Whether topped with berries for breakfast or added to sauces and salad dressings, it’s easy to see why this dairy favourite continues to be so popular. With a rich, creamy texture and a versatile flavour, yoghurt is both tasty and nutritious.
What is Greek yoghurt?
In general, yoghurt is a fermented dairy product made from fresh milk and starter cultures, a particular type of bacteria that converts the natural sugar in milk to lactic acid.
While Greek yoghurt and natural yoghurt are similar, Greek yoghurt is strained several times to remove the whey and other liquids in the product. The result is a much thicker yoghurt that has a tangier flavour1 .
Greek yoghurt is typically available in full fat, low fat, and zero fat varieties. It can be flavoured with fruit, honey, or other artificial ingredients. There are also plenty of dairy-free options on the market for those that can’t have cow’s milk or follow a vegan diet.
The nutritional profile of Greek yoghurt
Most of us have heard that yoghurt is a healthy addition to our diets. This is because it includes a fair amount of protein, carbohydrates, calcium, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals.
245g of low-fat Greek yoghurt typically contains:
- Calories: 179
- Carbs: 10g
- Protein: 24g
- Fat: 5g
- Sugar: 9g2
Of course, if you pick a full-fat Greek yoghurt, dairy-free option, or a flavoured variety, the nutritional profile is likely to be different. It’s worth checking the label to see the ingredients list and nutrient makeup.
Health benefits of Greek yoghurt
Eating Greek yoghurt is reported to have a range of health benefits. These may include:
- Supports normal digestion
- Supportsnormal heart health
- Supports energy yielding metabolism
- Supports bone health
- Maintains normal blood pressure
- Reduced risk of diabetes3
Remember to eat Greek yoghurt as a part of a healthy and balanced diet. Try to stick to the recommended portion sizes, particularly for the full-fat varieties. Greek yoghurt is easy to over-eat.
Potential drawbacks of Greek yoghurt
Greek yoghurt is generally considered safe to eat. However, if you are allergic to cow’s milk, you will likely experience symptoms when eating Greek yoghurt. Allergies like this can be severe, so speak to your doctor if you notice a tickly throat, trouble breathing, coughing or sneezing. If you have a very severe reaction, you should seek medical attention immediately4.
You could try a non-dairy Greek yoghurt instead. These are becoming increasingly common and could be a great alternative.
How to include more in your diet
We usually eat yoghurt for breakfast. Whether topped with berries, mixed in with cereal or prepared the night before with oats, there are plenty of ways to create a tasty meal in the morning with this dairy product.
However, Greek yoghurt is extremely versatile, and there’s no reason to limit your intake to the first meal of the day. Yoghurt can be used:
- In baking
- In smoothies and soups
- As a drizzle or dip
- In salads
- In ice lollies and ice creams
- As a marinade5
You could also look for yoghurt snacks and ready-prepared products. These can be a tasty and nutritious way to bring the benefits of yoghurt with you on the go.
Last Updated: 25th January 2021
Author: Bhupesh Panchal, Regulatory Affairs
Bhupesh started his career as a clinical toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products. After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.
In his spare time, Bhupesh likes to cycle and has been learning to speak Korean for several years.