Rich, thick and delicious, Greek yogurt is more than just a grab-and-go snack that you eat with a spoon when your tummy starts grumbling. This creamy, dreamy dairy product does more than just curb your hunger. Here are just a few of the health benefits of Greek yogurt.
Greek yogurt is loaded with protein
According to Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., author of Read It Before You Eat It, digging into a cup of Greek yogurt can deliver as much protein as eating meat. “Greek yogurt has double the protein of most regular yogurts,” the New York-based nutrition expert explains. “An 8-ounce cup has as much protein as a 3-ounce chicken cutlet!” In addition to being a key nutrient in building and maintaining your muscle mass, including protein in every meal can also keep you full longer.
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Greek yogurt is a tasty source of calcium
Just because calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, it doesn’t mean you can slack off on getting enough in your diet. Greek yogurt is a great source of calcium, which is key in bone and teeth health as well as heart and nerve function. Since calcium levels can vary from yogurt to yogurt, be sure to read labels so you know exactly how much of the mineral you’re getting.
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Greek yogurt is good for your gut
If you’re trying to boost probiotics in your diet, dig into more Greek yogurt. Probiotics can not only improve your digestive health and keep the bacteria in your gut healthy, they can also boost your immune system and keep you well. Make sure the Greek yogurt you choose has “live and active cultures” on the label.
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Greek yogurt is indulgent
Thicker than traditional yogurt, Greek yogurt swirled with ripe, juicy fruit and a little honey is akin to a decadent dessert made with heavy cream and sugar. When you’re craving comfort food, Greek yogurt can satisfy your sweet tooth without derailing your diet. However, Taub-Dix warns that not all yogurts are diet-friendly. “Some yogurts can be like candy in a cup, so check the sugar content on the label before you buy,” the nutrition expert adds.
Greek yogurt is versatile
Taub-Dix encourages you to reap the health benefits of yogurt all day long. She says, “Greek yogurt can really satisfy your hunger and it therefore makes a great midday snack, but because it’s also so versatile, you can have it with fruit and cereal at breakfast, have it with a salad at lunch, make a yogurt smoothie as a snack or add it to your salad dressing at dinner.” The more often you can include healthy foods in your meals, the healthier your diet with be.