Greek yogurt is a nutrient-dense food and an excellent protein source that’s also delicious, filling, and good for you. This post gives you the details on the 12 benefits of Greek yogurt and why you should eat it every day!
One of my favorite healthy substitutions is Greek yogurt. I use plain Greek yogurt as a healthy alternative in so many of my recipes, like in sauces and toppings.
Yep, I use creamy and satisfying Greek yogurt in a lot of ways. From salads to smoothies, Greek yogurt is top of the list for me for taste and texture.
And not only that, but Greek yogurt has a lot going for it in the healthy department, too. It’s super-nutritional and so much better for you than any other kind of yogurt out there.
Greek yogurt is smooth and rich and adds a unique flavoring to whatever you add it to.
I also like to use it to make salad dressing, as in my go-to Ranch → The Best Homemade Ranch Dressing (With Greek Yogurt).
So, let’s talk about why Greek yogurt is awesome, shall we?
- Greek yogurt contains 18 grams of protein in just 6 ounces (woohoo for protein!)
- High in potassium (helps to balance out our high sodium diets)
- High in iodine (helps to increase metabolism)
- High in calcium (just 1 serving contains 18% of your daily requirements for calcium)
- Contains probiotics (help with digestive system)
Yes, those health benefits are awesome. But what’s even better is that you can’t even taste the difference in your recipes. That means your tastebuds will be none the wiser but your body will be reaping all the health benefits Greek yogurt has to offer. So keep reading and I’ll go over these amazing benefits (and more!) in detail.
Plain Greek yogurt can be used instead of so many high-fat, high calorie foods, such as:
- Sour cream (think nachos or a baked potato)
- Heavy cream (think cream of broccoli soup)
- Mayonnaise (can be used in sauces, like in this honey mustard sauce)
- Regular yogurt (which is highly sweetened and low in protein, in comparison)
- Buttermilk (think healthy ranch dressing)
WHAT IS FULL-FAT DAIRY?
Full-fat dairy is nutrient-rich. You’ve got vitamin D, B12, and other good things that pack a healthy punch in every serving. Phosphorous and calcium are nutrients contained in Greek yogurt too. But in short, full-fat dairy products are a lot less processed than reduced-fat products, making them healthier overall.
And to let you know, not all fat is bad. Sure, french fries cooked in unhealthy oils are not the ideal choice of food, but there are healthy fats out there. Some examples are avocado, peanut butter, and olive oil (read my post on which oils are healthy). And yes, full-fat Greek yogurt.
WHAT ABOUT SATURATED FAT IN GREEK YOGURT?
Greek yogurt does contain saturated fat. And I know this may make you worry about cholesterol. But to explain, full-fat dairy (and that’s the best kind of Greek yogurt to buy) increases both the LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol).
So not to worry. And remember, you are getting a lot of nutrition in every bite. Greek yogurt is also high in probiotics, which are known to be excellent for digestive health.
CAN I EAT GREEK YOGURT EVERY DAY?
Yes, you can eat Greek yogurt every day. And you should! There are tons of ways to enjoy it:
- Greek yogurt makes overnight oats creamy and satisfying
- In carrot cake
- To thicken up a nutritious shake
- As a base for yummy frozen yogurt
- Use Greek yogurt instead of cream in a soup
- Combined with spices in a salad dressing
- Greek yogurt works well in a homemade bagel recipe
- In cheesecakes
- Greek yogurt makes a fabulous dip
DOES GREEK YOGURT CONTAIN PROTEIN?
One cup of Greek yogurt can have as much as 20 grams of protein, making it an excellent source. The versatility of this healthy protein means that you can easily boost your nutritional intake. Non-meat eaters can use Greek yogurt as a protein substitute, along with the other healthy alternatives I list in my post here.
IS GREEK YOGURT GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
Because Greek yogurt is high in protein, it is excellent for controlling the appetite and helping you lose weight. Protein fills you up and energizes you, too. I have a list of several healthy protein go-to snacks, with foods like good-for-you eggs and Greek yogurt on the list.
WHAT IS THE HEALTHIEST GREEK YOGURT?
Full-fat, unflavored, and unsweetened Greek yogurt is the healthiest. What are things to look for to get the most benefits of Greek yogurt?
- Full-fat means less processed
- Reduced-fat can mean water is added, which will lower the protein content of your serving
- Avoid fat-free Greek yogurt because the fat is just replaced by sweeteners and other fillers like starch and gelatin
- Don’t buy sweetened yogurt as it may contain high fructose corn syrup or other processed sweeteners
- Plain Greek yogurt is the best and can be sweetened with fresh fruit, unsweetened applesauce, raw honey, or maple syrup (this way, you control the sweetening)
Looking for a way to add a dab of sweetness to a dish of plain Greek yogurt? Check out my Ultimate Guide to Sweeteners!
VEGAN AND NON-DAIRY OPTIONS FOR GREEK YOGURT
You can still get the benefits of Greek yogurt from a vegan or non-dairy source. What are some options for vegans and those who cannot or choose not to eat dairy?
- Almond milk yogurt
- Plant-based yogurt including ingredients like cassava root
- Cashew-based yogurt
- Coconut milk yogurt
- Oat milk yogurt may include fava beans
- Pea protein yogurt
- Soy-based yogurt
When choosing a vegan or non-dairy yogurt, follow the same tips as when choosing Greek yogurt. Stay away from brands with added sugar, choose yogurt with minimal added ingredients, and look for products that have added vitamins and nutrients.
12 BENEFITS OF GREEK YOGURT
1. GREEK YOGURT IS GOOD FOR GUT HEALTH
Greek yogurt can do wonders for the digestive system. Gastrointestinal inflammation and gastric cancer may be avoided when Helicobacter pylori (a persistent pathogen), which causes infection, is lessened or eradicated.
2. GREEK YOGURT HAS HEALTHY PROBIOTICS
Probiotics offer a lot to the body. From improving intestinal health to reducing the risk of cancer, probiotics are a boon to the immune system. They may play a protective role for the skin when it comes to allergies, and may also reduce cholesterol levels.
3. GREEK YOGURT IS HIGH IN CALCIUM
Calcium plays a big role in body health. We all know that it is good for the bones and teeth, but are you aware it is essential to nerve and muscle health, too?
4. GREEK YOGURT AIDS ANTIBIOTIC THERAPY
When taking antibiotics, doing so can often wreak havoc on your digestive system, causing nasty side effects like diarrhea. Eating Greek yogurt can ease the problem.
5. GREEK YOGURT RANKS LOW ON THE GLYCEMIC INDEX
Do you have trouble with high blood pressure or insulin spikes? Because Greek yogurt is low on the glycemic index, it produces less insulin and glucose. This means it is good for weight loss, too.
6. GREEK YOGURT IS EASILY DIGESTIBLE
People who have trouble digesting milk may find Greek yogurt easier to digest than dairy products. Along with other fermented foods (see my post on the best fermented foods!), Greek yogurt may reduce the symptoms of lactose intolerance and also add a barrier against infection in the gut.
7. GREEK YOGURT HAS ANTI-INFLAMMATORY PROPERTIES
Foods that reduce inflammation are a must in a healthy diet. That’s because inflammation can cause a lot of illnesses and sensitivities. Greek yogurt promotes an anti-inflammatory environment in the body.
8. GREEK YOGURT IS LOW IN CARBS
Remember my post where I explain macros? Carbs are a macro, and it’s important to balance them out in your daily intake of food. Eating Greek yogurt will help you do that while increasing your intake of another macro: healthy fat.
9. GREEK YOGURT IS HIGHER IN PROTEIN THAN REGULAR YOGURT
Protein has a lot of functions, including helping you build muscle and boosting your metabolism. Plant-based protein is just as beneficial, so no matter whether you choose a vegan-friendly Greek yogurt or a dairy-based one, the higher protein content is excellent for your body.
10. GREEK YOGURT IS HIGH IN IODINE
Iodine is essential to the proper function of the thyroid. Not only that, but it also has benefits for cognitive health. Greek yogurt is a good source and provides health advantages for people of all ages.
11. GREEK YOGURT IS AN EXCELLENT POST-WORKOUT FOOD
Looking for a snack after working out? Greek yogurt has the protein you need for muscle repair. After a workout, have a high-protein smoothie to boost your recovery. When is the best time to exercise? Read my post and find out!
12. GREEK YOGURT PROVIDES A MINERAL BOOST
I am talking about potassium, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorous. Looking for a way to add quality nutrition to your day? Choose Greek yogurt.
GREEK YOGURT AS A HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE
Here are some examples of recipes where I used plain greek yogurt as a healthy alternative:
- Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
- Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
- Orange Protein Smoothie
- Steak Cobb With Creamy Avocado Cilantro Dressing
- Easy Cream Of Broccoli Soup
- Fresh Peach Cobbler Overnight Oats
- Chicken Tacos
- Butternut Squash Waffles
See? Told ya I love my greek yogurt (and you should, too!).
To get more tips and tricks on how to start eating clean and loving your healthy lifestyle and food, click here to download my free Beginner’s Guide To Clean Eating!
Greek Yogurt As A Healthy Alternative
MORE POSTS ON GREEK YOGURT
As I said, I use Greek yogurt a lot and have lots of recipes on the blog that use it. Take a look at these posts about Greek yogurt:
- 35+ Easy Greek Yogurt Recipes
- Is Dairy Good For Weight Loss? Benefits of Full-Fat Dairy
- Is Dairy Inflammatory?
- Low Carb Cauliflower Au Gratin
- How to Make Homemade Salad Dressing
- Blueberry Muffin Protein Smoothie
- Frozen Yogurt Bark With Raspberries and Pistachios
- The 8 Best Fermented Foods + Why Fermented Foods Are Good For You
This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.