How healthy is yoghurt

How Healthy is Yoghurt

I came across the healthiness of yoghurt, mainly its high protein content while writing my previous post on curbing the cravings. Now, have you ever pondered the wonders of yoghurt? In today’s post, let’s find out what is yoghurt good for and how should you consume it for health.

Yoghurt vs Yogurt

Before we begin, is it yoghurt or yogurt? Both are correct!

The spelling varies based on where you are, but in essence, they’re essentially the same scrumptious treat.

“Yogurt” is American English whereas “Yoghurt” is British English, used in the UK, AU, NZ and certain Commonwealth countries. From where I am at, it is “yoghurt” and “yogurt” may come up somewhere along this post.

So, What is Yoghurt Made of?

Yoghurt is made from two main ingredients: milk and beneficial live bacterial cultures.

Yoghurt, that creamy and delightful dairy treat, has a simple origin story. Yoghurt is made from two main ingredients: milk and beneficial live bacterial cultures.

When the process of yoghurt-making kicks off, these live cultures, namely Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, play the starring role. These friendly bacteria begin the magical transformation of milk into yoghurt through a process called fermentation.

As the milk is warmed up, these live cultures get to work. They convert the natural sugars present in the milk (lactose) into lactic acid. This lactic acid production is what thickens and solidifies the milk, transforming it into the creamy and tangy yoghurt you love.

The fermentation process not only adds flavour but also contributes to the preservation of the yoghurt. These live cultures contribute to yoghurt’s unique taste and also offer some health benefits you’ll find out in this post. Read on but before that,

What’s the Difference Between Greek Yoghurt and Regular Yoghurt

Regular or plain natural yoghurt and Greek-style yoghurt are what I normally see on supermarket shelves though there are various types available.

Let’s talk about 2 common ones – Greek and Regular.

Greek Yoghurt

Imagine Greek yoghurt and regular yoghurt as two close friends, each with its unique qualities.

Greek yoghurt undergoes an additional process that sets it apart. This method involves straining the yoghurt to remove whey, resulting in a significantly thicker and creamier texture compared to its regular counterpart.

The straining process that Greek yoghurt undergoes is like a makeover that brings out its concentrated goodness.

As a result, Greek yoghurt becomes notably denser. The texture is velvety and smooth, making it an excellent choice for those who enjoy a richer, more satisfying mouthful.

Regular Yoghurt

On the other hand, regular yoghurt, while not as flavourful, tends to have its unique strengths. It might not boast the same thickness as Greek yoghurt, but it often offers a slightly thinner and more liquid consistency.

Additionally, regular yoghurt is a notable source of calcium, an essential nutrient crucial for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. This can be beneficial for those seeking additional calcium intake in their diet.

This thinner texture might be advantageous in some culinary applications, particularly when used as a base for smoothies or dressings, where a lighter texture might be desired.

On the whole, Greek yoghurt’s additional straining process results in a creamier and thicker texture, offering a different mouth feel, while regular yoghurt, with its thinner consistency, frequently serves as a rich source of calcium. Both varieties have their unique textures and nutritional profiles, depending on one’s preferences and dietary needs.

What are the Health Benefits of Greek Yoghurt

Here are 5 health benefits you should know

1. Protein-Packed

Health benefits of Greek yoghurt

One of the Greek yoghurt’s standout features is its protein richness, approximately double that of regular yoghurt. This high protein content not only contributes to a feeling of fullness but also supports muscle strength.

Greek yoghurt’s protein punch has been shown in research, highlighting its high protein content.

This extra protein is particularly advantageous if you are looking to increase your protein intake for muscle recovery and growth.

2. Gut-Friendly Probiotics

Packed with probiotics, Greek yoghurt is a friend to your gut health, aiding digestion and potentially giving your immune system a boost.

A couple of studies showed the positive impact of the probiotics found in Greek yoghurt on gut health. (1, 2)

These live cultures contribute to a balanced gut microbiome, aiding in better digestion and potentially enhancing the body’s immune response.

3. Calcium Boost

Besides its delightful taste, Greek yoghurt also offers a generous dose of calcium, crucial for maintaining strong bones and teeth.

Highlighted in the National Library of Medicine, the calcium content in yoghurt plays a significant role in supporting bone health. (1)

This essential mineral contributes to bone strength and density, making Greek yoghurt a noteworthy addition for those seeking to up their calcium intake.

While both Greek and regular yoghurt contains a good amount of calcium, regular yoghurt does better. This is because Greek yoghurt loses some calcium through the straining process.

In a 6-ounce serving, Greek yoghurt gives you 20% of the recommended daily amount whereas regular yoghurt is 30%. So, you choose.

4. Blood Sugar Management

The combination of protein and fat in Greek yoghurt works together to slow down carbohydrate digestion, potentially aiding in managing blood sugar levels.

A study shows how Greek yoghurt’s macronutrient composition affects post-meal blood sugar levels. This slower digestion can help regulate blood sugar, making it a good option if you are aiming to manage your sugar levels effectively.

5. Weight Management Support

Greek yoghurt can play a role in managing weight by reducing hunger and overall calorie intake.

Owing to its high protein content, Greek yoghurt can play a role in managing weight by reducing hunger and overall calorie intake.

Fifteen healthy women participated in a study to assess whether afternoon snacks, varying in protein content, influence appetite control and eating initiation.

The result was an afternoon snack of Greek yogurt, containing 24 g protein, led to reduced hunger, increased fullness, and delayed subsequent eating compared to lower protein snacks in healthy women.

This means the satiating effect of Greek yoghurt’s protein content can assist one who seeks to control their calorie intake and manage their weight effectively. Good to know, right?

Is It Good to Eat Yoghurt Every Day?

Now you know what the health benefits of Greek yoghurt are, are you sure it is a good idea to eat it every day? Let’s see.

Eating yoghurt daily can be a healthy choice, but always remember this – eating in moderation is the key to healthy living.

Consuming a serving a day, which typically amounts to about 150-200 grams, is generally considered a balanced and beneficial intake.

Incorporating yoghurt into your morning routine can be a delightful and nutritious start to your day. Whether enjoyed on its own, mixed with fruits or grains, or as a complement to your breakfast, yoghurt provides a protein-packed and probiotic-rich addition to your diet.

I like to add. Please read the food label carefully. Read the Nutrition Facts and the ingredient list. This goes for all packaged food. It will tell you how healthy a food is.

You may like to read this post related to food labels – What does natural flavour actually mean

Side Effects of Eating Yoghurt

As the saying goes, the good comes with the bad. Most individuals tolerate yoghurt well but if you are sensitive to lactose, you may experience digestive discomfort.

In such cases, opting for lactose-free yoghurt or Greek yoghurt, which contains lower levels of lactose, could be a suitable alternative.

This adjustment might prevent potential digestive issues, ensuring a more comfortable experience while still reaping the benefits of this nutritious dairy product.

How to Tell When Yoghurt Is Bad

This is important to know.

Similar to any perishable food item, yoghurt has a shelf life.

Observing any unusual changes in its appearance, smell and taste indicates that the yoghurt has expired.

1. Appearance

When you notice that the yoghurt container is bloated before you open it, throw it away because this is a sign of spoilage.

Upon opening a new container of yoghurt, you may notice a layer of watery-looking liquid on the surface. You should not be concerned as the liquid is whey. Simply stir it back into the yoghurt.

However, if you see an abnormally large amount of liquid or it is still visible after stirring, throw it away!

In terms of appearance, the most visible spoilage would be mould. Do not try to scrape or scoop the mold out. Once there is any mould, the entire container is contaminated. Just throw away the whole container.

2. Smell

Yoghurt should have a neutral scent except the flavoured ones. If you notice any rancid, sour or off smell, it is time to throw them.

3. Taste

If the appearance and smell say it is good to eat but the taste is off, what do you do?

Sometimes, you have to listen to your instincts. If your first spoon of yoghurt tastes stale or exceptionally sour, better throw the entire container.

When any of the above signs are present, it’s best to discard the yoghurt to avoid any potential health risks associated with consuming spoiled food.

Simple Greek Yoghurt Recipe Ideas

Discovering the many ways you can use Greek yoghurt in your cooking is both easy and practical. This versatile dairy product can be applied in various simple ways.

Here are 3 easy recipes for you to try.

1. 3-ingredients Banana Smoothies

Blend 2 bananas, 1 cup milk and 1 cup Greek yoghurt until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!

Instead of milk, you can use fresh fruit juices, even plain water but the smoothie will be slightly thinner.

As for fruits, mango, pineapple, melon and berries are good alternatives. If you like to try green smoothies, cucumber and avocado are good to start with.

Simple Greek yoghurt recipe ideas

2. A base for dressings

Creamy Lemon Yoghurt Dressing

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yoghurt
  • 1/4 extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix till combined and let sit for 30 minutes. This allows flavours to develop.

Use this dressing for garden salad, pasta salad or coleslaw. Now, you can ditch the mayonnaise 😉

There are several healthy yoghurt dressing recipes on RecipeTin Eats. This is my go-to website for many dishes.

3. Straightforward Greek yoghurt with granola

Quick, simple and easy! Start your day right, with a bowl of Greek yoghurt with granola. You know what? You can eat this any time of the day. It is great as a snack.

Sprinkle chia seeds or sesame seeds and top with berries to add more nutrients.

The options are plenty, and with a bit of creativity, Greek yoghurt can enhance your meals with added flavour and nutritional value.

Look What I Found for You

For US Readers, these are found on Amazon US (Affiliate links*). Take a look…

365 by Whole Foods Market, Organic Greek Yogurt Greek Plain

Nice, thick and creamy Greek yogurt in a 32 Ounce tub with 3.5% milkfat. 9k+ were bought in past month.

FAGE Total Greek Yogurt

A nonfat Greek yogurt that doesn’t compromise on taste or texture. 32 ounce tub with 10k+ bought in past month.

Chobani® Low-Fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt, Mixed Berry on the Bottom

5.3 ounce/pack of 4. Greek yogurt with berries – perfect for snacking! Many varieties available. You must check this out!

365 by Whole Foods Market, Frozen Yogurt Greek Blueberry Organic

Should you like something different, try this frozen Greek yogurt bar. 80 calories per bar/pack of 4.

*I receive a small commission at no extra cost to youThis allows me to enjoy a cup of coffee while writing and sharing more articles like this one.

In a Nutshell

To sum up, yoghurt, especially the Greek style, stands as a nutritional powerhouse with numerous benefits. The abundant protein content not only contributes to a sense of fullness but also aids in muscle support, making it a valuable dietary component.

Moreover, the presence of gut-friendly probiotics in yoghurt positively influences digestive health, fostering a balanced gut microbiome and potentially strengthening your immune system.

If weight management is important to you, Greek yoghurt is a good choice. Its high protein composition plays a vital role in reducing hunger and overall calorie intake, contributing to effective weight management strategies.

The versatility and easy usage of yoghurt in various food preparations, from smoothies to dressings, further emphasise its adaptability in boosting the nutritional profile of your daily meals.

Fundamentally, eating yoghurt, in moderation, proves to be a wise choice, offering not only a delectable addition to meals but also contributing to overall health and well-being.

I hope this article gives you basic but useful information about yoghurt. The health benefits of Greek yoghurt are good to know. Coupled with its easy addition to your daily diet, I’m sure you will give it a try, would you? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Other informational posts you may like to read

Thanks for reading.

Me YourHealthy CornerStay in good health, healthy eating habits

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Medical Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional, and this post should not be taken as medical advice. Please do your own research. The material on this blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual and is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical care or advice.

6 thoughts on “How Healthy is Yoghurt”

  1. Thank you so much for this informational post! I appreciate the health benefits yogurt provides. Didn’t know Greek yogurt is better though. I do love yogurt and mostly eat it with berries. Perhaps I’ll try it with granola as you recommended. It’ll be yummy, I’m sure. Furthermore, it’s really easy to prepare. Thanks again for this post.

  2. Fantastic article! I appreciate the way you addressed the difference between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt. You taught me a lot about the benefits and advantages of each which is going to make me much smarter about buying yogurt in the future. I will definitely be coming back to this article more often for those recipes you included, too!

  3. Ah I’m meant to be lactose-intolerant, but I still enjoy Greek yoghurt now and then.  It’s very good for keeping your nails thick and strong.

    What I really like though, is Kefir…ever since I discovered it in 2002, I learnt to make it with the grain culture and let it multiply.  Absolutely delicious!  I used to have a litre a day for breakfast.  

    Then I tried making kefir with raw milk and that was even nicer.  As I’ve grown older though, I find that even fermented drinks like yoghurt and kefir make my joints ache.  So I’ve cut back on my consumption of them.

    Liked your review though – very thorough.

    1. Hi Stella. The last I’ve read kefir and yogurt are anti-inflammatory but the protein content may irritate tissues around the joints. So, it’s good that you’ve reduced your consumption. As I always say, moderation is the key to healthy living. 

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