Olympic Finish For Greek Yogurt

Chobani is the officially sponsor of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team and the U.S. Olympic Sports Dietitians endorse including Greek yogurt as part of a balanced diet for Olympic athletes.

Greek yogurt is also a nutritious food to include in the recreational athletes diet as well as as a healthy way to meet the recommended calcium and protein requirements daily.

But is Greek yogurt really “Greek”?  And what makes it Greek?  Don’t be fooled by the brand names as to date all are made in the U.S.: Chobani, Oikos, Vaskos, and Fage.  Greek refers to the style of making the yogurt.  Greek style yogurt is strained more to remove most of the whey, lactose, and sugar, also accounts for the higher protein content.  However, regular yogurt is a better source of calcium.

So why is Greek yogurt taking the gold medal ?

Many people report feeling full longer from Greek yogurt.  Satiety may be correlated to the protein content and small amount of fat.  The thicker texture may generate feelings of satisfaction.

Gold Medal Nutrients (Underlined)

Per Cup    Regular vs Greek

Calories             130        140

Protein              14g         24g

Carbohydrate    19g           9g

Sugar                  9g           7g

Sodium        190mg      80mg

Calcium       490mg    200mg

 My favorite benefit: versatility!  Greek yogurt can be part of many recipes from burgers to baked goods or as a substitute to higher fat dairy products in sauces, dips, and some main dishes.  Yogurt tends to separate when heated, so substituting a large quantity  like in stuffed shells may end up runny.

Eating a variety of low and fat free dairy products has been shown to improve weight loss and promote weight maintenance.  So while Greek yogurt is taking over the dairy case, making regular yogurt seem inferior, both can be part of a balanced diet.


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