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Is Greek yogurt healthier than regular yogurt?

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Both Greek yogurt and conventional yogurt (but not necessarily soft serve) are high in protein and calcium. If you are trying to eat a healthy diet, protein helps you to feel full longer and studies continue to indicate that a diet rich in calcium is good for weight loss. Yogurt also contains the much talked about “live active cultures” that can aid in digestion. Make it a plain, low-fat or non-fat yogurt, and you’ve got yourself an excellent snack that will leave you satisfied.

However, not all yogurts are created equal. Greek yogurt is yogurt that has gone through a specific straining process which removes much of the water, salts and sugars. This process creates a thicker, creamier texture. Greek yogurt also contains quite a bit more protein and often less sugar than conventional yogurt. Comparatively, a 6oz serving of Greek yogurt may have as much as 17-19g of protein, depending on the brand. Most conventional yogurts of the same size only contain 5-7g of protein. If you are more interested in adding calcium to your diet than protein, conventional yogurts contain about 30 percent of your daily value. Greek yogurts lose some calcium during the straining process but are still a good source at 20 percent of your daily value.

Soft serve yogurt also called frozen yogurt generally has less calcium and protein than conventional yogurt and Greek but may have a similar amount of live active cultures, depending on how the yogurt is treated. However, because it is not a standardized food product, the only way to know is by reading the nutritional information. Some soft serve yogurt companies heat treat their yogurts prior to freezing which kills the live active cultures, rendering them useless.

For more information on healthy eating or to schedule an appointment with a Wellness Center Sports & Lifestyle Nutritionist at East Jefferson General Hospital, call (504) 849-6868 or visit us online at ejgh.org.

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