Let’s find out all the properties and benefits of the Greek Yogurt

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By Alex

greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is one of the most successful foods in recent years. Yogurt has always been a healthy choice for breakfast and snacks. In today’s consumer world, the different types of yogurt seem limitless. In any supermarket, you can find a variety of colors, flavors, and brands.

Let’s find out what  the differences and benefits are compared to classic yogurt.

One of the most popular foods consumed by people, especially in recent years where there has been a real boom, is Greek yogurt. To all intents and purposes it is a yogurt, but it has a flavor and consistency completely different from the traditional yogurt that we usually consume.

But to understand what Greek yogurt is, we need to analyse, first of all, what yoghurt is. Let’s discover it and let’s then look at the differences.

Traditional yogurt

Yogurt is a by-product of milk processing, milk that can be of any animal (goat, cow and sheep) and also of vegetable origin (such as soya milk, rice milk, walnut milk…) because it is derived essentially from the fermentation of sugars.

In fact, if some particular bacteria enter the milk, which are industrially inserted intentionally, they have a particular activity called fermentation: first of all they separate the main sugar of milk, lactose, in the two basic units that are glucose and galactose, then they “eat” the latter by forming an acid, lactic acid.

This acidifies the product, making life impossible for other bacteria and allowing milk to be stored longer. It is for this reason that yoghurt is much more acidic than the starting milk.

And this is the traditional yogurt. Yet the yogurt we are used to is not acidic! Because that is not yogurt.

Marketing, in the’ 80s, has done such a great job all over the world, making people believe that those cans to the various very sweet tastes that we find in supermarkets were yoghurt: it is a yogurt with added cream or sugar to make it more attractive, especially for children.

When you happen to do so, go to a dairy and ask for yogurt, the real one. You will feel the difference (and you will understand also why they wanted to make it more tasty artificially, it’s in fact unedible) but you could eventually say that you have eaten a real yogurt at least once in your life.

FOCUS: Can one keep a yogurt beyond its expiration date?

Greek yogurt

But in this article we talk about Greek yogurt, which in reality is not Greek but Bulgarian (but if they had called it Bulgarian yogurt would not have had its appeal) and is produced mainly in the United States. How many truths are revealed to us, is it?

In fact, if you have the chance to taste traditional yoghurt (true yogurt) and Greek yogurt, you will discover that in terms of taste the difference is not so great. You feel it different, first of all, because what you think is traditional yogurt is not, as we have seen before.

The difference between the production of traditional yogurt and Greek one is small: it starts from the same milk, with the same ferments, but a certain point is the filtering of yogurt, because, like cheese, the liquid part is separated from the solid one.

There are two filtration operations in traditional yogurt, three in Greek yogurt. It may seem a minor difference, but the third filtration is very slow, because the more you go ahead and the harder it is to extract the liquid, and this leads to a series of differences.

Essentially, in the liquid that is filtered and thrown there is almost all the sodium (therefore Greek yogurt is suitable for those who follow hyposodiumic diets) and lactose that the bacteria have not fermented (which makes Greek yogurt suitable also for intolerants). As a result, more protein remains in the mass, which means that it is more nutritious and fat than traditional.

greek yogurt
Greek Yogurt: find out all the properties!

It should be remembered, however, that an additional industrial refining process has allowed the creation of a’ monster’, light Greek yogurt, with only 3% of  fat!

Compared to traditional yogurt, and not the super-sweetened one we are used to, Greek yogurt has a lower sugar content and is clearly also less sweet, for the same reason.

Differences with traditional yogurt

What are the health benefits of Greek yogurt? It is more suitable for the greater quantity of nutrients, proteins, and for the lower presence of sugars and for a lower percentage of sodium than traditional yoghurt. So there are not so many benefits, but we are talking about two very similar products in all respects. The difference is greater in the kitchen, where the flavors are different so that Greek yogurt can also be used in the kitchen above all salty, where using the traditional sweet one is much more difficult, so it tends to be consumed as such or at most as an ingredient in desserts.

Is Greek yogurt or regular yogurt better for you?

In recent years, Greek yogurt has become increasingly popular. Its thick, creamy texture and more tart flavor are appealing and filling. It is also usually sold in more simple flavors, giving us the idea that fewer additives such as sweeteners and flavorings are present.

Although they both have beneficial properties, it appears that Greek yogurt has a bit more. According to Livestrong.com, one cup of Greek yogurt has around 13 to 20 grams of protein, compared to a cup of regular low-fat yogurt, which has around 5-10 grams. Greek yogurt also has less carbs, which can be appealing to those following a low-carb diet. Greek yogurt has 9 grams of carbs, in comparison to regular yogurt’s 15 to 17 grams.

However, Livestrong states that, “the straining process for Greek yogurt removes calcium, leaving regular yogurt with about three times as much, or about one-third of the recommended daily amount. An 8-ounce container of regular nonfat yogurt contains 450 milligrams of calcium, compared to 151 milligrams in the same amount of nonfat Greek yogurt.” It also appears that, although non-fat versions of both yogurts are very similar, whole milk Greek yogurt contains more fat and saturated fat than regular yogurt.

Plain Greek yogurt
Plain Greek yogurt

So, which is healthier? Both yogurts are made the same way, and both contain protein, calcium, vitamin B-12, potassium, and other important properties. In other words, they are both good for you.

From a nutrition standpoint, it seems that non-fat Greek yogurt is the healthiest option. Otherwise, it all comes down to preference, since yogurt itself is generally very healthy.

A final question

However, let us look at the absurdity of the situation for a moment before we leave.

If you have read this article you are trying to understand the difference between a traditional yogurt that you have never tasted in your life and a so-called Greek yogurt created in Bulgaria and produced in America: do you pass globalisation, we would miss it, but it’s only me thinking that there is something profoundly wrong in all this?