Our Simple Journey of Faith, Family and Life

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Greek Yogurt vs Yogurt

Yogurt is a healthy choice to eat alone, with fruit mixed in, or as a substitute for less nutritious ingredients like sour cream, cream cheese, or mayonnaise. Regular yogurt contains a lot of liquid, so straining it makes it more suitable to use in recipes.

This straining technique can be used for whole-, low-, or non-fat yogurt. I normally go for the low fat as you can clearly see in above photo. For me, it has the right balance of flavor and health benefits.

Strained regular yogurt is the same thing as Greek yogurt. I use Low-Fat and usually buy the store brand.

To strain your yogurt, you can use either cheese cloth (I usually use cheese cloth) or you can use coffee filters. Today I'm using the coffee filter because most people have them on hand so you can see how easy this is to make. I also will cover mine with saran wrap before putting in refergator. I usually leave mine overnight so all the liquid has dripped out of yogurt.

That's right. The only difference between the two yogurts is that the liquid whey remains in regular yogurt. The liquid whey is strained from regular yogurt to create Greek yogurt. By using the simple technique of straining regular yogurt that is illustrated below, you can create your own Greek yogurt.

Taste and texture difference between regular and Greek yogurt.

When the liquid whey is strained out of regular yogurt, the consistency of the yogurt becomes thicker and creamier. Also, the flavor changes because the whey contains sodium and sugar (from lactose). So, regular yogurt is saltier and sweeter than strained (Greek) yogurt.

Nutritional difference between regular and Greek yogurt.

Yogurt is considered one of the healthiest foods around. It's rich in probiotics which aid digestion, reduce the risk of intestinal infection and colon cancer, and improve lactose tolerance and cholesterol profile--lowers LDL, raises HDL (source). Both strained and unstrained yogurt is very good for you, but there are some nutritional differences. When the liquid whey is strained from regular yogurt, the volume of the yogurt reduces by half. (This is why you can expect Greek yogurt to costs twice as much as regular yogurt.) That means it's more concentrated and results in some nutritional changes. (Source)

Protein - Greek yogurt has twice the protein of regular yogurt, because the protein is concentrated in the yogurt after it's strained.

Carbohydrates - Greek yogurt has fewer carbohydrates, because the liquid that is strained out of it is high in carbs.

Sodium - Greek yogurt has half the sodium of regular yogurt, because the liquid that is strained out of it is high in sodium.

Calcium - Both yogurts are considered a good source of calcium, but regular yogurt has 3 times more calcium than Greek yogurt, because the liquid that is strained out of Greek yogurt is high in calcium.

Each person can decide which kind of yogurt is best, depending on individual nutritional priorities. Choose Greek yogurt for higher protein and lower carbs and salt. Choose regular yogurt if your priority if to increase your calcium intake.

Strained (Greek) yogurt is recommended for cooking.

Strained yogurt is a healthy substitute for sour cream, cream cheese, and mayonnaise. It's creamier, thicker consistency makes it a better substitution in dips and dressings. Strained yogurt is also better for cooking because it doesn't curdle when it's heated; regular yogurt can curdle when heated.

1 comment:

  1. I love yogurt but never thought of straining it. I will try that.