve digestion and protect your gut from harmful bacteria. Research has shown that probiotics can help treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, and other gastrointestinal disorders. They can also help promote regular bowel movements.
- Blood Pressure. In one of the largest studies of its kind, research by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) indicated that foods rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, and protein (i.e. Greek Yogurt) can help reduce elevated blood pressure. Bonus: Greek yogurt has about half the amount of sodium of regular yogurt. Greek yogurt is a clear choice for those with high blood pressure.
- Lactose Intolerant. Contrary to popular belief, it not only acceptable, but health experts recommend that people with mild lactose intolerance include small amounts of dairy in their diet. The key is to choose dairy with low amounts of lactose. Cue the Greek yogurt. Part of the straining process that transforms regular yogurt into Greek yogurt subsequently removes about 95% of the lactose. This is why lactose intolerant people can often digest Greek yogurt comfortably.
- Athletes. The same high protein, calcium, magnesium, and potassium content that contributes to Greek yogurt’s ability to lower blood pressure, also makes it a great choice for athletes. All the protein and electrolytes present in Greek yogurt can help athletes replenish stores that may have been lost during intense exercise. Not to mention the calcium in Greek yogurt helps keep bones strong and less prone to injury.
- Versatility. One of the best things about Greek yogurt is that in addition to being eaten alone, it can be substituted for just about anything! It can be blended in with smoothies or mixed with fruit and frozen to make a healthier ice cream. Greek yogurt doesn’t curdle at a high temperature so it can also be used in place of sour cream, mayo, vegetable oil and cream cheese in dessert recipes and casseroles.
Please note*When we say Greek yogurt we are referring to the plain, non-fat variety.