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What Are the Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt?

by Michelle Powell-Smith

About Michelle Powell-Smith

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Overview

Greek yogurt is a thicker and creamier alternative to typical American-style yogurts. While some people may find the texture more appealing, Greek yogurt is also a healthy addition to your diet. The rich taste and texture of this yogurt can substitute for higher-fat dairy products, help maintain balance in your digestive tract and provide essential protein.

Protein

Greek yogurt has substantially more protein than standard American yogurt. Per ounce, Greek yogurt provides an additional gram of protein over typical non-fat yogurt, reports Katherine Hobson in the "US News" article "Greek Yogurt Vs. Regular Yogurt: Which Is More Healthful?" If you opt for a typical 6-oz. serving of Greek yogurt, you'll have consumed a full 15 grams of protein. Additional protein can help you to feel full and satisfied.

Reduced Sugar

Greek yogurt is made by straining the whey off yogurt repeatedly to create its thick texture. Much of the natural sugar is removed during this process. According to Hobson, Greek yogurt has one-half the sugar of unsweetened, non-fat American-style yogurt. Flavored and sweetened Greek yogurts are available, but you can opt to add fresh fruit, sugar-free jam or your own sweetener to unsweetened, plain Greek yogurt.

Lactobacteria

Greek yogurt is minimally processed and has not been heat-treated. This provides you with essential healthy bacteria, including acidophilus. Acidophilus and lactobacillus organisms can improve intestinal health, reduce diarrhea and even help to prevent vaginal yeast infections.

Calcium

Greek yogurt provides substantial amounts of calcium, and the calcium in yogurt is more easily absorbed due to live yogurt cultures, reports AskDrSears.com. While Greek yogurt provides slightly less calcium than some other yogurts, a 6-oz. serving provides nearly 20 percent of your daily calcium needs, according to "Greek Yogurt vs. Regular Yogurt."

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.