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The Nutrition of Greek Yogurt

Aug 17, 2010

Greek yogurt is one of the best foods imaginable. Not only is it creamy and cool, but unlike traditional yogurts it is so thick it can nearly be cut with a knife. But with people living longer and obesity becoming more of a problem, it is important to understand that foods should not only be chosen because they taste good, but also because they can improve our health. A basic understanding of the nutrition of Greek yogurt will you decide if it is right for you and your family.

Fat

Before digging into a big bowl of Greek yogurt, it is important to understand that it is very high in saturated fat. Saturated fat is one of the most dangerous types of fat, because it has been found to be linked to the development of cardiovascular disease, stroke and even some types of cancer. The fat found in Greek yogurt can wreak havoc on your diet. Per gram, fat contains nine calories, while in comparison protein and carbohydrates contain only four calories per gram. Obviously, since Greek yogurt contains a lot of fat, you will therefore be eating a high amount of calories. While Greek yogurt is made from whole milk, you may be able to find some brands that are made with low or nonfat milk. These will not only be better for your health, but also for your waistline.

Calcium

Greek yogurt isn't all bad. In fact, the calcium found in Greek yogurt is essential for good health. Most people learn early on that calcium helps to keep your teeth and bones strong and healthy. And while this is very important, research has also found that calcium is essential to keep the heart functioning properly. Without enough calcium in your diet, you could suffer from serious arrhythmias that could be life threatening.

Protein

Greek yogurt is a great source of dietary protein. Protein is essential to maintain and promote new muscle growth. This makes Greek yogurt great for vegetarians who are interested in getting more protein in their diet without taking supplements. Read the label of each container of Greek yogurt before making a final decision if you are especially interested in increasing your protein intake. While there may not be huge differences in the amount of protein between brands, they may be substantial enough to make a difference for you.

Acidophillus

Greek yogurt contains a type of bacteria known as acidophillus. Unlike other types of bacteria that can actually be quite dangerous when eaten, acidophillus has numerous health benefits including promoting good health in the digestive and reproductive tract. If you are especially interested in getting acidophillus in your diet, be sure to read the label of your Greek yogurt carefully. The best brands will typically state clearly on the label that the product contains live acidophillus, and because of this should be refrigerated immediately.

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